Podcast Interview

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Behaviorist Learning Theory

After reviewing the instructional strategies it appears to me that these are two crucial parts that relate to behaviorist learning theory. Behavior learning theory is something that all teachers try to strive for. They want to establish rules, regulations and expectations so that it makes their classroom that much more smoothly and eliminates any possible distractions.
Reinforcing effort is a probably one of the most important factors when it comes to having a behaviorist learning theory. Effort is the most important factor in student achievement (Pilter, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). Constantly praising students for the effort they are giving and acknowledging it is no better feeling for a student whether they are grasping the concept of struggling with it. In my elementary physical education class reinforcing effort is one of the biggest thing that helps students want to get better and try there hardest at the skills we are trying to accomplish. I am very fortunate with the students I have that they love to come to physical education class and try their best. Many teachers have troubles with students at trying to do their best and getting students to put in the effort is one of the hardest things a teacher.
As for homework and practice in most classes these can correlate to behaviorist learning theories. In my content area practice is huge to keeping a behavior in tack. When I give students the skills and amount of time to practice it allows them to practice and develop those skills to a proficient levels. This also eliminates off task behaviors with students. Constantly keeping them engaged with a task with practice opportunities will make your class flow that much better. I also believe by practice students become motivated to succeed in the task at hand. They either see that they can succeed in the skills they are doing or they see that they need some work. That’s again where reinforcing effort becomes important. For the students that struggle praising their effort will keep the students going and keep your lessons strong.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


  1. I agree teachers use the behaviorist learning theory in their classes even though some would say they do not. In your class, as you stated, practice is important and helps the class flow. You could really show kids how effort they put in outside of class will benefit in class. Everyone says "practice makes perfect" and PE would be a great class to prove this. Students could track the effort put into practicing a skill you are doing and then track how they are succeeding in accomplishing it.

  2. I quite agree that practice can make you perfect, but it is not always that way. What do we do with the child who despite effort does not improve? I remember as a child that I was terrible at most anything that involved a moving ball - you can imagine how well I did in P.E. since just about everything we did involved balls flying at you. The worst thing was I was always the klutz that no one wanted on their team. Years later I found out I had a depth perception problem - too late to do anything about improving my P.E. grade, but at least there was an actual reason I was a klutz. It still drives my husband crazy when we're golfing because it takes me a while to focus and hit the ball and finding my ball is not always easy, but I figured the frustration with slow play is his problem, not mine.