Supporting Children's Learning: A Guide for Teaching Assistants explains all the key ideas on how children learn and how best to support children in that learning. Covering all major themes, this book offers an introduction to main theories of learning and development from birth to primary including brain and emotional and social development; an introduction to what motivates learners to learn, and how much learners understand about how learning takes place; a glossary of terms; and case studies, research summaries and tasks for reflection.

Big Theory 1: Skinner and the Behaviourists

Big theory 1: Skinner and the behaviourists

In the nativist–empiricist divide behaviourists are empiricists to a man: for them it is not what you are born with but what you learn that matters. This chapter offers a very brief background to behaviourism, suggesting ways which we use this theory in our work. It looks at:

  • Studying behaviour: Animal studies
  • Learning through imitation: Bandura
  • Implications for teaching: Behaviourism

What is Behaviourism?

Central to this theory is a psychology of learning in which the definition of learning is limited because it accepts only what can be observed rather than implied. There is no room for the subjective in this theory. You see a man go into a newsagent. That is your observation. From your observation you ...

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