Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #174
Learning: A Behavioral View
Sunday, May 29, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Private Dining Room 2 (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Donald K. Pumroy (University of Maryland)
Discussant: Leopold O. Walder (Behavior Service Consultants)
Abstract: Learning and teaching are the focus of this symposium. Definitions of learning have ranged from direct and behavioral to cognitive and speculative. "A change in behavior due to practice" has evolved into "Cognitive restructuring" and back to a behavioral evaluation in the "No Child Left Behind" era. The first paper summarizes evidence and, provides examples of the new efficiencies in learning in both classroom and the home. The effectiveness of classroom learning evaluation based on a behavioral analysis will be demonstrated. The second paper addresses the role of new learning classroom procedures in a wide range of school populations. Although gender differences are not viewed as popular subjects in education, boys consistently fall behind girls resulting in the prediction that by 2010 143 girls will graduate from college for every 100 boys. Socio- economic factors also are shown to influence these statistics but the advantage remains with the girls. In the third presentation, successful Internet procedures in distance learning will be demonstrated. Examples of the useful evaluation procedures and security challenges will be demonstrated in the context of distant learning courses. The authors' discussions will focus on the practical procedure for implementing new initiatives.
Elements of Learning
DONALD K. PUMROY (University of Maryland)
Abstract: There is probably no activity more important in a person's life than learning; in one form or another it goes on during all the waking hours. There are two important categories of learning. One is Subtle Learning that is usually taught in a manner so that a person does not know they are learning. Parents do such teaching as they model behavior for their children. The other kind of learning is Intentional Learning. Examples of this type of learning are how to ride a bicycle, how to play blackjack (and win) and how to speak Spanish and would include the learning that takes place in school. A behavioral approach defines learning as a change in behavior. The important question is what are the elements of learning that help to modify the environment so that the behavior is changed in the quickest most effective way. These elements of learning will be presented and discussed.
Why Are Boys More Trouble?
ROGER W. MCINTIRE (University of Maryland)
Abstract: Boys are more subjected to school discipline and six times more likely to have accidents (with sticks, Stones, bicycles and baseball bats) and will have the most trouble with driving, drugs and alcohol. Our results of surveys of high school students show that the usual day for a teenage boy differed from his sister. He is more likely to watch TV (81 % vs. & 75%), play video games (40 % vs. 18 %). High schools put preparation for college as the top priority. But of the 147 million jobs available in 2005 only 32 million (21 %) will require a college degree. Yet the number or both women and men attracted to college has grown past 60 %. Our surveys show practical education and chores at home become crucial support for low drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviors. Practical programs are presented and evaluated.
Distance Learning
JUDY G. BLUMENTHAL (Association for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: Behaviorists know the environment and appropriate reinforcement is critically for effective learning. This is especially true in distance learning, also referred to as online teaching. Distance learning requires effective communication and reinforcement strictly in the form of the written word; requires a very structured time management environment; and uses limited stimulus control (a computer). From major concepts to assignments to explaining the assessment structure, the onus is on the teacher to ensure his or her message reaches the intended audience accurately and timely. What we take for granted in a face-to-face class where the teacher receives immediate feedback on what is verbally Stated, is not the case in distance learning. Example: a teacher submits a question for discussion. A student submits a wrong response. Other students read the response before the teacher does, and therefore concludes the response is correct since the teacher did not say otherwise. When the teacher enters the online discussion and corrects the original response, the students might not return to the question and therefore do not see the correction. Therefore, wrong learning has been reinforced. In summary, a distance learning teacher must structure the environment to ensure appropriate reinforcement of learning.



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