There is a lot of differences between the behaviorist learning perspective and cognitive learning perspective because they are essentially opposites. The cognitive perspective was a reaction to the behaviorist way of thinking. Behaviorist’s believe that the mind is blank slate and that we respond to outside stimuli to form a behavior. These behaviors are then reinforced in some way to make us continue to do them or stop them in the future. On the other hand, per Woolfolk, the cognitive view of learning is an “active mental process of acquiring, remembering, and using knowledge (pg. 312). This is the opposite of behaviorism because people don’t just respond to stimuli but must be active and participate in learning. These two perspectives have their upsides and downsides which are key to utilize when teaching. For starting something new at a young age, it may be important to use reinforcement and punishment to get a child to do something but that might not be good for a teenager.
I think that as a future teacher, I will utilize both perspectives in order to reach all my students so that they get the most out of the class. I will have to lecture so that the kids take in the new information to make it relevant to themselves, and as the lesson goes on, I might reward the students who do well on homework assignments and quizzes so that behavior continues. I think it is important to be versatile as a teacher because each class will be filled with different students that learn differently. However, on page 468, which hold the outlines of all the views of learning, I would have to say that I agree with the constructivist approach the most. I think that learning happens best when people are collaborating and bouncing ideas of each other. I think that all are important but I tend to lean on constructivism more often.
To further expand on the constructivist style in classrooms, in an article by Martin Brooks, he goes on to talk about what it looks like in action. He talks about how this asks the students to be accountable for their work and learning to do well, but also calls on the educator to be active participant in the student’s ability to learn by giving them the right guidance. I agree with this because as a teacher, I can only do so much. I will try to reach all the students and get them to succeed but it is ultimately up to them if they learn or not.
Brooks, M. (November 1999). Educational Leadership. “The constructivist classroom”. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov99/vol57/num03/The-Courage-to-Be-Constructivist.aspx
Woolfolk, A. E. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.