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OPERANT AND CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

Group#9: Brittany Biggar, Maegan Bishop, Jim Cain, and Andrew Kerssens

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

“Association of automatic [involuntary] responses with new stimuli” (Woolfolk, Winne, & Perry, 2016, p. 229). It was discovered by Ivan Pavlov in the 1920s.

Although teachers may not consciously use this type of conditioning in the classroom, they will likely observe it in their students. For example:

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A student who becomes nervous every time she reads in front of the class.

- A student’s’ hands become sweaty when he begins writing a test.

- A student becomes tense when playing a solo in the school band.

We can help students overcome undesirable involuntary responses by helping to recondition these experiences.

OPERANT CONDITIONING

“Learning in which voluntary behaviour is strengthened or weakened by consequences or antecedents” (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 230)

Antecedent Behaviour Consequence Cues and Prompts Reinforcement and Punishment
Antecedent
Behaviour
Consequence
Cues and Prompts
Reinforcement and Punishment

ANTECEDENTS

Antecedents are “events that precede an action” (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 230).

Cues and prompts are ways that teachers can use antecedents to influence behaviour change. Cues are stimuli that set up a behaviour while prompts are reminders to follow the cues (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 235).

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A teacher places a poster in the classroom to remind students to keep their desks tidy (cue).

– Students receive a checklist of common grammatical errors to refer to when editing (cue).

A teacher draws attention to the rubric before the students begin writing a paper (prompt).

REINFORCEMENT

A consequence that strengthens behaviour (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 231). Note: this strengthened behaviour may or may not encourage learning or be desired by the teacher (see some examples below).

Positive reinforcement involves adding a desired stimulus to after a behaviour.

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A student receives a sticker and words of praise for good work on a spelling test.

- A student receives extra free time in the gym after good class behaviour.

Students laugh and high five a peer who has made an inappropriate comment.

Negative reinforcement involves taking away (subtracting) an aversive stimulus after a behaviour.

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A class is missing recess, but students who finish their work are permitted to go outside.

– A student learns to lie in order to escape punishment.

- A student is relieved of 5 minutes’ detention time after completing her homework.

Reinforcement Schedules Please note that the timing of reinforcement greatly affects the outcome. Reinforced behaviour is best achieved when reinforced continuously at the start and later reinforced intermittently (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 233).

PUNISHMENT

A consequence that suppresses behaviour (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 233). Important note: Be cautious when using punishment. Often reinforcement may be used to influence behaviour more effectively. Always follow punishment with a reinforcement so students know what they should be doing (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 242).

Some types of punishment:

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Reprimands (rebukes or criticisms; should be done in private, in a calm manner)

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Response Cost (loss of money, time, or privilege)

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Social Isolation (time-outs)

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Presentation Punishment vs. Removal Punishment (see chart below)

Behaviour Encouraged

Behaviour Suppressed

Stimulus Presented

Stimulus Removed or Withheld

Suppressed Stimulus Presented Stimulus Removed or Withheld Presentation Punishment Removal Punishment Positive
Suppressed Stimulus Presented Stimulus Removed or Withheld Presentation Punishment Removal Punishment Positive

Presentation Punishment

Removal Punishment

Positive Reinforcementor Withheld Presentation Punishment Removal Punishment Negative Reinforcement ( Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 233) –

Negative ReinforcementPunishment Removal Punishment Positive Reinforcement ( Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 233) – Items are taken

(Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 233) Items are taken away from a student after she throws them around the room (removal).

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– A teacher reprimands a student privately after an inappropriate word is used (presentation).

- A student is asked to sit out of a soccer game after showing aggression on the field (removal).

FORMS OF IMPLEMENTATION

Applied Behavioural Analysis - The process of applying behavioural learning principles in order to change or understand behaviour (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 236).

Group Consequences When reinforcement or punishment is applied to a group rather than to individuals (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 244).

Contingency Contracts - When the teacher creates a contract with a student wherein the student must achieve a certain behaviour before earning a reward. (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 244)

Self Management - It is important to note that behavioural strategies can be implemented by students to manage themselves. Goal setting, task monitoring, assessment, and reinforcement can all be used by students.

Functional Behavioural Assessments - When teachers focus on the why of student behaviour by studying antecedents, behaviours, and consequences (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 247).

Premack Principle – Set effective reinforcements by studying what students do in their free time (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 238).

KSAs

1.

Contextual variables affect teaching and learning.

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All students can learn, albeit at different rates and in different ways.

7.

Students’ needs for physical, social, cultural and psychological security.

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The importance of respecting students’ human dignity.