Identify at least 1 strength and 1 weakness in their application of the Behaviorist theory Reply with at least 300 words to other classmates’ threads. Answer must follow current APA format, including in-text citations and 2 references.
A real-life teaching scenario that I have experienced as an educator that could have benefited from the field of behaviorism occurred this past school year. I had a student in my Language Arts 12th grade course that had completely given up in the last six weeks of his senior year. Ultimately, this meant that he would not graduate high school if he did not meet the seat hour requirement (he was excessively absent) and pass his courses. Come to find out, the student has missed a week of instruction due to family issues. At this point in time he felt as though he was “too far gone” to be able to come back to school, make up his missed work, and still meet the requirements of graduation.
When reading this chapter there were multiple aspects of behaviorism that I could have implemented with this one student, but the one that stuck out the most was the contingency contract. It stuck out to me that he was lacking intrinsic motivation due to the fact that he lost the desire to do well (Van Brummelen, 2009). According to Schunk (2016), “A contingency contract is an agreement between teacher and student specifying what work the student will accomplish and the expected outcome (reinforcement) for successful performance” (p. 111). To me this would have worked wonderfully for him because it would have given him a visual of what all he had to complete in order to reach his end goal (Schunk, 2016). The contract would have also helped to alleviate feelings of anxiety of the goal being unobtainable. In his contingency contract, I would have made sure that the goals of the desired behavior were specified (Schunk, 2016). Through specific goals, it would have ensured that the student knew exactly what he had to complete in order to achieve his end objective.
The approach of implementing contingency contracts within my classroom, I believe is supported by the Bible verse in 2 Chronicles 15:7 (New International Version), “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” At times, students struggle with knowing what is needed to reach an ultimate goal. By having a visual means of seeing all tasks, which must be completed before an ultimate goal can be reached, it can help encourage students by giving them the strength to not give up. It will also help the students to see the grand reward that they will receive once they complete the task at hand. In turn this helps to also intrinsically motivate students by giving them meaning and purpose (Van Brummelen, 2009). As educators it should be our mission to attempt to assist students to find their inner strength to persevere toward a set task, so they can be successful in both their lives and their walk with God.