Basic concepts of the psychology of instruction, Psychological...

Basic concepts of learning psychology

Psychological essence of programmed learning

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by the rapid growth of industry, all spheres of production and the rapid development of science. Education faced the challenge of developing new teaching methods and enhancing the learning process that would allow students to absorb a greater amount of knowledge and develop their abilities to a greater extent. In the historical development of psychology, this was the period of an open crisis, in view of the fact that psychology as a single science ceased to exist. It divided into separate schools and directions with its own principles, a system of scientific concepts, approaches to understanding the essence and development of the individual. Many of them considered the problems of education, suggested ways and methods for its improvement in accordance with the new requirements of life and scientific achievements.

The basis for programmed learning was the idea of ​​ behaviorism - a major psychological direction, founded by the American psychologist John Watson. The subject of psychology behaviorists considered the behavior of an animal or a person, which was described by the scheme "stimulus-reaction" (S K). In accordance with this scheme, external actions generate behavior, i.e. reaction; selecting the necessary incentives, you can control the behavior. American psychologist Beres Frederick

Skinner, one of the most famous representatives of behaviorism, developed the theory of operant behavior and instrumental learning, believing that it is possible to support a stimulus (as in the classical conditioned reflex studied by Pavlov), and spontaneously arising in the subject of the reaction. These ideas became fundamental for the development of the theory of programmed learning, the purpose of which was to increase the effectiveness of the management of the learning process.

Programmed training was formed in the middle of the XX century. Great contribution to its development was made by BF Skinner, N. Crowder, in domestic psychology - VP Bespalko, ND Nikandrov, a number of other teachers and psychologists. A significant role in the development of programmed learning was played by cybernetics and the ideas of managing the process of mastering knowledge. The learning process was seen as the presentation, processing and assimilation of information. The training programs included both the content of the study material and the management of the learning process.

The programming itself consisted in the allocation of parts and characteristics of the subject, the precise definition of successive operations for processing information (steps) and the reaction system that the teacher wants to receive from the student at the end of the course. Accordingly, textbooks and training materials containing special tasks that update and form the required reactions should be prepared (programmed). Particular attention in their compilation is drawn to the logical rigor and consistency in the presentation of the material.

The basic principles of programmed learning are:

individualization of learning, which consists in adapting the training program to the rate of learning by each individual student, taking into account the level of his preparedness;

stress of need, or law of readiness, according to which reinforcement can be effective only if it corresponds to the existing state of the organism;

contiguity and repetition of stimuli and reactions, or the law of exercise. Programmed learning solves two main tasks: getting the right external reaction and fixing it. The law of exercise describes various options for combining stimuli and reactions in repetition with the aim of assimilating and fixing the studied material. The training of each student is based on the corresponding steps of learning - the minimum unit of educational information in the process of solving the cognitive task. The optimal step size and the ability to go on to the next step are determined by the number of errors that the student makes while performing this task. At the same time, it can make no more than 5% of errors;

feedback, which is realized by the control of the result, the determination of errors and the inclusion in the training program of the system of prompts. In case of an error, correct information is provided to the student for correcting it;

control and reinforcement of successful reactions, or the law of effect. Reinforcement of reactions is achieved by reinforcing each correct step. BF Skinner emphasized the role of reinforcements, considering that many defects in traditional education are associated with inopportune, inadequate or complete absence. Reinforcement is important to note even the minimum academic successes, as well as overcoming the student's doubts, his independent elections and decisions taken. Reinforcement optimizes the learning process and allows students to move on. As forms of reinforcement, Skinner suggested using verbal encouragement, samples, answers, allowing the student to make sure that he is moving in the right direction.

The programmed learning system was implemented through specially developed programmed textbooks, self-instruction manuals on various subjects and special educational computer programs. Individual researchers generally considered it possible to completely replace the teacher with special programs that manage the learning process.

Programmed learning has played a definite and rather important role in the development of theory and practice of teaching. Some of his ideas, such as the systematization of educational material and student actions, the development of clear criteria for monitoring knowledge, including training tests, increased use of feedback and the provision of adequate corrective actions and reinforcements, development and application of computer programs and other technical means of instruction, are used when creating textbooks (not only programmers), but also when organizing the educational process. Programmed instruction is an effective method of developing self-reliance, erudition, logical thinking, self-control of students. At the same time, many specialists in the field of educational psychology and practical teachers believe that programmed learning is not without its shortcomings. Affects the fact that the basic laws of operant behavior, transferred to humans, have been studied by Skinner and other representatives of behaviorism in animals. This was opposed by many prominent scientists.


So, J. Miller, E. Galanter and K. Pribram believed that the rat (the main object of the experimental study of learning processes) is so much lower than a person that no transfer of human to the structure of cognitive processes studied in rats can not be out of the question. As in the behaviourist theories of learning, the concept of programmed learning did not take into account the characteristics of personality, thinking and other cognitive processes. Outside the sphere of attention is the structure of cognitive activity leading to a correct reaction that is not studied and in fact remains uncontrollable. A serious reason for criticism is also the fact that programmed instruction does not adequately support the development of students' creative thinking. The execution of program assignments does not require them to reason, to formulate new goals and hypotheses, to deviate from the set criteria in assessing the results obtained. As a result, the methods of programmed instruction are more productive in the study of disciplines based on factual material and repetitive operations, and less productive when students need analysis, generalization, and creative thinking. There is also an undesirable effect of the "machinism training, which often leads to a loss of interest in classes, a reduction in opportunities for live communication between teachers and students; the practical shutdown of loud speech, which plays an important role in the development of communication and thought processes.

Currently, a certain role of programmed learning in developing methods for presenting content and logical sequence of educational material, organizing feedback processes, monitoring, reinforcement and a number of other important characteristics that can successfully be combined with the positive aspects of traditional teaching is recognized. The task of finding ways to manage the cognitive activity of students and the development of creative thinking in the learning process was posed and solved in a certain way in other psychological theories of learning.

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