Skinner and Bandura were
both psychologists and behaviorists that focused on how learning behaviors were
affected by applying an environmental stimulus to obtain responses. They both believed in nurture over nature,
but Skinner would not gravitate to either extreme.
B. F. Skinner suggested there are two stimuli:
stimulus-response and operant conditioning (Thomas, 2005, p. 123). According to Skinner, it is the consequences,
not the stimuli that are most
important. In the traditional K-12
classroom setting, Skinner’s theory demonstrated
by the educator uses logical, ordered steps in presenting
instructions and giving students immediate feedback. Before introducing something new, students
are required to answer all current items with a correct response. Skinner believes students learn best at their
own pace and with programmed instructional materials (2005, p. 142).
contributed to behavior modification techniques used in classrooms today. If the teacher pays attention to bad behavior,
the behavior continued or increased. While
ignoring the behavior, the behavior
decreased. Some schools have developed behavior
modification programs to aid in reducing dropout prevention by reinforcing good
behavior. Instead of students receiving
an out-of-school suspension, they are
placed in an isolated classroom setting to learn appropriate behaviors while
receiving class instructions to keep them from getting behind on their studies.
This theory applied to increasing attendance, class performance,
and positive behaviors.
Bandura was an advocate of the social-cognition theory. He believed social elements are influences of
behavior and personality. Children learn
by modeling, imitating, or repeating what others do. Children learn from their behaviors
concerning what to continue doing or not doing.
Some educators seek activities that motivate students to excel in class. Bandura also