BEHAVIORISM

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  1. Rewards are popularly believed to create positive consequences and punishments tend to lead to more negative consequences. Describe situations to (a) support and (b) contend / oppose these claims.

Everybody loves rewards. Who doesn’t? But when and how do we give it? I have something called classroom popcorn points. The idea is everyone should exemplify a good behavior and it has to be something that goes over and beyond what is expected from them. This set up works because I’m handling Grade 4. If it was in kindergarten, the kids would just stare at me and probably think that I’m losing my mind. I occasionally give out certificates to students but not to a point that everything is praised. I believe that there has to be a balance.  Giving out too many rewards loses its value.

I think negative reinforcement may also be used to enhance learning. It’s just a matter of how you phrase it. For example when my students are being rowdy just before recess, I would say “When all of the supplies are placed in blue container and everyone is sitting quietly on their chair, we will go outside. Until then, we will miss our recess” Sometimes I would not say anything and just stare at my watch.

(a)      Discuss aspects of behaviorism that you view to be productive and, hence, will advocate in practice.  

Giving out incentives can motivate the student to do well in class.

 (b) Conversely, discuss aspects that you consider counter-productive, and will therefore discourage in practice.

I’ve noticed that the more you raise your voice, the louder the class gets. Teachers need to learn that it’s not about how load your voice is. It’s about timing and content.

  1. Describe how the following behaviorist concepts apply in the classroom (positive uses for):
    • Extinction – [i]refers to the gradual weakening of a conditioned response that results in the behavior decreasing or disappearing.
    • Time out – I have something called “Think Sheet”. Basically when the student is being too rowdy, they are sent to time out and they need to fill up the” think sheet”. It gives them the opportunity to reflect on their behavior and find ways to solve the problem.
    • Positive and negative reinforcement (also demonstrate how they differ)

[ii]Reinforcement is used to help increase the probability that a specific behavior will occur with the delivery of a  stimulus/item immediately after a response/behavior is exhibited. The use of reinforcement procedures have been used with both typical and atypical developing children, teenagers, elderly persons, animals, and different psychological disorders.

[iii]There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. Also, negative reinforcement is often confused with punishment.

[iv]Positive reinforcement is a very powerful and effective tool to help shape and change behavior. Positive reinforcement works by presenting a motivating item to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.

[v]Negative reinforcement is when a certain stimulus/item is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited. The likelihood of the particular behavior occurring again in the future is increased because of removing/avoiding the negative stimuli. Negative reinforcement should not be thought of as a punishment procedure. With negative reinforcement, you are increasing a behavior, whereas with punishment, you are decreasing a behavior.

    • Generalization and discrimination (also demonstrate how they differ)

[vi]Generalization occurs when an organism makes the same response to similar stimuli. The size of the response typically depends on the degree of similarity. If a dog receives meat powder after hearing a 500 Hz tone, it will probably salivate when hearing a 450 Hz tone also, but not as much as it would to another 500 Hz tone. It would salivate less to a 400 Hz or 600 Hz tone…and even less to a 300 Hz or 700 Hz tone. Pavlov found that the greater the resemblance between stimuli used during training and stimuli used during testing the greater the generalization. In other words, more salivation would occur if a tone was close to the training tone, less salivation would occur if the tone was very different from the training tone.

However, no two situations are identical. If an organism notices differences between situations rather than similarities, generalization will not occur. For example, a horse that responds well to one rider may be stubborn for another. Would the students in Landauer’s class jump if one of their classmates stood up and shouted “Now!”? Maybe some would jump. If they did, they would be showing generalization. But others might not jump. They would be showing discrimination, the opposite of generalization. Discrimination is described in the next section.

Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

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I’ve seen this video a couple of years ago and it made me think….What is Intelligence? Should it be limited to what society dictates to be the standards?

Intelligence

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Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Cite evidences from personal experience that would support one or both ideas that intelligence is inherited or shaped by environmental factors.

Growing up, I wasn’t the average female elementary kid that you usually see – quiet, studious and obedient. Instead I was a rebel – at one point I was sent to the office for boxing a boy (No, I don’t have dreams of becoming a boxer). Although I’m not proud of it and my head would still shrug every time I would remember horror stories of my youth, it made me believe that we human beings, generally speaking, are shaped by our environment and experiences. As a kid I remember being constantly compared to my friends who exhibit the ideals. She was the perfect kid – good grades, quiet, obedient, for short the envy of any parent. When we started high school, I still wasn’t serious with my studies but other than that I was fine.  My friend on the other hand started experimenting – alcohol, smoking and even drugs. After graduating high school, I started realizing that my study habits will not be acceptable in college. I started studying and soon after I became a Dean’s lister. My friend started dropping and changing courses. It made me realize that nothing is permanent except for change. I don’t regret being who I am. Who I am right now is a product of victorious battles and defeat.

Having learned various theoretical perspectives on intelligence, how do you think should intelligence be measured

  • What are the weaknesses of standardized tests (Binet-Stanford, etc.) as determinants for qualification for employment / admission into schools?
  • Can you suggest alternative ways that would be qualify as a “more fair” or “more valid” basis for assessment of intelligence?

I don’t think intelligence should be a qualification for employment / admission into schools. I believe that no one is incapable or in simple term “bobo”.  I really don’t understand why society is too obsessed with numbers – IQ, money, etc. Why do we define a person merely by how good they perform in a written test? I have these two classmates in college; one was a Magna Cum Laude in Biology while the other one was a graduate of Mass communication. During open discussions the Magna Cum Laude would state her opinion in Tagalog but no one would commend her for her brilliant thinking. The Mass com student on the other hand would enunciate her answer in English and my classmates would all cheer but if you’ll really pay attention to what she said, it was just strings of words in English, in short walang sense. After graduation and passing the board exam, I was baffled to see my Magna Cum Laude friend working in Mercury Drugs. Not that I have anything against Mercury Drug, I just felt that she deserve to work in a hospital. I later on found out that my Mass communication classmate is working in one of the prestigious Hospitals in the Philippines. My point here is – a standard IQ test should not be a basis or a verbal interview in hiring people. The HR should take in consideration if the person actually fit the job requirement. What do I mean by that? It should be skill based and objective. I remember screening applicants for a private nurse for one of the students in school. The student had unstable episodes of seizures even with medication and the school and parent wanted to ensure his safety while in school. All of the applicants passed the written test but only one passed the skill based assessment. Do I personally like her? No, but I needed to be objective and choose what’s best for the student.

 

In what ways do our notions about intelligence affect the way we teach and/ or learn?

Our notions on intelligence greatly affect the way we teach and learn. It’s like the backbone of how we teach and learn.

 

Having thus considered different views of intelligence, how do you think intelligence should be defined (i.e., how would you refine the definition of intelligence)? 

My own definition of Intelligence is a person’s understanding and self awareness of his environment.

UNDERSTANDING FLOW

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There are two variables, Challenge level & Skill level, as represented on the vertical and horizontal axes of the chart that determine our motivational response to a learning experience.

  • Challenge       Skill   =  Motivational Response
    Challenge vs. skill, showing "flow" ...
    Challenge vs. skill, showing “flow” region (Photo credit from: Wikipedia)

Low               Low               Apathy

Low            Moderate    Boredom

Low              High         Relaxation

Moderate    Low               Worry

Moderate    High              Control

High             Low               Anxiety

High           Moderate       Arousal

High              High             Flow

Thus, in conclusion, a  person needs to have a high challenge and high skill level in order to experience Flow.

I remember when I was new to a school nurse post, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I never felt so lost in my life! This challenge me to do my own research. I also second guess myself – just to be one the safe side. I started reflecting especially on how I can improve my skills. If something new was presented – I would ask myself – Have I done the right thing? What other steps do I need to take? This also forced me to attend different seminars on school nursing. After a year or two, I’ve noticed that I feel more confident in work.

I think teachers can be an instrument in students’ experience of flow, but to be able to do so, the teacher should know the student more.

My Learning Style

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Using your understanding of learning style theories, what personal challenges / difficulties as a distance learner are you able to recognize? (What aspects of distance learning do not match with your learning style?)

I’m a visual and auditory type of learner. I can process the information by merely seeing and hearing the teacher discuss the lesson. Having to read the module and understand the text at the same time is a challenge for me. I would search for videos relating to the topic and watch it just so that I will fully understand the context. This is another challenge since I don’t have enough time to do research. Another one would be felling overwhelmed when I see a lot of missed work.

Discussion Forum on Metacognition

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1. What is metacognition?

(a) Discuss how the following beliefs deter learning.
(b) Describe beliefs that contrast with each
and how such can enhance learning:

  • Learning is fast
  • Knowledge is composed of isolated facts
  • Intelligence is an inborn trait
  • “I’m really good at multi-tasking”

Learning is unique. How we perceive things varies – what’s easy for you may not be easy for me and what’s easy for me may not be easy for you. The above statements deter to learning because it attacks a person’s perception on learning. As adults we are somehow capable of filtering what’s real and what’s not – I can only imagine my spirit being crushed if I heard this in primary school. Learning is not fast! I remember the first time I introduced mixed fractions in a group of grade 4 students – even the brightest kid in the entire grade level was overwhelmed! No matter how I break it down the first week, they just can’t get it. After a few more weeks I observed great improvement.

Knowledge is NOT composed of isolated facts. Take for example in Math. For a student to understand a new concept, for example multiplication, the student should have a strong understanding of his basic math skill – in this case, addition. I believe that knowledge is like a pyramid (I know this is cheesy) each step leads you to the top.

Intelligence is NOT an inborn trait. Take for example, Albert Einstein. He wasn’t brilliant in his younger years. He did not begin speaking until after age two.

While some are good at multi-tasking, I personally can’t study and listen to music at the same time. I don’t think this is a general thing – again what works for you may not work for me and vice versa.

 2. What is self-regulation? 

Why is self-regulation (critically) important in distance education?

[i] Self-regulated learning (SRL) refers to some rather specific ways that learners take control of their own learning. Schunk and Zimmerman (1998) define SRL as:

“learning that occurs largely from the influence of students’ self-generated thoughts, feelings, strategies, and behaviors, which are oriented toward the attainment of goals”

I think self-regulation is important in distance education since the nature of the lesson is self taught. Especially if the course/subject is knew to you – take for example me, Education is not my first course in college. Most of the vocabulary used  in PTC is foreign to me – my job is to learn the language and self check if I did understand the  module.

I came across a publication on “Encouraging Self-regulated learning in the classroom: A review of the Literature”  and found very beneficial in class setting. You can read the publication here: http://merc.soe.vcu.edu/Reports/Self%20Regulated%20Learning.pdf

3. How shall I study to optimize learning in this course?

My biggest problem is time management. By the time I get home from work – I’m dead tired. I think the best way to optimize learning in this course is to manage my schedule and allot time to read not only the module but also other resources.

4. In what ways will keeping a learning journal help me learn better?

How I wish I have more time doing journals. Looking back, I think reflecting on the different theories would greatly help me understand my students more. I remember reading the module and going “oh yeah, this applies to this student… I did notice this theory is applicable to…”

self-efficacy, self-worth, and anxiety

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Discuss how self-efficacy, self-worth, and anxiety affects motivation?

[i]We all have a sense of self. Whether that sense of self is positive or negative is based upon our experiences in life and our perceptions and assessment of ourself. If our self assessment was always accurate, I would have no need to write this article. However, the problem is that our perception of ourself is often distorted.

Previous experiences can distort this perception. For instance, a person growing up in a perfectionistic family may view herself as always falling short of the expectations of the family. As a result, no matter how successful she might be, she thinks of herself as a failure.

Or a boy who is constantly picked on by his older brothers: “How stupid!” or “What a dork!” He may come to believe these labels about himself. Unfortunately, people who believe certain labels will often live up, or live down, to those labels. The labels can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of expectation. He expects himself to be stupid so he never tries to prove otherwise.

Therefore, Self-efficacy, self-worth, and anxiety are all key factors in motivation.

How does one’s belief about nature of intelligence affect motivational approaches to learning?

If a person believes that he is capable of accomplishing the task – he will do it. But if the person thinks that he can’t accomplish the task, in his head he has convinced himself that it is not worth the trouble to even try.

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