1. Basic Assumptions:
-Learning is change in behavior.
-Behavioral change is a function of changes in the learner's environment.
-The relationship of behavior and environment must be identified through experimentation in controlled environment (Skinner, 1953).
-Learning through interaction with the environment is constant across species.
2. Components of the theory:
-Learning occurs as a result of the association between a behavior and a consequence (Braslau-Schneck, 2003).
-Reinforcers make behaviors more likely to be repeated.
-Punishers make behaviors less likely to be repeated.
3. Instructional Assumptions:
-School is an artificial environment.
-The larger the learning group the more problems and less learning.
-Schools only allow students to read about things and not experience them.
4. Components of Instuction and Instructional Strategies:
-Provide opportunities for natural reinforcers and contrived reinforcers. For example, allowing for activities that have built-in enjoyment such as singing and external reinforcement such as extra recess time.
-Provide immediate reinforcement for appropriate and positive behaviors. For example, a party point system in which the class is awarded points toward a party when every student is on task.
-Aversive control is not as affective in producing positive behaviors as reinforcment. For example, detention for not completing assignments does not cause students to complete assignments as well as reinforcing actual completion of assignments.
5. Other Educational Issues:
-Individual learners will differ because of genetics and differing histories of reinforcement and punishment.
-Transfer of knowledge appears to strengthen but not reinforce behavior.
-Reinforcement in the classroom is a complex interaction of students and teachers reinforcing each other both positively and negatively.