Abstract.This article refers to the application of the main points of behavioral theories by B.F. Skinner and A. Bandura in determining some
Teacher/Training skills methods for Geography teacher-students. The first
training method is based on applying the direct reinforcement and the formula of Stimulation - reinforcement - repeated behavior of B.F. Skinner and
the manner of learning through observation to create substitutional reinforcements of A. Bandura. The second training method is based on using
the manner of imitating the behavior models of A. Bandura. If these methods are used, it may make good efficiency in the training teaching-skills
process because these methods are based on very clear behavioral theories.
Keywords: teaching skills, teaching skills training method.

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JOURNAL OF SCIENCE OF HNUE
2011, Vol. 56, N◦. 1, pp. 101-106
APPLYING SOME POINTS OF BEHAVIORAL THEORIES
OF BURRHUS FREDERIC SKINNER AND ALBERT BANDURA
TO DETERMINE SOME TEACHING-SKILLS TRAINING METHODS
FOR GEOGRAPHY TEACHER-STUDENTS
Tran Thi Thanh Thuy
Hanoi National University of Education
E-mail: thuyppdl@gmail.com
Abstract.This article refers to the application of the main points of be-
havioral theories by B.F. Skinner and A. Bandura in determining some
Teacher/Training skills methods for Geography teacher-students. The first
training method is based on applying the direct reinforcement and the for-
mula of Stimulation - reinforcement - repeated behavior of B.F. Skinner and
the manner of learning through observation to create substitutional rein-
forcements of A. Bandura. The second training method is based on using
the manner of imitating the behavior models of A. Bandura. If these meth-
ods are used, it may make good efficiency in the training teaching-skills
process because these methods are based on very clear behavioral theories.
Keywords: teaching skills, teaching skills training method.
1. Introduction
In all universities of education, teaching/training-skills for students has an
important role. There are many teaching-skills training methods used in the Ge-
ography Faculty in Hanoi National University of Education. However, only when
these training methods are based on applying achievements of psychology an edu-
cational science basically, we can make an unshakable basis to form teaching-skills
for students. In this article, we will suggest some teaching-skills training methods
for Geography teacher-students which are based on the psychology basis of Burrhus
Frederic Skinner (B.F. Skinner) and Albert Bandura (A. Bandura).
2. Content
2.1. Concept and teaching-skills classification
According to Vietnam encyclopedias dictionary Skill is the intermediate stage
between knowledge and stuff in mastering action process. Characteristics of the
process require the highest attention, the tight control vision, the action may be
extensive and rudimentary. This skill is formed by training or by imitating [7].
But according to Pham Viet Vuong Skill is the ability to do successfully a
type of work based on applying of knowledge and experiences that relate to the
work [6;17] .
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Tran Thi Thanh Thuy
Thus, we can see that skills are closely related to the capacity, they are some
parts of capacity. They are actions, rather than intellectuality. Any skills include
symbols, concepts, knowledge, cognitive skills, thought and action skills.
Teaching skills are special skills. Many authors have given the definitions of
teaching skills such as Merrill (1971), Komisar (1966), BK Passi (1976), Menon
(1984)... However, we found that the definition given by McIntyre and White is
more accurate than these others: Teaching skills are a set of teaching behaviors of
teachers in the interaction-classroom environment towards doing the teaching goals
successfully [3].
From the definition above, we know that teaching-skills are a set of complex
operations and actions which teachers make in classroom to achieve education goals.
Because of the complexity of teaching-skills, to form these skills for students
we must have scientific training methods and students should be patient, self-aware
and positive. The teaching-skills training has also been supported by facilities,
classrooms etc...
3. Applying some psychology points of B.F. Skinner and A.
Bandura to determine some training teaching-methods
for Geography teacher-students
3.0.1. Applying some points of the behavioral theory of B.F.Skinner
B.F.Skinner was a psychologist in the middle-end of 20th century. He was very
famous in the artifact behavior theory. Skinner said that both animals and humans
have 3 types of actions: non-conditional behaviors (based on inborn-reflects), con-
ditional behaviors (based on conditional reflects) and artifact behaviors [6;127-128].
The artifact behaviors are formed from previous behaviors, to be impacted from
environment and to be reinforced directly. This reinforcement is stimulus. In the
artifact behaviors, the own factors play an important role.
In the artifact behaviors’ characteristics, we would like to mention the formula
of testing wrongly. Teaching methods are based on this formula which repeats all
behaviors that have correct results and removes all behaviors that have incorrect
results. This is a mechanism to the formula of testing - wrong.
Reinforcement is an important factor in the process of forming artifact behav-
iors. According to B.F. Skinner if not having direct reinforcement, it will have no
artifact behavior [6;132].
The frequency of behaviors and intensity of reinforcement have a relationship
in direct ratio. According to Skinner, to control re-inforcements we will control
behaviors. What is a re-inforcement?
A re-inforcement is a stimulating event, when that reinforcement appears in a
relationship with behavior it tends to maintain or strengthen the reactions, the re-
lationship between stimulation and reaction or the relationship between stimulation
and stimulation [5;133]. From these points, Skinner gave stimulation - reinforcement
- repeated behavioral formulas.
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Applying some points of behavioral theories of Burrhus Frederic Skinner and...
In B.F.Skinner’s basis points above, we realize that in the teaching-skill train-
ing process for students, we may apply the direct-reinforcement like a basis principle
in the training process. In this process we also use the stimulation - reinforcement
- repeated behavior formula.
To help the training process reach high effect, the teaching-skills for Geography
teacher-students are divivided into many independent skills:
From using the direct reinforcement and the stimulation - reinforcement -
repeated behavior formula, we give the first training method for Geography teacher-
students below:
* Period 1: Training independent teaching-skills process.
- Step 1: Students are instructed how to perform a teaching skill (in theory).
- Step 2: Students are required to plan a small part of a lesson plan in which
students use the teaching skill instructed in theory and exercise at home.
- Step 3: Students teach the lesson plan that has been prepared in a small
group (from 15 to 25 students). The teaching exercises are supervised by an educator
and other students.
- Step 4: The educator and other students will give some comments and
contributions which are focused on the teaching skill.
- Step 5: Based on the contributions and comments on the teaching skill, the
students will re-plan and train at home.
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- Step 6: Students will continue teaching the second time (at another time).
* Period 2: Training multi teaching-skills (upper two skills).
When students are trained in some seperate skills, we will combine upper two
skills in one teaching-practice. This period can alternate with period 1. When we
complete training some seperate skills, we will take the second period. For example,
when students are trained in comunication skills, using language skill and classroom
management skills, after that we will train the other three skills. This period has
the same steps as the first period. But students will practise upper two teaching
skills in one teaching practice.
In the first training method, we use the direct reinforcement and the stimu-
lation - reinforcement - repeated behavior formula from the third step to the sixth
step in all of the two periods.
Besides the training method above, we found that in the teaching-skills train-
ing process, we should apply some different training methods to make the process
more efficient. From the idea, we would offer a different training method based on
the points of A. Bandura’s behaviorism.
3.0.2. Applying the social learning theory of A. Bandura
A. Bandura agreed with B.F. Skinner that people’ behaviors are based on
direct-reinforcements, but he pointed out that behaviors are formed by an outside
direct training method, behaviors can be formed by observing and mimicing other
behaviors. According to A. Bandura: ”Children do not do what adults say, but do
what they see adults do”. This means that the behaviour is formed not only by direct
reinforcements from the direct result of one action, it can also be formed by indirect
reinforcements through observing the behavior of others and the consequences of
other behaviors [3;46].
The basic points of Bandura’s theory can be summarized as follows: Firstly,
when forming behavior, people are not motivated by forces from inside as well as
not being oriented and controlled automatically from the external stimulus but by
the interaction of three parts: behavior, characteristics of cognition and individ-
ual personality, environmental events. In these parts, characteristics of cognition
play an important role in forming behavior. Secondly, there are two processes in
the social cognition: Acquiring knowledge (learning through their own actions) and
making observations. Since it forms two types of learning: learning through ac-
tions, through their own experience and learning through observing others’ actions.
Through observation, students will get the indirect reinforcement. Thirdly, when
observing learners this tends to set the behavioral model [4;47].
According to A. Bandura, through observing the behavior of others, learners
tend to form behavior models. Behavior models are formed largely from behavior
of the famous people, or those who are the same age (peer groups), same sex and
have successfully solved similar problems with the learners. In addition, the simple
behaviors are often imitated more easily than the complex behaviors.
From the above arguments, A. Bandura also offered two manners of learning:
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Applying some points of behavioral theories of Burrhus Frederic Skinner and...
Learning through observation to create substitutional reinforcements and learning
by imitating the behavior models.
When considering the learning manner based on imitation of the other behav-
ior models, we suggest one teaching-skills training method for Geography teacher-
students below:
* Period 1: To build the behavior models for students to observe.
There are three types of models:
- The recordings of teaching models. The teaching models will concentrate to
implement one standard teaching-skill. The teachers who make the teaching models
are experienced teachers. These models will be observed when students are in the
first period - the separate teaching-skill training period.
- The recordings of teaching models. In these teaching models, teachers tend
to implement upper two teaching-skills. The second model is different from the first
model, the model is more flexible, that means the behavior models have more com-
plex structure. These models can be observed in the multi teaching-skills training
process.
- The realistic models. That means instead of observing the models on the
video recordings, the students will observe the teaching in the realistic classroom
setting. The teaching models may tend to concentrate on one skill or more than two
skills in one teaching. This depends on the period which the students are going to.
However when building the models for students to observe, we have to ensure
two factors: The first factor is the behavior model and the second factor is the
consequences of this behavior model. Besides, to build the observed behavior models,
we have to make a detail, the teaching has to be implemented according to the
script, all behavior the teaching of teachers, in the models must contain all the
consequences of these behaviors. These consequences can be some comments and
discussions about the teaching of the students in the class or the teachers, educators
at the end of the teaching sessions.
* Period 2: Making the training.
- Step 1: Students observe a model.
- Step 2: Discussing the models which are observed.
- Step 3: Students do the teaching practice.
In Faculty of Geography, we use two ways to train teaching-skills: Students
watch a video recording for one period (45 minutes) of a teacher or attend a period
in a realistic class in a secondary school. This method has some disadvantages.
Firsly, the observed models are too complex, in the teaching, teachers perform many
skills. Secondly, teachers’ teaching-skills are not really correct so they can hardly
be considered the standard models. Lastly, students have to observe for a long time
because they are difficult to orient when observing. These methods may be not
highly effective because this is a very complex model for non-experienced students
to imitate.
Apart from these points, if we agreed with B.F. Skinner and A. Bandura
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Tran Thi Thanh Thuy
that behavior is formed through direct-reinforcement and indirect-reinforcement,
we should go back to analysing the first teaching-skills training method. If we im-
plement them strictly according to the Stimulation - direct reinforcement - repeated
behavior formula in the process of training teaching-skills, we will take a long time
to form teaching-skills for students.
Therefore, we suggest that in both teaching-skills training periods (training
single skill or multiple skills) can use the indirect-reinforcements (applying the points
of A. Bandura - Learning through observing to create substitutional reinforcements)
as a condition of the skill formation. This means each student will receive the direct
reinforcement (making teaching practices and receive comments and suggestions)
or indirect reinforcements (through observing teaching practices of other students)
in all methods of training teaching-skills (single skill or multiple skills). So we can
shorten the time of the training period but also ensure the science of the training
process.
4. Conclusion
Training teaching-skills is one of the most important tasks in educating for
Geography teacher-students in the Faculty of Geography. But to make the training
process highly effective, we have to use training methods that are based on applying
carefully behavioral theories. So that we may educate teachers who have good
teaching skills and making good a sound basis for students for their careers in the
future.
REFERENCES
[1] M. Altet, J.D. Britten., 1990. Micro teaching and training teachers. The trans-
lated document. Vietnam - Belgium Project, Vietnam,
[2] Hoang Anh (ed), Do Thi Chau, Nguyen Thac, 2007. The personality interaction
comunication. Hanoi Publishing House.
[3] M.J. Lakshni, 2009.Microteaching and prospective teachers. Discovery publishing
house PVT. Ltd.
[4] Phan Trong Ngo, 2005. Teaching and teaching methods in schools. Hanoi Pub-
lishing House.
[5] Phan Trong Ngo, Nguyen Duc Huong, 2003. The psychological development the-
ories of human. Hanoi Publishing House.
[6] Pham Viet Vuong, 2001. The report about establishing teaching and education
skills for students in HNUE in secondary schools. Hanoi.
[7] Website:
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