The nursing students are supposed to deal with various situations in the profession. People have different intellectual levels and require different ways of learning. Different theories are there that have been developed into the system to explain learning theories in the best way. These include behaviorism theory, humanism theory, and constructivism theory. The theories have some things in common, and some differences. The traditional learning theories apply to the relevant educational needs of students. At present, the theories are comprehensive, and complex related to the framework of ideas, principles, and concepts. They also influence different types of learning and social context within which it occurs. The current theories give a foundation for effective and efficient teaching methods in the dissemination of relevant information that meets the needs of both curriculum and learner (Sidney, 2015). Learning theories are the organized principles of learning and development for overall progress that involves beliefs, attitudes, strategies, skills, and behaviors. The students are allowed to learn linguistic, motor, cognitive, and social skills that take many forms. In this essay, the development of learning theories will be explained in this essay with a detailed discussion on behaviorism theory based on my choice.
Three prominent theories explore learning theories such as behaviorism theory, humanism theory, and constructivism theory. Constructivism theory is based on the assumption that people will use what they know from their past experiences. This theory involves the active involvement of learners in the learning process to help in the construction of knowledge (Nor & Rashid, 2018). The understanding of previous experience by learners is crucial to know what was happened and how. In this way, the educator or facilitator designs the learning process for the development of an individual. The important point of this theory is that it emphasizes learner’s cognitive development is a crucial part of the theory. The theory argues that only listening to lectures of teachers and reading is not enough for students to have in-depth learning (Crompton, Burke & Gregory, 2017).
Similarly, humanism theory is based on the idea of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence as it is essential for understanding knowledge meaning, and experience. Humanism theory similar to constructivism theory emphasizes self-directed learning where learners are just given guidance and left to develop their knowledge (Rao, 2018). The learner should have prior knowledge because it is essential for using new ideas into learning. The argument to this theory is that there is a need for connecting the logical and intuitive concepts with experience. In addition to this, humanism theory postulates that human needs are crucial in invoking the quest to learn as well as motivating learners (Rao, 2018).
Lastly, Behavioral learning theories focus on behaviors that have been gained by an individual. Behaviorist theory accepts the idea of establishing a connection between behavior and stimulant through the reinforcement process (Tyler & Cruz, 2016). The mechanism process is used by behaviorists ad gives a priority to objectivity. The person's personality, stress, and role of environmental conditions are shaped by environment and experiences about how stimuli are arranged, presented, and responded to reinforcement (Sidney, 2015). The behaviorism theory is the study of human behavior and is dependent upon environmental factors. According to this theory, the interaction of different experts ground for the acquisition of new behavior. There are positive as well as negative reinforcements of behavior, thus the positive reinforcements are fortification of behavior done by injecting an event like praising about someone for a task that is done well (Patino, Romero & Proulx, 2016). However, negative reinforcements are the fortification of behavior by circumventing an event like quitting a job to get unemployment benefits and food stamps. Here, the detailed discussion will be done on behavioral theory to mark the importance and know-how learning is involved to solve different problems (O'Kelley, 2019).
As discussed, behaviorism theory is very different from constructivism and humanism theory. The major point is that human beings respond to the way they are conditioned and made to learn things. People follow that behavior, which they are supposed to take in their life processes. The consciousness of people does not play any role in the determination of behavior as per radical behaviorism (Shepard, Penuel & Pellegrino, 2018). There are non-observable actions that include perception and thinking are not considered when behaviorism is shaped. This is because according to behaviorism theory consciousness does not play role in the presentation of oneself. Students perform in a way they are said to perform with the motivation of rewarding benefits. Rewarding benefits can be high marks, monetary gifts, or promotions (Jobeen, Kazemian & Shahbaz, 2015).
The theory of behaviorism concentrates on the study of overt behavior that can be measured and observed. The mind is viewed as a “black box” in this theory because the response to a stimulus can be viewed quantitatively, by ignoring all the thought processes arising in the mind (Onguka, Korom & Halestrap et al., 2015). The observable processes such as actions should be taken into concern according to this theory. Overt behavior should be recorded and studied to measure the objectives (Rao, 2018). In the field of psychology, many personalities have contributed to the behaviorism theory. Pavlov did the experiment and stated that 'food' is an unconditioned stimulus and 'salivation' is an unconditioned response only to bell (Sidney, 2015). The observations state that Pavlov and many others followed the same experiment to provide evidence to his experiment such as ‘stimulus generation’. He stated that learning to salivate to the sound of a bell, the dog still salivates at similar sounds. The other observation made is known as ‘extinction’ under the principle of pairing bell and food stopped (Bailey, 2017).
Similarly, behaviorism theory has its contributions to education as in the act of education learning and teaching play a pivotal role in the educational process. The process of learning is defined according to behaviorism, constructivism, and humanism theory differently. According to behaviorist learning is defined as an enduring change in observable behavior that occurs as a result of experience (Raiola & Di Tore, 2017). It is stated in the theories with confidence that the educational process is taken by behaviorism in one way. In another aspect, the contribution of behaviorism to education is the objective of a person during an institutional process (Crawford & Reyes, 2015). The learning objectives are the behavioral objectives that are set in standards on how the learners are expected to behave at the end of the learning process. The behavioral objectives present overall learning experience such as intention and direction towards goal. The learning objectives are stated by behavioral objectives as terminal, specified, and quantifiable behaviors (O'Kelley, 2019).
Another contribution made to education by behaviorism theory is that the teacher must create a favorable environment for learners. The teachers who accept the behavioral perspective believe that the behavior of a student is a response to present and past experiences that all is learned by behavior (Ha, 2015). Effective learning is enabled as the teacher should control the learning environment so that they could have control over the learning environment to know the environment is conducive for learning. Teaching is the arrangement of contingencies of reinforcement which are learned by students (Sidney, 2015). They learn these without teaching into natural environments, but special arrangements of learning and appearance would be acquired by ensuring the appearance of behavior that would never occur. A favorable environment would be created in learning by creating behavioristic principles to reinforce appropriate behaviors (Bailey, 2017).
Behaviorist learning intention is important for the development of competencies and demonstration of psychomotor and technical skills. This theory is more advantageous in education because it helps in retrieving the desired outcome. Medical education is followed by behaviorist theory under many principles. Joseph in his explanation stated that by following this theory in medical education, students receive corrective feedback regarding incorrect concepts (Di Tore, Schiavo & D'Isanto, 2016). Either the statement is given by the tutor or others following the principle of contiguity. The use of feedback is only if the performance is administered and measured by tutors or experts. Behavior oriented individuals concentrate on the behavior that is seen from outside so that they reject mental activity or mind (McGee & Johnson, 2015). The behaviorist principle is built upon the fundamental principles of the conditioned reflex. The repeated behavior is focused on behaviorism theory, which concludes that a person has developed this habit. Behaviorist theory focuses on observable measures and learning objectives like terminal, specific, and quantifiable behaviors (Bailey, 2017).
Behaviorism theory was criticized based on that this theory is a one-dimensional approach to behavior. In addition to this, it is applied for learning where there is no reinforcement or punishment (Kynigos, 2015). It cannot account for all types of learning since it disregards mind activity. By following this theory, situations don't need to have a correct response sometimes the tutor is unable to respond to the problems of students in these cases (Sidney, 2015). However, after this criticism behaviorism theory has many advantages also because it is based upon observable behavior, so it is easier to collect and quantify data at the time of conducting research. The effective therapeutic techniques are all rooted in behaviorism theory as token economies, discrete trial training, and intensive behavioral intervention. The approaches are useful in changing harmful behaviors and maladaptive behaviors in both adults and students. Thus, behaviorism effectively conditions the learners to do certain things that are familiar with the content of the profession (O'Kelley, 2019).
The model of behaviorist theory involves a teacher-centered approach in which the role of the teacher is to use the environment for pupils to elicit a reaction. Behavioral change in the preferred way is the main goal of understanding assimilation (Chan, Looi & Chen et al., 2018). The locus of learning in the behaviorist approach is to lie how different motivations are given and arranged in the external environment. Three assumptions are there for behaviorism theory as observable behavior is the reinforcement is the major part of the learning process, the focus of learning, and shaping the atmosphere (O'Kelley, 2019). The prerequisite steps are followed prior to pushing in the direction of following steps, this involves learning orientation aims at boosting the execution that instructor wants. The behaviorist approach is found to be very useful in creating education goals or creating plans based on the curriculum (Bailey, 2017). Specific behavioral goals allow the students to behave on what exactly they have learned, conditions under which it has been done, and the evaluation criteria (Rao, 2018). The learning objectives in this fashion are achieved if the instructor spells out the competency, which is expected for each element. Medical education is followed by a behaviorist approach to the development and evaluation of simulated case scenarios and clinical skills. In the areas of teacher demonstration on desired behavior, clinical skills instruction, learners examine the exact approach or conduct that is to be completed used to assess performance and provide fortification (Onguka, Korom & Halestrap et al., 2015).
Hence, these are the implications and theories discussed regarding the behaviorist model in medical education. The discussion started with different theories that have been developed into the system to explain learning theories in the best way. These include behaviorism theory, humanism theory, and constructivism theory. The theories were having some things in common, and some differences. Learning theories are the organized principles of learning and development for overall progress that involves beliefs, attitudes, strategies, skills, and behaviors. Constructivism theory assumes that people will use what they know from their past experiences. Humanism theory is based on the idea of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence as it is essential for understanding knowledge meaning and experience. As discussed, behaviorism theory is very different from constructivism and humanism theory. The major point is that human beings respond to the way they are conditioned and made to learn things. People follow that behavior, which they are supposed to take in their life processes. Behaviorism theory has its contributions to education as in the act of education, learning and teaching play a pivotal role in the educational process. The model of behaviorist theory involved a teacher-centered approach in which the position of the instructor is to use the environment for students to produce a reaction. Behavioral change in the wanted course is the main goal of knowledge orientation.
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