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Arden T. Miller, Ph.D

Psychology of Education

3. Environmental Learning Theories

 

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Reading assignment: Chapter 6

1. Discuss the assumptions that are made in behavioral theories of learning; e.g., no use of internal constructs such as goals or beliefs and distinguish examples as operant or classical conditioning.

2. Explain, using an example of your own or a given example, how learning occurs through classical conditioning. Identify and label correctly the types of stimuli and responses and discuss how generalization, discrimination, and extinction influence this learning process.

3. Explain, using an example of your own or a given example, how learning occurs through operant conditioning. Identify and label correctly the types of stimuli and responses and distinguish between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment; considering and identifying examples of each.

Note that failure to distinguish operant and classical conditioning, and inability to identify stimuli and responses that go with them is one of the most common ways to lose points and can easily cost you a letter grade. The most common error in the course is to fail to distinguish between negative reinforcement and punishment.

4. Identify examples of the different types of schedules of reinforcement. Discuss advantages and disadvantages such as rate of response or learning and resistance to extinction.

5. Explain how you would use shaping to modify some form of complex behavior. When is shaping most useful?

6. Discuss how generalization, discrimination, and extinction are part of the operant conditioning learning process.

7. Identify the fundamental aspects of Behavior Modification and Applied Behavior Analysis with emphasis on systematic observation of behavior, and plan for the use of these strategies to modify student behavior.

8. Utilize strategies and tips from behaviorists and behavior modification for increasing and decreasing the frequency of behavior.

9. Critically evaluate behavioral learning theories and evaluate educational strategies that are based upon (or presumed to be based upon) behavioral theories.