H.L.M4 Written Assignment Nature and/or Nurture: The Debate Continues B.F. Skinner’s daughter in the ‘baby tender’
H.L.M4 Written Assignment
Nature and/or Nurture: The Debate Continues
B.F. Skinner’s daughter in the ‘baby tender’
Above: 10/2/1945-Bloomington, IN- Derby Skinner, 13-month-old daughter of Prof. and Mrs. B.F. Skinner of the Indiana Univ. Psychology Dept., is an ultra-scientifically reared young lady. Since birth, she’s lived in an enclosed and glassed-in, bed-like playpen in which temperature and humidity are controlled electrically. What’s more, the pen is dust-proof so that Derby needs only one bath a week. A roller-towel arrangement stores a 10-yard-long sheet stretched across the bottom of the pen. As new sections are needed it’s a simple matter to roll it into place. The Skinners are gradually reducing the time Derby spends in her pen so that eventually she’ll only sleep in it. © Bettmann/CORBIS
Pick a Specific Learning Experience of Someone under Nine …
Now that we have exposure to three learning theories under our belts, we can ‘play’ with them; that is, we can manipulate the various ideas that compose each theory and use them to construct contexts within which to evaluate individual learning experiences.
Why do we want to focus on only one learning experience (as if that weren’t complex enough)? Because one problem with theories is that they are ‘symbol systems’, which means that the conceptual symbols which we discuss or critique can shift around considerably as we talk about them. Although it is not pleasant to think about the butterfly which may need to be pinned on a board for observation since it is hard to study the structure of a wing in flight, it is good to think about trying to ‘pin down’ a theory as much as possible to identify its structure. So…
Think about one learning experience in detail. Use an experience of your own, or of someone who you can observe in close detail. It is perfectly ok to set up or to manufacture a hypothetical experience for this purpose.
Watch DVD Video “Concrete Operations” and using Darwin’s observations of his son, given below, as a model (with respect to trying to get the right type of information for the question you pose) identify the critical elements of the experience in your essay.
Darwin, Charles. ‘A Biographical Sketch of an Infant’, Mind, 2, July 1877, pp. 285-294.
Charles Darwin, author of the Origin of Species and the Descent of Man, wrote his “Biographical Sketch of an Infant,” which appeared in Mind in 1877,. Based on 1840 diary observations of the behavior of his own child, Darwin’s “Biographical Sketch” exhibits extraordinary attention to the detail of infant behavior.
Then, describe what you perceive to be the learning process using one of the theories given (Piaget, Vygotsky, or Montessori) as your guide, using at least 4 specific points of comparison between your observations and the theory.
Each theorist attributes some aspects of learning to internal developmental attributes and some to environmental and social aspects of learning. Of your four observational points, please show both developmental and social/cultural/environmental attributes.
Please write a 3-4 page paper on this topic using APA style.
Note: Although we are not discussing the work of B.F. Skinner in this course (because his is not an organic/developmental/constructivist theory) the first picture is included just to remind us that our studies here are limited to a particular understanding of human learning