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Behaviorism vs. CognitivismTheories of Learning By: Elva V. Gonzalez
The foundations ofBehaviorism were built on the work of Watson and B.F.Skinner, andCognitivism were built on the work of Vygotsky, Dewey, Piaget and Bruner.
Behaviorisma theory that it’s perspectivemay be defined as a change of behavior as a result of experience-that can be measured.
Cognitivism a theory that it’sperspective is a change in mental representations and associations brought about by experiences.
How Does Learning Occur?Behavior theories Cognitive theories Determine which cues elicit the Focus on the mental activities of desired responses. the learner. Arrange practice situations so Acknowledge the processes of the they will prompt elicit responses mental planning, goal-setting, and in a “natural” setting. organizational strategies. Arrange environmental Stress over efficient processing conditions to enhance stimuli. strategies. Focus on the design of the Make use of feedback (knowledge environment to optimize of feedback) to guide and support learning. accurate mental connections. Use feedback (reinforcement) to modify behavior in the desired direction.
Behaviorism and Cognitivismare both a good way of teaching and learning processes, however, there are some differences between them which is very significant.
ControlBehaviorist: presentation of “scientifically” graded language items.Cognitivist: grading, but not so “scientifically” controlled. Cognitive grading is also important, in terms of what the learner brings to the activity of learning.
ErrorBehaviorist: should not be made at all.Cognitivist: can be made, since through errors one can learn.
ExposureBehaviorist: necessary, but in a linguistically controlled way.Cognitivist: plenty, and it’s necessary.
PracticeBehaviorist: drills and drills, constant repetition is definitely necessary.Cognitivist: is important, but rote learning and meaningless repetition is out.
Role of the LearnerBehaviorist: a passive recipient of planned instruction.Cognitivist: an active processor of learning. One whose internal data processing mechanism operate.
Role of the TeacherBehaviorist: one who teaches, plans, presents language items and exercises, makes students repeat drills and gives correct language forms.Cognitivist: one who creates opportunities for learning to occur with the help of the learner’s data processing mechanism.
The Language SyllabusBehaviorist: based on the structures and vocabulary of language presented systematically.Cognitivist: could be less systematically presented structures and vocabulary, functions, notions, situations, and cognitive functions.
Grading of ItemsBehaviorist: Strict, clear, step by step (lock-step method)Cognitivist: no so definite, since the individual language learner is involved.
Behaviorism CognitivismBehaviorism and Cognitivism are two learning theories that even though they have their differences, both theories emphasize the role that environmental conditions play in facilitating learning, as well asemphasis on the role of practice with corrective feedback.
ReferencesAbbie Brown & Timothy D. Green (2006), The Essentials of Instructional Design., Pearson Education , Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jerseyhttp://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0497_DeMar_Behaviorism.htmlWhat is Behaviorism? By Kendra Van Wagner http://psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/f/behaviorism/htmhttp://geocities.com/learningenviornments/learningenvironments.htmlLinguistics Valleys: theory of Teaching: Behaviorism and Cognitivism http://linguisticsearch.blogspot.com/2006/12/theory-of-teachingbehaviorism.htmCognitive Theories of Learning http://www.personal/psu/edu/users/w/x/wxh139/cognitive_1.htmLearning-Theories (2008) http://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive.html1998-2008 Funderstanding http://funderstanding.com/content/behavirism