burrhus frederic skinner


burrhus frederic skinner

Skinner was born in 1904 in Susquehannah, Pennsylvania. Skinner went to Hamilton College in New York and majored in English. After a year attempting to be a novelist Skinner undertook graduate studies at Harvard. In 1931 Skinner obtained a Ph.D. in psychology. Among Skinners early works were The Behavior of Organisms (1938), Verbal Behaviour (1957) Walden Two (1948) and Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) the latter two were novels. Skinners work in Operant conditioning has led to much research over the years and still today his work influences many areas. Operant conditioning is a form of behaviorism developed on the heels of John B Watson and Ivan Pavlov’s work in Classical conditioning
Erica Lett
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One of B.F. Skinner’s (1904-90) contributions to education philosophy is his text Walden Two wherein he details the failings of society and education, as one is intricately and intrinsically linked to the other. The pedagogical methods Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching owe much to his ideas. Behaviorist theories play largely in his proposed ideas of social engineering.
Precision Teaching, developed by Skinner’s student Ogden Lindsley, uses the basic philosophy that the “learner knows best”. Each learner is charted on a unique graph known as a “Standard Celeration Chart”. The record of the rate of learning is tracked by this charting and decisions can be made from these data concerning changes in an educational program.

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