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Behaviorist Theory Demonstrated

Abbot. K. (1999-2013), states that “Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov developed the theory of classical conditioning while studying the salivation of dogs. Pavlov realized that dogs would salivate when food was placed in their mouths”.

After careful observation, Pavlov discovered that the sound of the door opening and the sight of staff carrying food bowls also caused the dogs to salivate. The food is the unconditioned stimuli and the sounds of the door as well as the sight of food are the neutral stimuli.

Cognitive Theory Demonstrated

Every time math problem sets are ordered so that the next problem is only slightly more complex than the previous one, the insights of this tradition are used. But the empiricists saw the child as relatively passive, and thus the brunt of learning fell on the teacher to rigorously prepare step-by-step materials.

Their notion of learning as the gradual build-up of knowledge largely ignored qualitative developmental shifts in thinking. Much of the bad reputation of this method comes from the fact that its teacher-centered view was corrupted by the so-called factory school, the scale of which undermined Locke's cardinal principle of constantly observing child-teacher interactions, and instead encouraged one-way rote learning.

Constructivist Theory Demonstrated

A student may have a scheme for dogs.  Then the student is introduced to a Husky.  The student can assimilate this new information into the “dog” scheme. The same student who has a preexisting scheme for dogs is now introduced to a cat.  The student understands that the cat doesn’t quite fit into the “dog” scheme; therefore, the child creates a new category to fit the cat.  The new category may be named “furry pets that aren’t dogs.”

In the previous example, the student understood that the cat doesn’t quite fit into the “dog” scheme. At this point, the student hasn’t figured out what to do with the new scheme yet.  This is called disequilibration.  When the student creates a new category to fit the cat, the mental state falls back into equilibrium.


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