Student Behaviour: Theory and Practice for Teachers

By Louise Porter | Go to book overview

3
APPLIED BEHAVIOUR
ANALYSIS

A major concern within the behavioural approach to teaching is with the identification
of things and events which children find rewarding and to structure the teaching
environment so as to make access to these rewards dependent upon behaviour which
the teacher wants to encourage in his class.

Wheldall & Merrett (1984: 19)


KEY POINTS
Behaviour is controlled by the response it receives (its consequence). Thus, if you want to increase the rate of a behaviour, you must follow it with a reinforcing consequence; whereas, if you want to reduce its rate, you must follow it with a punishing consequence.
The environment (antecedents) can also make behaviours more or less likely to occur.
Reinforcers and punishments vary in intrusiveness (which is the extent to which they interrupt teaching) and restrictiveness (the extent to which students are subjected to external control).

Introduction

The behaviourist philosophy underpinning this cluster of theories is the most well known of any to be covered in this book. Its three permutations share the philosophy

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