Introducing the Basics

John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner

What were Skinner’s contributions to educational practices?

Skinner was also interested in applying operant conditioning principles to education. He introduced the concept of programmed learning, in which the material to be taught is presented in a sequence of small steps. Thus learning progresses step by step, with positive reinforcement given after each step is mastered. Although this approach has been criticized for its restricted focus on parts rather than the whole and for failing to foster creative thinking, it still serves as the basis for most forms of computerized training.


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