Behaviorism: Where to go?

“Should behaviorist strategies be discouraged (or banned) from schools?”

UntitledThis is one interesting question that Teacher Malou posted in our group discussion forum. Given the pros and cons of the behavioral perspectives in the teaching-learning process, what circumstances educators may continue to employ in the classroom management and what are those that should be discouraged, if not totally to eliminate?

Below are my classmates’ thoughts on this which I found so helpful in gaining more insights and understanding.

Roshiley Tilistyak stressed that behaviorist strategies should not be discouraged from school as it is an important tool to shape students behavior. She even pointed out an example by considering a child in a kindergarten classroom. She mentioned that these children are very young who are immature to know if they are behaving good or bad. How will those children learn that their Behaviorism_Wordlebehavior is good or not if behavioral approach will be banned from school? Behaviorist approaches play big roles in shaping them and molding them into a desired being. Like what she said, teachers who employ behavioral perspective are somehow effective in identifying which behavior must be reinforced to be retained, and which must be corrected to good ones. It only means that behaviourism is significant in instilling the difference of right from wrong among these young minds which I consider foundation years towards higher level of understanding the world.

Criselda “Aprile” Liwanag even added that behaviorist strategies has long been used and were found effective. However, teachers should be able to determine what intervention should be used in order to have a long lasting effect to students. Teachers should use the proactive interventions like Positive and Negative reinforcements, Social skills training and group contingencies. It says that not all interventions and approaches anchored to behavioral point of view necessarily produce desirable outcomes among the learners, and so it’s imperative for the teachers to decide which ones will most likely benefit the class.

16502496-abstract-word-cloud-for-behaviorism-with-related-tags-and-termsOn the other hand, there is also a common suggestion from the class. That is removing or not advocating the use of corporal punishments. Louisea Marie Calaycay said that punishment should be discouraged from schools. She then believe that it only replaces undesirable behaviors, generates fear which can lead to events’ avoidance. Truly, this may happen as students who were punished tend to develop fear of the punishers and not necessarily learning about the misbehaviour. Instead of using such punishments, Louisea advocated PREMACK Principle which could be a way for better learning. Alternating more enjoyable activities with less enjoyable ones could triggers the interest of children/students to be more active in classroom activities.  According to her, this is also known as the Grandma’s Law and states that “that high-probability behaviour reinforces low-probability behaviour”. Personally, I experienced the “magic” of Premack principle many times when I was young which contributed to the kind of person I am right now (see my entry regarding this in the reflections category).

Finally, I do agree with what Brenda Rioja mentioned that behaviorist strategies don’t need to be totally discouraged or banned from schools.  It is about knowing how to use them wisely and how to avoid its side effect which is very important before they come into effect. Once that has been accomplished, they must then determine what constitutes the nature and purpose of education based upon that underlying assumption. Further, Brendaly “Beng” Umali said that “the key is knowing in which situation each strategy would best be applied to get the most desirable result.”

There is no any single recommendation when it comes to totally eliminating or fully advocating the use of behavioral strategies in imagesschool. Like most of my classmates, I also believe that it’s necessary to capitalize on the strengths of behaviourism in an effort to foster better learning experiences along with the other theories of learning. Those practices however which present stigma not only to the students but in the society in general must be avoided. Surely there are other means around that can be utilized for the same goal. In the end, educators must be responsible enough in selecting which approach in particular is deemed best as the situation calls for it.


T. Malou Marilou Juachon Should behaviorist strategies be discouraged (or banned) from schools? Retrieved July 02, 2013 from


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