Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviourism

Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviourism

Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviourism

Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviourism


Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviourism describes and reflects upon the foundations of behaviourism and the proliferation of behaviourist techniques in common practice today. Through examples drawn from research, presentation of theory, description of pedagogy and illustration by vignette, the book informs teachers and allows them to modify their teaching in order to take account of what is now known about the way that carefully planned curriculum and appropriately reinforced behaviours lead to learning. There is a particular emphasis upon the role of the traditional principles of behaviourist learning theory and practice to contemporary issues and strategies in e-learning.

The author has taken a broad sweep of what has been written and promoted to educators in the area of behaviourist theory and practice, and the result is an informative and potentially very useful guide which should be read by all of us who are interested in, or responsible for, planning and encouraging effective teaching and learning.


The focus of this series of books is the psychological elements of educational practice. The series aims to draw together and elucidate, at more than a superficial level, the major current topics of concern that are related to learning and to other important areas of psychological interest.

In the past teachers in training were introduced, at an entry level at least, to some of the psychology of learning and education. Although this element of the UK teacher training curriculum (TDA, 2007) has not quite disappeared completely, there is a considerably reduced emphasis placed on it in teacher training than was previously the case. Teachers currently in post report that they were not introduced satisfactorily to what they consider important aspects of learning – theory in particular – during their training (Pritchard, 2005). The relative success of Ways of Learning (Pritchard, 2005, 2009), and other books dealing with the same subject matter, can be seen as indicative of a need for more psychology for teachers and teachers in training.

In support of the wider rationale for the series, the work of Burton and Bartlett (2006) has some important points to make. They suggest that there is a danger that new ideas for pedagogical approaches in the classroom are often promoted, sometimes by government agencies, without the detailed research and theoretical underpinning relating to it being considered with due diligence:

The speed with which the internet and television can transmit ideas and
information and appear to afford them (often spurious) validation should
concern us as educators… [they are concerned that] high-profile educa
tion consultants deliver courses on new pedagogies… [the presentations
are] … drawn eclectically from a range of research findings thought to
have practical benefits for learning [and that teachers] generally enjoy these
stimulating sessions and the recipe approach to pedagogic techniques but

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