Compare ways that a teacher with a behaviorist leaning and one with a cognitive leaning view errors that students make during learning and testing. Make your discussion relevant to psychological theory and your content area.
The role of the behaviorist teacher is providing stimulus material and prompting the correct response, while the learner's role is to be the receiver of the information response until the behavioral change is permanent. (Applications of Learning Theories) Teachers with a behaviorist leaning view errors as not enough conditioning. Without repetition and proper conditioning, students will make mistakes.
As a cognitivist, you believe that learning is a change in individuals' mental structures enabling them to show changes in behavior. It is based on the thought process behind the behavior. Your focus is on what is in the learner's head coupled with the behavior.
According to "Applications of Learning Theories for Instructional Design Practice", from the cognitivist's perspective, you emphasize the following principles:
The role of the cognitivist teacher is to assist the learner's application of the proper learning strategies, and the learner is active in the learning process. Cognitive leaning teachers view errors as unsuccessful attempts to understand, order and act upon their environment in ways that make sense to them. Knowledge is the organization of a set of mental structures and problem-solving processes that the learner manipulates and restructures in response to new information and experience. (Gordon)
I possess some qualities of both a behaviorist and cognitivist teacher. Some concepts in first grade need to be memorized and practiced. For example, when reading, students should see a high frequency word and recognize it without having to sound it out. Words like have, were, my, was, some, etc. are used often in first grade text and cannot be sounded out. Students who come to first grade without much reading practice need to learn basic sight words before they can become fluent readers. Playing sight word games and continuing to read will help them learn these words.
In my classroom, I often act as a guide for my students. In mathematics, being proficient requires being able to use prior knowledge from one situation and to apply it in another. In open-ended story problems, students must have the ability to know which math function (addition, subtraction, etc.) to use and how to apply a strategy to solve the problem. I often facilitate and support the internal processes of the various learners in my classroom.
In science, my young students come to school with some prior knowledge that is often incorrect. It is my job to acknowledge the misconceptions and design tasks that reformualte knowledge. These tasks should include hands-on activities and time for sharing the outcomes with classmates.
Both the behaviorist and cognitivist offer important aspects to learning.
When deciding which strategies to utilize, it is crucial to consider the
level of knowledge of the learners and the cognitive processing demands.
The nature of the learning task and proficiency level of the learners should
both be considered when incorporating strategies.
Bruning, Roger H., Gregory J. Schraw, and Royce R. Ronning. Cognitive Psychology and Instruction.
Charles, C.M. Building Classroom Discipline.
Ridgely Elementary School, Springfield, Illinois, 1994-2001.
Anderson, John R., Lynne M. Reder, Herbert A. Simon. Applications and Misapplicatons of Cognitive Psychology to Mathematics Education, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University.
Gordon, Edward E. Cognitive Learning Makes Training More Powerful, 1994.
Roschelle, Jeremey. Learning in Interactive Environments: Prior Knowledge and New Experience, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, 1997.
Schuman, Lisa. Perspectives on Insruction, 1996.