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Burrhus Skinner

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Skinner was born in Pennsylvania in 1904 and died in 1990. in university he wanted to be a writer. He was an psycologist, behavourist, author, inventor, and social philosopher He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard university from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.

Skinner called his brand of behaviorism “Radical” behaviorism. Radical behaviorism is the philosophy of the science of behavior. It seeks to understand behavior as a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences. Such a functional analysis makes it capable of producing technologies of behavior. This applied behaviorism lies on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum as the field of cognitive science. Unlike less austere behaviorism, it does not accept private events such as thinking, perceptions, and unobservable emotions in a causal account of an organism’s behavior.

Behaviourism is used in all frameworks throughout the schooling life. whichever framework you look at you can always find examples of behaviourism. For example in EYFS a child is rewarded for keeping to the rules and withdrawal of their reward for breaking the rules.

Influenced practice
Behaviourist theory is responsible for teaching methods which focus on the repetition of words and sums. Programmed instruction started in the 1950s with materials presented in smalll steps. Behaviourism is mostly used in the teaching of children with special educational needs and in behahiour management. Breaking tasks down into small steps; rewarding children for keeping to the rules; withdrawal of their privileges when theyu do not keep to the rules. These approaches all come from behaviourism. Another similar technique is often applied to persistently crying babies. The parent is reccomended not to pick up the babies when they cry as this will reinforce the crying behaviour.

Supported development
Behaviourism supports development from when a baby is born e.g if a baby says da-da-da then it is praised. Through their whole schooling life with detentions and other rewards. Behaviourism is also used after school in everyday life for example if you break the law you get arrested and sometimes a jail sentence.

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