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“ TEACHING - LEARNING PROCESS : CHARACTERISTIC AND

LIMITATION OF BEHAVIOURIST , COGNITIVIST AND


HUMANISTIC APPROACH TO LEARNING ”
TEACHING LEARNING PROCESS

Introduction

We are passing through a great transition. The old is becoming obsolete and new is still in the process of
emergence. The old ways of learning & teaching is found to be too rigid & too out-dated. A greater
opportunity of psychological principle is being truly demanded. It has been urged that the training of the
young requires on the part of teacher a deep psychological knowledge.

Teaching-learning process is the heart of education. On it depends the fulfillment of the aims & objectives
of education. It is the most powerful instrument of education to bring about desired changes in the students.

Teaching learning are related terms. In teaching - learning process, the teacher, the learner, the curriculum
& other variables are organized in a systematic way to attain some pre-determined goal

Let us first understand in short about learning, teaching and then teaching-learning relation.

Learning can be defined as the relatively permanent change in an individual's behavior or behavior
potential (or capability) as a result of experience or practice (i.e., an internal change inferred from overt
behavior). This can be compared with the other primary process producing relatively permanent change--
maturation--that results from biological growth and development. Therefore, when we see a relatively
permanent change in others, or ourselves we know that the primary cause was either maturation (biology) or
learning (experience). As educators, there is nothing we can do to alter an individual’s biology; the only
influence open to use is to provide an opportunity for students to engage in experiences that will lead to
relatively permanent change.

Teaching then, can be thought of as the purposeful direction and management of the learning process. Note
that teaching is not giving knowledge or skills to students; teaching is the process of providing opportunities
for students to produce relatively permanent change through the engagement in experiences provided by the
teacher.

Definition of learning given by various psychologists:


• Daniel Bell - Learning is modification due to energies of organism and environment impinging on
the organism itself.
• Gates - Learning is modification of behaviour through experience.
• Crow – Crow - Learning involves the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitude.
• Ruch - Learning is a process, which bring about changes in the individual way of responding as a
result of contact with aspects of environment.
• Skinner – Learning as acquisition and retention.
• Encyclopedia of Education Research - Learning refers to growth of interest, knowledge and skills
and to transfer these to new situation.
Definition of teaching given by various psychologists:
• H.C. Morrison – Teaching is an intimate contact between a more mature personality ans a less
mature one which is designed to further the education of the latter.
• J. Brubacher – Teaching is an arrangement and manipulation of a situation in which there are gaps
and obstructions, which an individual will seek to overcome and from in which he will learn in the
course of doing so.
• B.O. Smith – Teaching is a system of actions involving an agent, an end in view, and a situation
including two sets of factors – those over which the agent has no control (class size, size of
classroom, physical characteristics of pupil etc.) and those that he can modify (way of asking
questions or ideas gleaned.)
• Edmund Amidon – Teaching is defined as an interactive process, primarily involving classroom
talk, which takes place between teacher and pupil and occurs during certain definable activities.
• T.F. Greens – Teaching is a task of a teacher, which is performed for the development of a child.

Essential aspects of the teaching-learning process

It is informative to examine the ideal teaching-learning process, as proposed by Diana Laurillard (Laurillard,
1993; Laurillard, 1994). She argues that there are four aspects of the teaching-learning process:
(a) Discussion - between the teacher and learner.
(b) Interaction - between the learner and some aspect of the world defined by the teacher.
(c) Adaptation - of the world by the teacher and action by the learner.
(d) Reflection - on the learner's performance by both teacher and learner.
She then considers how different educational media and styles can be described in these terms. For example,
a text book represents a one-way flow of knowledge from the teacher's conceptual knowledge to the
student's conceptual knowledge. A lecture or tutorial may be seen the same way, but there is a possibility of
meaningful discussion between teacher and learner.

Discussion
Teacher’s Conceptual Student’s Conceptual
Knowledge Knowledge

Reflection on Adaptation of Adaptation of Reflection on


Student World Action Interaction

Teacher’s Constructed Student Experimental


World Interaction Knowledge

Figure : Essential aspects of the ideal teaching-learning process

TEACHING PROCESS
Approaches, Attitudes,
Behaviour, Materials, Modes of
Learning
COURSE DESIGN
INPUT FACTORS Content, Organization, Aims &
Student characteristics Expectation, Teaching and
Teacher characteristics Learning Methods
Institutional characteristics
And Culture
TEACHING LEARNING

LEARNING OUTCOMES

ENVIRONMENT
LEARNING CLIMATE STUDENT APPROACH TO
Psychosocial Environment LEARNING
Physical Environment

ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION


Aproaches, Practices, Purposes
And Foci

Figure: Teaching - Learning Environment

According to Burton in the figure above

1) Teaching can become effective only by relating it to process of learning.


2) Teaching objective cannot be realized without being related to learning situation.
3) We may create and use teaching aids to create some appropriate learning situation.
4) The strategies and devices of teaching may be selected in such a manner that the optimal objectives
of learning are achieved
5) To understand principles, goals, objectives of education in right perspective.
6) Appropriate learning situation condition may be created for congenial and effective teaching.

Lets take a short glimpse of the Approaches to Learning Theories :


Behaviourist Cognitivist Humanist

Aspect
Learning theorists Thorndike, Pavlov, Koffka, Kohler, Lewin, Piaget, Maslow, Rogers
Watson, Guthrie, Hull,
Tolman, Skinner Ausubel, Bruner, Gagne

View of the learning Change in behaviour Internal mental process A personal act to fulfil
process (including insight, information potential.
processing, memory, perception

Locus of learning Stimuli in external Internal cognitive structuring Affective and cognitive
environment needs
Purpose in education Produce behavioural Develop capacity and skills to Become self-actualized,
change in desired learn better autonomous
direction

Educator's role Arranges environment Structures content of learning Facilitates development


to elicit desired activity of the whole person
response

Manifestations in Behavioural objectives Cognitive development Andragogy


adult learning
Competency -based Intelligence, learning and Self-directed learning
education memory as function of age

Skill development and Learning how to learn


training

SOURCE: http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-learn.htm

Behaviourist
Behaviourist learning as pioneered by Watson (1913) who developed the stimulus-response model. He
asserted that people learn from observing each other and as a result of this observation produces a
behavioural change. The change is driven by the external environment of the learner and requires repetition
and reinforcement. Thorndike further asserted that learning was impacted by the learner recognizing the
positive consequences of the behavioural change and that learning would occur when the brain could
systematically link together behaviours into patterns (Saettler 1990).

The History of Behaviourism

• Pavlov (1903) published the results of an experiment on conditioning after originally studying
digestion in dogs.
• Watson (1913) launches the behavioural school of psychology (classical conditioning), publishing
an article, "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It".
• Watson and Rayner (1920) conditioned an orphan called Albert B (aka Little Albert) to fear a
white rat.
• Thorndike (1905) formalised the "Law of Effect".
• Skinner (1936) wrote "The Behavior of Organisms" and introduced the concepts of operant
conditioning and shaping.
• B.F. Skinner (1948) published Walden II in which he described a utopian society founded upon
behaviorist principles.
• Bandura (1963) publishes a book called the "Social Leaning Theory" which combines both
cognitive and behavioral frameworks.
• B.F. Skinner (1971) published his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, where he argues that free
will is an illusion.

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

*John Watson

Behaviourism as a movement in psychology appeared in 1913 when John Broadus Watson published the
classic article 'Psychology as the behaviourist views it'.
Watson believed that all individual differences in behaviour were due to different experiences of learning.
He famously said:
“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll
guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select - doctor,
lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants,
tendencies, abilities, vocations and the race of his ancestors”. (Watson, 1924, p. 104)
Watson proposed that the process of classical conditioning (based on Pavlov’s observations) was able to
explain all aspects of human psychology. Everything from speech to emotional responses were simply
patterns of stimulus and response. Watson denied completely the existence of the mind or consciousness.

* Pavlov and Classical Conditioning

Like many great scientific advances, classical conditioning was discovered accidentally.

The nineteenth-century Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to
being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when
he was not bringing them food.

However, when Pavlov discovered that any object or event which the dogs learnt to associate with food
(such as the food bowl) would trigger the same response, he realised that he had made an important
scientific discovery, and he devoted the rest of his career to studying this type of learning.
Ivan Pavlov and his studies of "classical conditioning" have become famous since his early work between
1890-1930. Classical conditioning is "classical" in that it is the first systematic study of basic laws of
learning / conditioning.

Classical conditioning involves learning to associate an


unconditioned stimulus that already brings about a
particular response (i.e. a reflex) with a new (conditioned)
stimulus, so that the new stimulus brings about the same
response.
Pavlov developed some rather unfriendly technical terms to
describe this process. The unconditioned stimulus (or UCS)
is the object or event that originally produces the reflexive /
natural response.
The response to this is called the unconditioned response
(or UCR). The neutral stimulus (NS) is a new stimulus that
does not produce a response.
Once the neutral stimulus has become associated with the
unconditioned stimulus, it becomes a conditioned stimulus
(CS). The conditioned response (CR) is the response to the
conditioned stimulus.

OPERANT CONDITIONING

* B.F. Skinner

Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of
effect. In the late nineteenth century, psychologist Edward Thorndike proposed the law of effect. The law
of effect states that any behavior that has good consequences will tend to be repeated, and any behavior that
has bad consequences will tend to be avoided. In the 1930s, B. F. Skinner, extended this idea and began to
study operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which responses come to be
controlled by their consequences. Operant responses are often new responses.

Just as Pavlov’s fame stems from his experiments with salivating dogs, Skinner’s fame stems from his
experiments with animal boxes. Skinner used a device called the Skinner box to study operant conditioning.
A Skinner box is a cage set up so that an animal can automatically get a food reward if it makes a particular
kind of response. The box also contains an instrument that records the number of responses an animal
makes. Psychologists use several key terms to discuss operant conditioning principles, including
reinforcement and punishment.

Reinforcement
Reinforcement is delivery of a consequence that increases the likelihood that a response will occur.
Positive reinforcement is the presentation of a stimulus after a response so that the response will occur
more often. Negative reinforcement is the removal of a stimulus after a response so that the response will
occur more often. In this terminology, positive and negative don’t mean good and bad. Instead, positive
means adding a stimulus, and negative means removing a stimulus.

Punishment

Punishment is the delivery of a consequence that decreases the likelihood that a response will occur.
Positive and negative punishments are analogous to positive and negative reinforcement. Positive
punishment is the presentation of a stimulus after a response so that the response will occur less often.
Negative punishment is the removal of a stimulus after a response so that the response will occur less
often.

Reinforcement helps to increase a behavior, while punishment helps to decrease a behavior.

Looking at Skinner's classic studies on pigeons’ behaviour we can identify some of the major assumptions
of behaviourists approach.

• Psychology should be seen as a science, to be studied in a scientific manner. Skinner's study


of behaviour in rats was conducted under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.

• Behaviourism is primarily concerned with observable behaviour, as opposed to internal


events like thinking and emotion. Note that Skinner did not say that the rats learnt to press a
lever because they wanted food. He instead concentrated on describing the easily observed
behaviour that the rats acquired.

• The major influence on human behaviour is learning from our environment. In the
Skinner study, because food followed a particular behaviour the rats learned to repeat that
behaviour, e.g. classical and operant conditioning.

• There is little difference between the learning that takes place in humans and that in
other animals. Therefore research (e.g. classical conditioning) can be carried out on animals
(Pavlov’s dogs) as well as on humans (Little Albert). Skinner proposed that the way humans
learn behaviour is much the same as the way the rats learned to press a lever.

Here's a comparison of classical and operant conditioning:

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OPERANT CONDITIONING


(A) Thorndike / Skinner
Pavlov / Rescorla
classical conditioning (Hilgard and Marquis, operant conditioning (Skinner, 1938)
1940) also called instrumental conditioning (Hilgard and
also called respondent conditioning (Skinner, Marquis, 1940)
1938)
(B) What kind of regularities are learned?
those that the animal can control
those that the animal can't control
relations between animal's behavior and its
relations between stimuli out in the world
consequences
(C) What are the relevant events and in what sequence must they occur?
(discriminative) stimulus - response
CS - US/REINFORCEMENT - UR/CR
- REINFORCEMENT
S - REINF – R
S - R - REINF
(D) Does reinforcement depend on the animal's behavior / response?
Yes - contingent on behavior according to reinforcement
No - presented independent of behavior
schedule
(E) Is the response elicited or emitted?
Elicited - US causes UR; animal is forced to Emitted - reinforcement doesn't cause response; animal
respond responds at will
(F) What is the nature of the response to be made?
reflex or other visceral response (i.e., in action or skeletal response (e.g., movement of
tissues and organs) limbs)
usually involuntary usually voluntary
(G) What does the animal "learn"?
Learns a behavior, i.e., one that brings about a
Learns a signal, i.e., that US is coming (CS->US)
reinforcement
(H) What is the principle or mechanism governing the conditioning process?
Rescorla (and us): contingency / dependency
law of effect: utility or consequences of response
of US on CS
(contiguity's role: delay of reinforcement weakens
(Pavlov: contiguity / frequency of CS-US
response)
pairing)

Behaviourism Psychology Summary


Key Features Methodology
• Stimulus - Response
• Lab Experiments
• Classical Conditioning & Operant Conditioning
• Edward Thorndike (the cat in a puzzle box)
• Reinforcement & Punishment (Skinner)
• Skinner box (rats & pigeons)
• Objective Measurement
• Pavlov’s Dogs
• Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
• Bandura Bobo Doll Experiment
• Nomothetic

• Ethical Considerations
• Reductionism
Basic Assumptions Areas of Application
• Psychology should be seen as a science, to be
studied in a scientific manner (usually in a
laboratory) • Gender Role Development
• Behaviourism is primarily concerned with • Behaviour Therapies (e.g. Flooding)
observable behaviour, as opposed to internal • Phobias
events like thinking and emotion • Addictions (Aversion Therapy)
• Behaviour is the result of stimulus – response • Scientific Methods
(i.e. all behaviour, no matter how complex, can • Relationships
be reduced to a simple stimulus – response • Language
association)
• Moral Development
• Behaviour is determined by the environment
(e.g. conditioning)
Strengths Weaknesses
• Ignores mediational processes
• Scientific • Ignores biology (e.g. testosterone)
• Highly applicable (e.g. therapy) • Too deterministic (little free-will)
• Emphasizes objective measurement • Experiments – low ecological validity
• Many experiments to support theories • Humanism – can’t compare animals to
humans
• Identified comparisons between animals • Humanism - rejects scientific method (low
(Pavlov) and humans (Watson & Rayner Little ecological validity)
Albert)
• Reductionist

Cognitivist
Cognitivist learning is concerned with the internalisation of mental processes. The ability to review a
situation and act knowingly. Cognitivists accept some of the concepts developed in the behaviourist model
of learning but believe that the learning actually occurs through the human brain processing and
reorganising the data it receives. Cognitive approach highly influential in all areas of psychology (e.g.
biological, social, behaviourism, development etc).
The History of Cognitive Psychology

* Norbert Wiener (1948) published Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the
Machine, introducing terms such as input and output.
* Tolman (1948) work on cognitive maps – training rats in mazes, showed that animals had internal
representation of behaviour.
* Newell and Simon’s development of the General Problem Solver.
* In 1960, Miller founded the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard with famous cognitivist
developmentalist, Jerome Bruner.
* Ulric Neisser (1967) publishes "Cognitive Psychology", which marks the officical begining of the
cognitive approach.

Cognition literally means, “knowing”. In other words, psychologists from this approach study cognition
which is ‘the mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired.’ They focus on the way humans
process information, looking at how we treat information that comes in to the person (what behaviourists
would call stimuli) and how this treatment leads to responses. In other words, they are interested in the
variables that mediate between stimulus/input and response/output. The main areas of study in cognitive
psychology are: perception, attention, memory and language.

* Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget (1896—1980) was a Swiss scholar who began to study children’s intellectual development at the
beginning of the twentieth century. Early in his career Piaget worked for Albert Binet who was involved in
the development of early IQ tests. Piaget’s job was to give children questions and to score their answers as
correct or not. What intrigued Piaget was not so much whether the children could answer the questions
correctly but the fact that children of similar ages were making similar mistakes and that children’s thinking
was qualitatively different from adult thinking. In other words, the way a child made sense of and
interpreted the world was very different from that of an adult. This will come as no surprise to anyone who
has spent any time with an inquisitive 4-year-old. From this insight Piaget went on to develop a
comprehensive theory of intellectual development.
Piaget’s theory is a stage theory. The stages of cognitive development according to Piaget are:

• Sensori-motor stage (birth to age 2)


• Pre-operational stage (ages 2—7)
• Concrete operational stage (ages 7—11)
• Formal operational stage (ages 11—12+)

Sensori-motor stage (0-2)

This stage sees the emergence of schemas, the development of object permanence and general symbolic
function.
Object permanence is the ability to realise that objects/people exist in space and time even if we cannot see
them.
General symbolic function includes the beginning of language, make-believe play and deferred imitation.
Deferred imitation is the ability to imitate in the absence of the object or event.
Pre-operational stage (2—7)

One of the key achievements of the sensori-motor stage was the emergence of general symbolic function,
and it is this ability to use language, to imitate and to engage in pretend play that really takes off and
expands during the pre-operational years. However, for all the accomplishments of children within these
years, Piaget noted limitations in regard to logical thinking.
Limitations include the inability to decentre and conserve and faulty views in regard to egocentrism. Piaget
defined this not as being selfish but as being unable to take another’s point of view or simply believing that
everyone sees the world as you do. When a child can see the world from another person’s point of view, the
child is said to have the ability to decentre. To decentre involves the cognitive ability to hold and understand
two apparently opposing views.
Conservation involves the realisation that an object remains the same even though its appearance changes.
Conservation can apply to concepts such as substance, length, number, liquid and area. However, in support
of Piaget’s views, older children do solve these conservation problems with greater ease, reflecting a
qualitative change in thinking.

Concrete operational stage (7—11) and formal operational stage (11+)


Piaget stated that for every weakness in the pre-operational stage there is strength in the concrete operational
stage. Children have acquired mental operations. They have acquired logical rules regarding addition,
subtraction and reversibility. Children will pass the tests of conservation. Conservation of substance, length,
number and liquid is achieved for most children by 6 or 7, with conservation of area not being achieved
until age 9 or 10. However, Piaget felt that there was still more to acquire in that operations could only be
carried out if the objects were actually present or imaginable, hence the stage of concrete operations.
Children at this stage would not be able to think in terms of abstractions; this ability, the culmination of the
development of logic, would be achieved during the formal operational stage.

LIMITATIONS

1. Poor environmental stimulus


2. Poor hereditary environment
3. Lack of proper attention, assimilation etc. on the part of the learners.
4. Defective teaching –learning materials
5. Low level of learner’s intelligence

Cognitive Psychology Summary

Key Concepts Methodology


• Mediational Processes (process between • Lab Experiments
stimulus and response) • Introspection (Wundt)
• Information Processing Approach • Memory (Jacobs Digit Span)
• Computer Analogy
• Interviews (Kohlberg, Piaget)
• Introspection (Wundt)
• Case Studies (KF, HM )
• Nomothetic (studies the group)
• Observations (Piaget)
• Schema
• Computer Modelling
• Machine Reductionism
Basic Assumptions Areas of Application
• Cognitive psychology is a pure science, based
• Gender Role Development
mainly on laboratory experiments.
• Eyewitness Testimony / Cognitive
• Behaviour can be largely explained in terms of
Interview
how the mind operates, i.e. the information
• Memory, Attention, Perception etc.
processing approach.
• Child Development (Piaget)
• The mind works in a way similar to a computer:
• Cognitive Behavioual Therapy
inputting, storing and retrieving data.
• Problem Solving (Artificial Intelligence)

• Mediational processes occur between stimulus


• Moral Development (Piaget)
and response.
Strengths Weaknesses
• Ignores biology (e.g. testosterone)
• Scientific
• Experiments - low ecological validity
• Highly applicable (e.g. therapy, EWT)
• Humanism - rejects scientific method
• Combines easily with approaches: Behaviourism
• Behaviourism - can’t objectively study
+ Cog = Social Learning Biology + Cog =
unobservable behaviour
Evolutionary Psy
• Introspection is subjective

• Many empirical studies to support theories


• Machine reductionism

Humanistic
The humanistic model asserts the basic concern for human growth is learning (Smith 1999). The best-
known pioneer of the humanist phenomenon is Maslow, can, thus, be seen as a form of self-actualization, it
contributes to psychological health (Sahakian 1984 in Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 133). This learning
model links most clearly into the concept of self directed learning. That we are motivated, responsible for
and directed to learn by our own motivations.

The History of Humanistic Psychology

* Maslow (1943) developed a hierarchical theory of human motivation.


* Rogers (1946) publishes Significant aspects of client-centered therapy (also called person centred
therapy).
* In 1957 and 1958, at the invitation of Abraham Maslow and Clark Moustakas, two meetings were held in
Detroit among psychologists who were interested in founding a professional association dedicated to a more
meaningful, more humanistic vision.
* In 1961, with the sponsorship of Brandeis University, this movement was formally launched as the
American Association for Humanistic Psychology.
* The first issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology appeared in the Spring of 1961.

Humanism generally is associated with beliefs about freedom and autonomy and notions that "human beings
are capable of making significant personal choices within the constraints imposed by heredity, personal
history, and environment" (Elias & Merriam, 1980, p. 118). Humanist principles stress the importance of the
individual and specific human needs. Among the major assumptions underlying humanism are the
following:

(a) Human nature is inherently good;


(b) Individuals are free and autonomous, thus they are capable of making major personal choices;
(c) Human potential for growth and development is virtually unlimited;
(d) Self-concept plays an important role in growth and development;
(e) Individuals have an urge toward self-actualization;
(f) Reality is defined by each person; and
(g) Individuals have responsibility to both themselves and to others (Elias & Merriam, 1980).

There are several shared elements between the humanist orientation and the behaviorist paradigm:

1. Learning should focus on practical problem solving.


2. Learners enter a teaching-learning setting with a wide range of skills, abilities, and attitudes, and
these needs to be considered in the instructional planning process.
3. The learning environment should allow each learner to proceed at a pace best suited to the
individual.
4. It is important to help learners continuously assess their progress and make feedback a part of the
learning process.
5. The learner's previous experience is an invaluable resource for future learning and thus enhancing
the value of advanced organizers or making clear the role for mastery of necessary prerequisites

Both Rogers and Maslow regarded personal growth and fulfillments in life as a basic human motive. This
means that each person, in different ways, seeks to grow psychologically and continuously enhance himself
or herself. This has been captured by the term self-actualisation, which is about psychological growth,
fulfillments and satisfaction in life. However, Rogers and Maslow both describe different ways of how self-
actualization can be achieved

As described by Gage and Berliner (1991) there are five basic objectives of the humanistic view of
education:

1. Promote positive self-direction and independence (development of the regulatory system);


2. Develop the ability to take responsibility for what is learned (regulatory and affective systems);
3. Develop creativity (divergent thinking aspect of cognition);
4. Curiosity (exploratory behavior, a function of imbalance or dissonance in any of the systems); and
5. An interest in the arts (primarily to develop the affective/emotional system).
According to Gage and Berliner (1991) some basic principles of the humanistic approach that were used to
develop the objectives are:

1. Students will learn best what they want and need to know . That is, when they have developed the
skills of analyzing what is important to them and why as well as the skills of directing their behavior
towards those wants and needs, they will learn more easily and quickly. Most educators and learning
theorists would agree with this statement, although they might disagree on exactly what contributes
to student motivation.
2. Knowing how to learn is more important than acquiring a lot of knowledge . In our present society
where knowledge is changing rapidly, this view is shared by many educators, especially those from a
cognitive perspective.
3. Self-evaluation is the only meaningful evaluation of a student's work. The emphasis here is on
internal development and self-regulation. While most educators would likely agree that this is
important, they would also advocate a need to develop a student's ability to meet external
expectations. This meeting of external expectations runs counter to most humanistic theories.
4. Feelings are as important as facts. Much work from the humanistic view seems to validate this point
and is one area where humanistically-oriented educators are making significant contributions to our
knowledge base.
5. Students learn best in a non-threatening environment. This is one area where humanistic educators
have had an impact on current educational practice. The orientation espoused today is that the
environment should by psychologically and emotionally, as well as physically, non-threatening.
However, there is some research that suggests that a neutral or even slightly cool environment is best
for older, highly motivated students.

Humanistic Psychology Summary

Key Concepts Methodology


• Qualitative Research • Qualitative Methods
• Idiographic Approach • Case Studies
• Congruence • Informal Interviews
• The Self (e.g. self-worth, self-image, self • Q-Sort Method (Stephenson, 1953)
actualisation) • Problems with Qualitative Data
• Holism (e.g. study to whole person) • Open-ended Questionnaires
• Hierarchy of needs Maslow
• Inter-rater/coder reliability
• Free Will
Basic Assumptions Areas of Application
• Humans have free will; not all behaviour is
determined.
• All individuals are unique and have an innate
• Client Centred Therapy
(inborn) drive to achieve their maximum
• Qualitative Methods
potential
• Abnormal Behaviour (incongruent, low
• A proper understanding of human behaviour can
self-worth)
only be achieved by studying humans - not
• Education
animals.
• Gender Role Development
• Psychology should study the individual case
(idiographic) rather than the average
performance of groups (nomothetic).
Strengths Weaknesses
• Unscientific – subjective concepts
• Shifted the focus of behaviour to the individual /
• E.g. cannot objectively measure self-
whole person rather than the unconscious mind,
actualisation
genes, observable behaviour etc.
• Humanism ignores the unconscious mind
• Humanistic psychology satisfies most people's
• Behaviourism – human and animal
idea of what being human means because it
behaviour can be compared
values personal ideals and self-fulfilment.
• Qualitative data is difficult to compare
• Qualitative data gives genuine insight )and more
• Ethnocentric (biased towards Western
holistic information) into behaviour.
culture)
• Highlights the value of more individualistic and
• Their belief in free will is in opposition to
idiographic methods of study
the deterministic laws of science.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Teaching-Learning Process

1. Bruner, J. (1960, 1977) The Process of Education, Cambridge Ma.: Harvard University Press. 97 + xxvi
pages
2. Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think 2e, New York: D. C. Heath.
3. Gagné, R. M. (1985) The Conditions of Learning 4e, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 308 + viii
pages.
4. Maslow, A. (1968) Towards a Psychology of Being 2e, New York:
5. Skinner, B. F. (1973) Beyond Freedom and Dignity, London: Penguin.
6. Krashen, S. D. (1982) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition, Oxford: Pergamon.

Behaviorist

1. Hartley, J. (1998) Learning and Studying. A research perspective, London: Routledge.


2. Hergenhahn, B. R. and Olson, M. H. (1997) An Introduction to Theories of Learning 5e, Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
3. Merriam, S. and Caffarella (1991, 1998) Learning in Adulthood. A comprehensive guide, San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.
4. Skinner, B. F. (1973) Beyond Freedom and Dignity, London: Penguin.
5. Tennant, M. (1988, 1997) Psychology and Adult Learning, London: Routledge.
6. Watson, J. B. (1913) 'Psychology as the behavourist views it', Psychological review 20: 158.

Cognitivist

1. Bruner, J. (1960, 1977) The Process of Education, Cambridge Ma.: Harvard University Press.
2. Gagné, R. M. (1985) The Conditions of Learning 4e, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
3. Hartley, J. (1998) Learning and Studying. A research perspective, London: Routledge.
4. Merriam, S. and Caffarella (1991, 1998) Learning in Adulthood. A comprehensive guide, San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.
5. Piaget, J. (1926) The Child's Conception of the World, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. It is difficult
to know which of Piaget's 50 or more books to choose here - but this and The Origin of Intelligence in
Children are classic starting points. H. E. Gruber and J. J. Voneche (1977) The Essential Piaget: an
interpretative reference and guide, London is good collection. See, also, M. A. Boden's (1979) Piaget,
London: Fontana for a succinct introduction.

Humanistic

1. Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall.


2. Maslow, A. (1968) Towards a Psychology of Being 2e, New York: Van Nostrand. See, also, Maslow
(1970) Motivation and Personality 2e, New York: Harper and Row.
3. Merriam, S. and Caffarella (1991, 1998) Learning in Adulthood. A comprehensive guide, San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.
4. Rogers, C. and Freiberg, H. J. (1993) Freedom to Learn (3rd edn.), New York: Merrill
5. Kirschenbaum and V. L. Henderson (eds.) (1990) The Carl Rogers Reader, London: Constable.
6. Tennant, M. (1988, 1997) Psychology and Adult Learning, London: Routledge.