Learning Situation

coiled bowl

Coiled Rope Bowl

A volunteer at the local library is teaching a crafting class to the library patrons. She starts the class by giving each participant a handout. She asked the patron to underline the name of the project on the handout; she then begins the class by telling everyone that they will learn how to make a bowl from rope. The handout she gave everyone has pictures of what the finish will look like. The volunteer tells the patrons the bowls are know as “coiled rope bowls” and the proceeds to tell them how the bowl is constructed. As the volunteer is describing the process she shows pictures on the projector, the pictures are the same as the pictures on the handout she has given to each of the patrons. When she had finished the presentation she asks the patron the name of the project they will be doing. .hen the group all reply “Coiled Rope Bowl” she congratulates them for getting it right. The volunteer then handed each patron a kit, she then showed them each item in the kit and explained what to do with them. Once she was finished she asked if anyone had any questions about the contents of the kit. When everyone said they had no questions the volunteer took the rope from her kit and demonstrated how to start the coil and secure it so she could stitch it. After the demonstration she asks if anyone had any questions or if they wanted to see the demonstration again. Before the patrons start on their own bowls she shows them some bowls that had been completed and encouraged them to hand them round so everyone can see how the bowl. are constructed. As none of the patrons have any questions she tells them to take out the items in the kit and begin constructing there own bowls. As the patrons are constructing their bowls she moves among them giving encouragement and helping anyone with any questions. As each person finishes she asks them to hold them up so everyone can see them. When everyone has finished she congratulates them on finishing the bowls and doing such a great job.

In this learning situation, there are several key components of Behaviorism taking place.

  • An advanced organizer was handed out showing the patrons what they were going to be learning. At the same time the terminal behavior was clearly stated when the volunteer told the patrons what the desired behavior was (completing a coiled bowl).
  • There were several instances of stimulus and responses. Such as the volunteer asking the patrons questions, and the patrons responding. Also the volunteer was positively reinforcing the patron’s response by giving them praise and feedback for correct answers.
  • The volunteer started off very simply by showing pictures and explaining them, and then the volunteer progressed to asking questions verbally, to showing the PowerPoint and observing his patrons behavior, before starting the more difficult task of making a bowl and putting their knowledge to use. These carefully planned steps show chaining and mastery learning, as the volunteer would not move to the next step until the patron had mastered the simpler tasks.
  • This situation also gives patrons the opportunity to see and handle finished bowls before they start their own. At this point they are on their own practicing what they have learned, with the volunteer there to give them positive or negative feedback based on how they do.