Behaviorist and Cognitive Perspectives Of Learning

In my Educational Psychology class we have been discussing and learning about behaviorist and cognitive perspectives of learning. There are some differences in these to perspectives. Behaviorist perspectives tend to frame the learning in terms of a stimulus response, teachers like to see the students try an activity and then receive either a reward or a punishment. The student will try this activity again, but on the second time the teacher will emphasize what worked and deemphasize what did not work for the student. This will keep happening until the student is satisfactory in what the teacher expects, or what the norm of the classroom is. Below is a video that I found that helped construct thoughts about behaviorist perspectives of learning, and supply more information about the topic.

On the other hand cognitive perspective is framed as learning how to construct your understanding as a student. An example is if new material is presented in class, and it fits with the viewpoint of the student, then their confidence about the topic will increase and they will feel more comfortable about the material. But if the new material presented in class does not fit the viewpoint of the student then they will try to shift how they are thinking until the material become more clear to them. Over all cognitive perspective  learning is more effective for developing students different ways of thinking. When focusing on behaviorist perspectives of learning it is more effective in students learning behaviors/actions.

I think that it is important to include these perspectives of learning into teaching because each and every student in the classroom is different. Each student learns differently and they need the chance to be able to learn if the different ways. Behaviors for some students may be able to connect material better to them and make them understand the material better. As goes for the cognitive perspective learning, students may learn better in adjusting they way they are looking at the material and then apply a new viewpoint to help better understand the concepts being taught. The limitations that I see with these perspectives of learning are if they are not used together the teacher is limiting the success of their students. I think independently each perspective is not the strongest because of the fact that they need each other to work hand in hand.

Personally I agree with both views of behaviorist and cognitive perspectives of learning, but if I had to lean one way, I agree more with the cognitive perspectives of learning. I agree with these because I think that it is more important in the academic setting for students to be able to adjust their viewpoints and see things from from a different perspective to enhance their learning.

In our class we have a very useful textbook that I tend to refer to often, while reading through the textbook for class I found a table that laid out the four different ways of learning (behavioral, cognitive, constructivist, and social cognitive). I found in the table that I most relate to the cognitive section that lines up with knowledge section. I think that it is important to have knowledge to acquire and also to use prior knowledge to influence how new information is processed. I think that I will apply these strategies in my future teaching because it is important for students to be able to apply prior knowledge to their current learning to influence how they process information. Also I will use different types of behaviorist and cognitive perspectives of learning in my classroom because I think that they are both essential keys to learning for the student.

Learning Development

During my educational phycology class we have been discussing learning and how one can develop and construct knowledge. I believe that the best way to develop and construct knowledge is to give your students tasks that challenge their learning. These tasks should not be too hard, nor should they be too easy. If they are too hard the student will not develop knowledge in that area because they will become frustrated. The same events will happen with an activity that is to easy besides the student will not become frustrated, they will simply become bored with the activity that is at hand.

As my class has progressed through our previous unit we have discussed different developmental characteristics that can effect learning and teaching. Learning can be effected through developmental characteristics because each student has different characteristics, so they all learn different and at a different rate. This makes each student learn slightly different, but with the proper help and direction they can learn the same material. This is were the role of the teacher comes into play. The teacher is responsible for seeing and figuring out each students developmental characteristics so that he/she knows how to approach each student to help them learn the material being presented.

We have discussed as a class about different models and theories that tie into learning development. We took a look at Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, Erikson’s resolving developmental crises, Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, and Bronfenbrenner’s theory. I think that all of these models and theories that we have discussed in my class are positive findings that give a good base for how to gauge students and their development in learning. Some limitations that these theories and models have are that they are geared towards a general population. These models and theories are not going to be applicable to all students in the classroom. Every student will learn differently and grow and develop at a different rate. So although these models and theories are a solid foundation to reference as a teacher, they still have their flaws. These different models and theories will help during my future teaching because even though they have their flaws they can be very useful if used in the right ways. For example Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development will allow me to gauge were a student is at in their learning based on others in the class were they should be at based on research and studies.

A specific topic that peaked my interest during our class periods was the role of family life and poverty, and how that can effect the learning development of a child. A video that I watched was talking about poverty and the relationship between that and brain development. It said that the lack of brain development comes from the parents of the child experiencing stressors that impact the availability to a child and that can compromise the relationship. Also found in the video was that during a child’s early years the relationship between the primary caregiver and the child is important to brain development (Kulkarni, 2012). If the primary caregiver can not be there for the child this will ultimatly impact the learning development of the child, and they will fall behind in their schooling. Also this ties in with family life impacting the learning development because if the family life for a student is negative and non supportive then it could have a negative impact on the students learning. But if the student has a supportive household, then the parents might see better strides in school from their child and see more growth as a learner.


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Research and Teaching

When discussing the topic of teaching and research I believe that they go hand in hand. Starting off with teachers, I believe that they can benefit greatly from researchers. If teachers tap into data bases that allow them to find all different studies done on a certain topic that they are focusing on in the classroom, that allows them to formulate more ideas based off of the research. The research may give the teachers different points of view of teaching that they never thought of before. On the other hand I also think that researchers have much more to gain from the teachers. Researchers are able to survey and observe the teachers and their students to formulate more research to publish. The teachers are what fuel the research for the researchers in this field. By both parties working together they both indeed gain from each other.

The proper use of information literacy is crucial if you are a teacher. The ability to be able to see that information is needed, and then to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the information is a skill that should be required of a teacher. Take the argument of students should not be given homework. If a teacher is able to locate, evaluate and then effectively use the findings to provide a well thought out explanation to back up their own thoughts, it provides credibility for the actions being taken by the teacher regarding homework. What this means for me and my future career path is that I should become particularly strong with this content area. It will be important to be able to effectively use information and relay that information in the best way possible to the students.

There was a recent teacher that decided that she was not going to give her class homework the whole school year because of research she had looked over. The research she found showed no correlation between homework and better grades. I support and stand behind the decision of this teacher. After looking at research myself I found multiple sources saying that, the more homework assigned to the students the higher amount of stress levels (Scholastic Choices, 2017); (Cooper, 2001). These two researchers both found that with more homework assigned not only did the students stress rise, but also the family of the student was effected by the stress as well. In two other research findings I found that, there is little correlation between the amount of time spent on homework and the success or accomplishment of the student (Valle, 2015); (Kalenkoski, 2017). Both of these studies are focused on high school level students and how more homework does not necessarily lead to better overall grades for students. These research articles that I found helped me to know that I agree with the ideas of the teacher that decided to give no homework. I do still think that it is important for students to be able to have access to more work if they feel like they need it, but I do not think that students should have to take home more work. This is because they need to spend the time they have away from school doing non school things such as, after school activities, clubs, sports, family time, and hanging out with friends. This is an important part of the students lives that they need to develop as well.

Who am I?

My name is Drew Patterson and I am pursuing a degree in Physical Education, with a minor in Health, and an Adaptive Physical Education license. As I move along further in my major I have realized that I do not mind what age level I teach, I just want to be able to impact and influence students to do what they want. Ultimately my dream career would be to find a spot as a physical education teacher at a high school and be able to help coach some of the sports teams. I would like to do this as a career because of those who allowed education and school to be a good environment for me. I have had many teachers that have been such an influence to me. They all have made the classroom a fun, energetic, and open space that people and myself felt comfortable in. To this day my favorite teacher was my 7th grade social studies teacher. I remember doing multiple reenactments in his class. This allowed for the information he was teaching become more fun to learn. I felt this teaching style made the information become more relevant to the students and help us retain the information being taught. What I can take from these experiences that will help me in my future career is using these same techniques in my own classroom. What I believe makes a good teacher is being able to allow each student in your classroom to reach their full potential each day. Allow them to be presented the information being taught in the best way you can deliver it to them. Make them see education and learning in a different way, and challenge them to become better than they were the day before.

When reviewing the video clips it was easy to pick out what teaching style was more effective for the classes. Teaching clip 1 was more effective because the teacher was able to keep the class engage with the content being taught. He was able to make the class laugh and enjoy the time being spent in the classroom. He also challenged them when they stepped on the desk, he challenged them to see the world and writings from a different perspective and make it their own. In the teaching clip 2 the teacher was very monotone and did not seem to be enjoying the material he was teaching. He was spewing out facts at the class hoping that they would retain them. What I learned from those clips is, if the teacher is not engaged and enjoying what is being taught, then the students most likely are not engaged and enjoying what is being taught.

Physical Education class playing handball.