Effective teaching starts with effective classroom management. In order to ensure meeting target goals, teachers should apply the most appropriate approach in motivating interest, managing behavior, and keeping order in the classroom. Behaviorists offer a classroom management style that ensures meeting these objectives, while preparing students to overcome future challenges at the same time.
Behaviorist approaches to learning originate from the minds of John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. With his stimulus-response model, Watson claims that “specific stimuli evoke observable responses in human behavior.” Meanwhile, Skinner’s Operant Conditioning argues that pleasant things have energizing effect on people’s behavior, thus we repeat behaviors that are desirable and get rid of undesirable ones. Applying these in the classroom, a teacher may find it easier to understand enormity of student behavior, and encourage them to perform to the best of their abilities.
In “Building an Educational Philosophy” (Introduction to Foundations of American Education Website), educators emphasize the importance of preparing students’ environment to achieve learning goals. The environment of a child serves as a crucial factor in developing interest towards study. It includes both physical and non-physical aspects. The physical aspect requires order and creativity, while the non-physical emphasizes developing positive behavior and interest. An organized learning environment contributes to easy learning, and conditions students to perform at their best. Considering this, the physical environment of the classroom should be well-organized and free from obstruction to allow organized flow of the learning process.
In an ideal classroom, all things should have their proper places. For example, books, coloring materials, charts, etc. should be neatly arranged in their appropriate places. This way, students can move with ease inside the classroom, and would know how to organize things themselves when at home or other places. Also, with an orderly environment, students’ mind will be more focused on the instruction, thus this would promote better learning pace. Likewise, a well-organized classroom provides a comfortable space conducive to learning.
An example of behaviorism in the classroom is when teachers reward their class or certain students with a party or special treat at the end of the week for good behavior throughout the week. The same concept is used with punishments. The teacher can take away certain privileges if the student misbehaves.
To maintain orderliness, learning materials should be neatly arranged in cabinets, shelves, etc., and they should be labeled or color coded for easy access and stacking. During time of use, not all students should be allowed access; instead, there should be assigned leaders or representatives to obtain the materials. Training students in an orderly manner will teach them to be orderly in the same way. Bulletin boards should contain displays relevant to the present topics for instruction. Students’ best output may also be displayed to motivate students to perform well in every activity.
Questions and Answers about Behaviorism in education
Behaviorism educational philosophy