Implication of the theory of operant conditioning:
1. Conditioning study behaviour
Teaching is the arrangement of contingencies of reinforcement which expedite learning. For effective teaching teacher should arranged effective contingencies of reinforcement. Example: For Self learning of a student teacher should reinforce student behaviour through variety of incentives such as prize, medal, smile, praise, affectionate pating on the back or by giving higher marks.
2. Conditioning and classroom behaviour:
During learning process child acquire unpleasant experiences also. This unpleasantness becomes conditioned to the teacher subject and the classroom and learner dislike the subject and a teacher. Suitable behavioural contingencies, atmosphere of recognition, acceptance, affection and esteem helps child in approaching teacher and the subject. If student is not serious in study, teacher make use of negative reinforcement like showing negligence, criticising student etc. but if student is serious in study, teacher make use of positive reinforcement like prize, medal, praise and smile. Example: student having transistor in classroom neglected by the teacher induged in talking with others for longer time. After long time student asked teacher till now you are receiving assignments, I will also submit you. Thus behaviour is conditioned.
3. Managing Problem Behaviour:
Two types of behaviour is seen in the classroom viz undesired behaviour and problematic behaviour. Operant conditioning is a behaviour therapy technique that shape students behaviour. For this teacher should admit positive contingencies like praise, encouragement etc. for learning. One should not admit negative contingencies. Example punishment (student will run away from the dull and dreary classes – escape stimulation.
4. Dealing with anxieties through conditioning:
Through conditioning fear, anxieties, prejudices, attitudes, perceptual meaning develops. Example of anxiety:
Signals on the road
Siren blown during war time
Child receiving painful injection from a doctor
Anxiety is a generalized fear response. To break the habits of fear, desensitization techniques should be used by a teacher. Initially teacher should provide very weak form of conditioned stimulus. Gradually the strength of stimulus should be increased.
5. Conditioning group behaviour:
Conditioning makes entire group learn and complete change in behaviour is seen due to reinforcement. It breaks undesired and unsocial behaviour too.
Example: Putting questions or telling lie to teachers will make teachers annoyed in such circumstances students learn to keep mum in the class.
Asking questions, active participation in class discussion will make the teacher feel happy – interaction will increase and teaching learning process becomes more effective.
6. Conditioning and Cognitive Processes:
Reinforcement is given in different form, for the progress of knowledge and in the feedback form. When response is correct positive reinforcement is given.
Example: A student who stands first in the class in the month of January is rewarded in the month of December. To overcome this Programme instruction is used. In this subject matter is broken down into steps. Organizing in logical sequence helps in learning. Each step is build upon the preceding step. Progress is seen in the process of learning. Immediate reinforcement is given at each step.
7. Shaping Complex Behaviour:
Complex behaviour exists in form of a chain of small behaviour. Control is required for such kind of behaviour. This extended form of learning is shaping technique. Smallest Behaviour is controlled at initial stage. On behalf of different contingencies next order of chain of behaviours is controlled.
Example: Vocabulary in English. Teaching spelling is mainly a process of shaping complex form of behaviour.