Response to Topic B

Topic B: In your opinion, which theory seems to be difficult to be applied in a specific learning environment such as: K-12, Secondary, or Online, etc. in today’s information technology society?

In my opinion, the theory that would be difficult to be applied in today’s educational setting, in any specific learning environment, is the behaviorist theory.  The behaviorist theory is the earliest theory that was first articulated in the early 1900’s.  In a traditional behaviorist model, the learner experiences some sort of conditioning where the intent of the conditioning is to produce a behavioral result.  One theory of behaviorism is the Stimulus/Response theory which is based on the assumption that human behavior is learned.  In other words, the behaviorist theory can be identified in a classroom as the stand and deliver method.  The behaviorist approach is teacher-centered and the instructional content and goals are predetermined by the teacher.  Continuing to use this approach would be extremely difficult in today’s information technology society.

As the years have gone by, technology has evolved.  Teachers and students alike have a plethora of information at their fingertips largely due to the Internet and technology that is available.  There are so many gadgets and devices that can be used to enhance all aspects of learning.  However, there is no way for these opportunities to be used to their full potential unless the teacher rethinks and redefines their role.  Teachers must go from the traditional stand and deliver method where the learning environment is teacher-centered to an environment that is student-centered and teacher facilitated.  Teaching methods and approaches should allow the students to take ownership of their learning.  By allowing the students to discover and explore on their own, learning becomes much more meaningful and impactful when the teacher steps aside and facilitates.  This creates a classroom environment where collaboration and creativity is the norm.  Technology should be considered a tool to use in the classroom just like a pencil and paper are used.  Teachers should facilitate the use of technology as a tool in order to effectively teach in today’s 21st century classroom.

If teachers stick with the behaviorist theory and continue to stand and deliver, it would be difficult to be effective in today’s educational society.  Strong teachers are always looking for new and up to date ways to improve their instruction.  They are always trying to find ways to meet the needs of all of their students.  With technology being such a large part of everyone’s lives, teachers’ beliefs and approaches to learning must also stay current and up to date.  Teachers must continue to find ways to meet the needs of their students and prepare them for life beyond the classroom.  Technology is an important tool that students need to be trained to use.  Teachers are the key to training the students and facilitating the use of technology.  The only way to do this effectively is to change their beliefs and begin to identify with a current learning theory, or a combination of learning theories, developed with technology in mind.  I strongly believe that the behaviorist theory would be difficult to apply in a specific learning environment in today’s information technology society when effective teaching is desired.    

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