Behaviourism derived in the late nineteenth century where the realm of new psychology was discovered. Behaviourism centres around a reaction to a stimulus and implies that all behaviours are learnt. This coheres with the influential works of Skinner, Watson and Pavlov who also made insightful contributions to behaviourism through the notion of empiricism.
Edward Thorndike (1898) investigated the idea of operant conditioning. This is the belief that an individual learns through positive and negative reinforcements. Thorndike carried out his experiment by observing multiple cats in a contained puzzle box. This was so he could identify whether behaviours could be reinforced and repeated. Thorndike found through his experiment that the cats learnt through the process of trial and error. He reached...
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...gs are essentially something that can enhance learning if positive, but also can have consequences on an individual’s learning experience if they are negative. This echoes the idea of how factors like emotion can affect learning.
Vygotsky and Piaget opposed to behaviourism on the grounds that they believed individuals were actively involved in their own learning through the interaction of their environment, “The brain is not a hotel for a series of conditioned reflexes” Joravsky (1989, p. 260). They stated how a child is an active constructor of knowledge and that learning is simply the result of social interaction. Vygotsky (1978) proposed a theory which was referred to as the zone of proximal development. This argues that individuals do not learn through a reaction to a stimulus but alternatively, because of social interaction and a more knowledgeable other (MKO).
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