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Evaluate Strategies for creating a positive learning environment and analyse the extent to which Behaviourism and Humanism informs classroom and behaviour management

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Introduction

Evaluate Strategies for creating a positive learning environment and analyse the extent to which Behaviourism and Humanism informs classroom and behaviour management In this essay I will consider strategies relating to creating a positive learning environment. It will look at two behaviourists and analyze to which behaviourism and humanism inform classroom and behaviour management. The behaviourist theories will focus on Pavlov, Watson and Skinner, with the humanist approach being looked at from the perspective of Maslow and Rogers. I think that it is essential to establish what actually makes a positive learning environment and what the contributing factors that detract from this environment are. I will be using research from both practical classroom experience and discussing the academic theorists and trying to relate them in to the classroom. The quality of your planning is an important factor and will have a direct impact on the behaviour in the classroom. Poor planning of lesson plans and lesson activities will make behaviour management of the class an uphill struggle. In my experience of the classroom I have seen examples of poor planning where the class teacher has had little preparation and over relied on the use of handouts. There seemed to be no creativity in her planning and it didn't take a long time for the children to realise that they were being occupied. If the situation were different perhaps she would have had a better outcome with her learning objectives. Active learning, where children are doing work on their feet and at their desk will certainly stimulate them. ...read more.

Middle

Skinners work was based on the Thorndike's law of effect. He believed that behaviours are shaped by external stimulus. He placed a rat in a box with a lever which when pressed released food pellets into the box. Once the rat has realised that when the lever is pressed he will get food, it associated this action with reward. Having transferred Skinners strategy into the classroom I can see that when the student is asked a question their hand is raised waiting on a positive response, rather than being ignored if they have shouted out. By praising the child for their hand up reinforces that behaviour and encourages the child to continue with this conditioning. However this theory casts the rat in a passive role as behaviour management is being done to it. There have also been criticisms that such extrinsic motivation systems have a lack of long term effect and we need to encourage intrinsic much more. Dreikurs (1972) says rewards are no use as children learn that nothing is worth doing if you do not receive a reward for it. As educational practitioners we need to stop and analyze the root cause of the behaviour and establish a positive solution to managing it. Skinners approach on this perspective is on the individual's observable and measurable behaviour. He claims that the behaviour is the result of their past and present learning experiences and the focus would be on the individual's current environmental events. This approach adopts a scientific methodology. (Ayres et al 2005). Skinner looks at the ABC (Antecedents, Behaviour, and Consequences) ...read more.

Conclusion

Effective classroom environments have a great deal of common features: they empower, stimulate children and motivate them to learn effectively. They support the children in taking responsibility for their own learning and finally the classroom should be workable and realistic given the resources available to you not being afraid to have a move around if things are not working as they should be. In summary in completing this assignment I have learned to be very much open minded in my approach when looking at behaviour management in the classroom. This has given me invaluable knowledge that I will now use in future school placements and indeed in my first teaching post. It has made me aware of the different strategies that can be used and importantly the reasons why I would use those strategies, after all not all of them would be appropriate in all circumstances. I have greater understanding of how to make my classroom a stimulating, empowering and motivational place to learn. Teaching is not just about today but as teachers we are the springboard for our children's future and it is essential to get this right first time. After being in school based learning and now completing this assignment I can see what makes a positive learning environment and what clearly doesn't. I am now able to analyze the schools and classes that I have been to and identify which of the teaching practitioners I would like to emulate based on the strategies that they used. I have also learned that is essential to constantly review my own practise that I will use in class and identify all my strengths and weaknesses. ...read more.

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