Behaviorism, also known as behavioral psychology, is a school of thought that came into prominence in the early part of the 20th century because of thinkers like John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner. In fact, it was Watson who coined the term behaviorism.
According to behaviorism, all behaviors are learned and that is why behaviorism in school is seen everyday.
To understand the learning abilities and characteristics of children and adolescence, behavioral psychology applies theories of development, which is often believed to be in stages. Basically development theories say that a person displays changes in cognition, social roles, moral reasoning and beliefs as he grows older. And many of these changes are learned based on past experiences.
Behaviorism in school acknowledges that each person has different characteristics, abilities and challenges that result from learning and development and these differences are apparent in each individual when it comes to intelligence, creativity, cognition, motivation and the capacity to communicate and interact with those around them.
Behaviorism in school assumes that students retain the knowledge and skills they learn in school and then they can apply this knowledge and skills in situations outside the classroom in the real world. Research has shown that even when students do not use the knowledge they acquire in school, they still manage to retain a sizeable amount of the knowledge for many years and any long-term relationship is based on the level of mastery of that knowledge.
The fact that learning in school and colleges is learned, shows that behaviorism is used quite a bit in schools. This would explain all the exercises and repeated practice that students have to undergo in order to learn a particular lesson in the classroom. In addition, teachers give positive reinforcements to students who perform well and follow the classroom rules. This system of reward, in turn, motivates the student further and he performs even better. However, when a student is already at a high level of performance, constant motivation through rewards and reinforcements may actually decrease the student's performance and this is something teachers who follow behaviorism in school should be aware of.
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