Behaviourists view behaviorism as a science of behavior. John B. Watson came up with the term behaviorism. It emphasizes the relationship between response and stimulus with stimulus being emphasized on. They assert that individuals cause behavior and that choice is not an illusion. The idea of behavior is a science implying that it can be explained with knowledge, can easily be predicted and can be controlled by the right means.
Behaviourists understand that learning is a process that comes up from connections brought out by stimuli response relationships and that the desire to learn is driven by these relationships.
They argue that students are passive learners and that behavior can be influenced by both positive and negative consequences. The amount of learning that takes place can easily be measured through observation of overt behavior. They can measure learning and knowledge by observing the total correct answers by giving learners tests and information and then asking them to repeat what they have been taught to the instructor hence justifying that behavior is solely determined by consequences and outcomes.
Behaviourism has got the following characteristics
- The study of mankind should be restricted and based only on observable quantities.
- Any attempt to try and influence behavior then it must pass through a series of behavioral analysis and in the event that the attempt fails then behavioral analysis employed was incorrect.
- Behaviourists urge that the important factor that motivates a person towards certain behaviors depends entirely on heredity and environment rather than the individual.
- The portrayal of mankind by distinguishing behavior and mental processes is not encouraged since it is unscientifically reliable and productive.
The term constructivism refers that a learner builds or construct knowledge individually. John Dewey is credited with coming up with constructivism. Constructivists argue that a learner must be provided with opportunities to interact with sensory data and construct their own world. It believes that learners to create their own knowledge basing on interactions with the environment and other people. They understand that learning is an interpretive, recursive, building process by active learners by interrelating with the social world.
Constructivism involves developing a student through experimentation, open-minded problems and cooperative learning in which students get to learn on their own through participating actively in concepts and principles. In constructivism, learners are encouraged to build knowledge from their classroom experience.
A constructivist approach characterizes the following
- Learning is best achieved when there is a socially interactive process.
- Learning is based on the process of experiencing, discovering, and a process of individual exploration, a process of inquiring and doing and underdoing.
- The process of coming to know something is not random but is based on a well-outlined structure.
- Learning is easily achieved when the stages of human development are consistent with the undertaking of the knowledge.
- Learners come up with their own knowledge beginning with what they know then heading to the unknowns by exploring different tenets. Their knowledge is then affectively determined through genuine assessment and application.
Similarities between Behaviourism and Constructivism
- In both the internal and external conditions are required for learning to take place. These conditions are verbal information, cognitive strategies, intellectual skills attitude and motor skills.
- Both constructivism and behaviorism are theories of learning and they both try to explain how a student learns and acquires knowledge
- Both constructivism and behaviorism have a had a direct impact on the methods used to pass information to learners both in the traditional classroom and in web basing on instructions laid out.
- Both behaviorism and constructivism try to define the role of a learner in an educational system.
- They both try to explain the manner in which this structuring, presentation, and implementation of learning materials are executed.
Behaviourism and Constructivism in a Nutshell
- Both behaviorists and constructivist believe that their theories give out the best way for learners to gain knowledge with each claiming to be the best over the other. I implementation of behaviorism is like the conventional method where a learner responds to stimuli i.e. teacher, either positively or negatively where punishment is given out to the learner if he /she responds negatively to the stimuli while in constructivism a teacher role differs with that of behaviorism. They are facilitators, observers, and trainers as opposed to the traditional form of lecturing.
- It’s clearly stated above that constructivist learning environments provide multiple representations of reality. They advocate that students are met with real problems while analyzing and justifying their solutions
- Both behaviorism and constructivism are interested in the methods employed by teachers to pass out knowledge and how learners are able to absorb that knowledge.
- Both the two theories are more important in structuring instructional and institutional systems.
Author: Victoria Jones
Victoria Jones has a degree in psychology from UK. She is an expert with over 4 years experience in writing and content strategy. She has written over 50 articles, some of which have been featured in local daily’s and magazines.