Much research and thought has been put into our school’s programs to meet the needs of many diverse learners. Throughout time, theorists have developed any theories that we, as educators, continue to use to this day. Thanks to their contributions, we have been provided with the best educational tools to cultivate young minds today. Every educator has their own opinion as to what theory they think is best. After reading various theories, there is one in particular that I truly believe to be the most beneficial which is The Behaviorism Theory. Behaviorism theory, also now as behavioral psychology Is a theory of learning based upon the Idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning” (Cherry, 2011 B. F Skinner and John B. Watson are the two creators of the behaviorism theory. They stated that development included learned behaviors. These learned behaviors are based on positive and negative experiences within their everyday environments. Every action has a consequence. I think that’s a way to look at the way children learn over time.
For example; when I was teaching at a different Children’s Center, here was a little girl who would cry nonstop till I or someone else picked her up. We believed that at her house, the minute she cried, someone would be there instantly to pick her up. She never learned how to self soothe and knew that crying would get her the attention she wanted. She learned this behavior at home and brought it to school with her, thinking it would also work there. She had never been taught that crying wasn’t a way to get what you want. It was our responsibility at school to break that habit.
Instead, I would say directly to her, kneeling down to be on her level, “I will elk to you when you use your words and big girl evolve to tell me what you want”. Over time, she learned that crying wasn’t getting her the attention she wanted. She decided to take the approach I offered her instead. This ultimately worked out the best for everyone involved, her parents included. It was a learned behavior. This is what B. F Skinner defined as Operant Conditioning; which is “The behavior is followed by a consequence and the nature of the consequences modifies the organisms’ tendency to repeat the behavior In the future” (Before, 2000).
Operant conditioning can also be used for a positive behavior as well. There was a little boy I recently anatine for, his parents were ready to begin potty training him and they weren’t sure how to go about it. After they thought it over, they decided to go about it with a rewards approach. If the little boy sat on the potty for 3 minutes, he’d receive a piece of candy. After a few attempts at sitting on the potty, he caught on. Sit on the potty, get a piece of candy. Then, the trick was to get him to actually go while sitting. When he affably went, Mom was clapping and praising him.
He was so happy! She continued praising helm every time he went and he Is now fully potty trained. Positive reinforcement was key in this situation. This is what’s known as “Continuous Reinforcement”. I truly believe in being a constructive, firm, respectful and motivating educator. Providing a child with an environment full of positive reinforcements and consequences encourages the children to continuously strive to do their best. It children listened really well during circle time, they’ll get extra time on the laggardly that afternoon.
I believe that children learn in their own ways and grow at different rates. I believe that providing a hands on approach to learning is key in a child’s development. There are 5 developmental domains that we as educators really focus on. These domains are physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development. These different domains can be easily remembered as PILES. There are many ways to help children develop in each of these domains. For example, having age appropriate toys ND activities readily available can help their intellectual and physical domains.
I feel that it’s important to provide a stimulating environment for children to grow and develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Our classroom gives you child the opportunity to learn on many different levels. We provide age appropriate books, crayons, paper, and art activities to help create your child’s language development. We encourage the children in our class to work together as a team and form friendships among their peers. By doing this, we are helping develop their social and motional skills.
We have full access to our playground as well as our multi-purpose room for all our physical activities. We take advantage of our playground and being outside on a daily basis to keep our kids active and healthy! My classroom is a place where children can laugh and learn throughout the entire day. I feel that applying the theories many educators have set forth helps us provide the best education possible for today’s youth. Children are our future and it is our responsibility to help them become the best person they can be.