Hi Jason, reading your post made me reflect upon how drastically different the teachings practices from my secondary and post secondary education have been; to explain, in high school I feel that a behaviourist approach was employed by many of my teachers due to a large emphasis on memorization of content to later be measured or assessed in the format of a test. In university, however, I feel that, as exactly how you have described, the nature of the courses that I have taken more closely resemble the cognitivist or constructivist theory. To explain, similarly, inquiry has played a major role in the format of my assignments, allowing me to expand, complete research, and acquire resources on topics that I find of interest. I also resonated with how you describe having to “unlearn” stories that we tell ourselves and believe so strongly are true – that we aren’t good enough at something, or lack the required skills to be successful. Changing our mindset or previous habits results in a lot of mental uneasiness, which we automatically try to avoid, and I think this is another reason why learning can be so challenging. If anything, I feel that the preceding supports trying new things, and stepping outside outside of our comfort zones frequently.
Hi Carla, I too took on a more negative or critical view of the behaviourist theory from some of our courses last semester; I know that in my self specifically the long term effects can be reflective of associating grades with self-worth and motivation that is solely extrinsic. As a future teacher, I want to steer closer to methods of cognitivism and constructivism, but regardless, I similarly realized that I hadn’t put any effort into researching if behaviourism has any positive impacts, or if there are any scenarios in which behaviourist practices might have benefits over other approaches. Right now, I think the the short answer might be that the article presented behaviourism in a neutral tone because it is efficient and regardless of impact on its students it can be incredibly successful in the scheme of conditioning someone to produce a desired response – this will be something that I look further into!
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