No. 73
Author Admin / 2017-11-17
on Education, for class of 24th Nov.

13. Education towards future society, under climate change era

Science of Education
from Democracy and Education (John Dewey), Technology of Teaching (Skinner), and
Behaviorism (Skinner)
In behaviorism, especially verbal behaviorism, condition or environment, when
corresponding behavior is reinforced, is believed to acquire control over a probability that
the behavior occurs. Similarly, it is believed that behavior is not transferred from one
situation to another situation, but, it simply occurs due to being exposed to similarity in
environment (called Metaphor). Teacher plays roles of precursor to student, with many
metaphors, such as knowledge, habit, and interest. Education is more than metaphor
transfer, also includes arrangement of contingencies of reinforcements: (1) occasion
upon which behaviors occur, (2) behavior itself, and (3) consequence of the behavior.
Thus, student are just exposed to situations or problems that can cause certain
breakthrough to the difficulties, instead of simply taking all the knowledge and solutions.
For example, idea and concept of NMR brought them to the Nobel prize, but, usage of
the NMR with them (under their control) is not something in science, in general.
Education can be designed in three perspectives; (1) we learn by doing as we behave
on conditions, which we can guarantee a second behavior on the conditions. Thus,
designed and/or enhanced condition is needed to evoke a habit, according to frequency
theory. (2) We learn from experience, but, experience (kind of stimulus) is followed by
doing (response/output), which is learning (education with connection). (3) We learn by
trial and error, based on behavior and consequence (education with consequence).
Why do we depend on education? We do continue education as there are surely ultimate
advantages of education, for both community and individual (such as job and money).
Some ultimate advantages of education can be obtained through intermediate
consequences, such as diploma and grade at graduation. There are also on-the-spot
consequences of students; negative, aversive, threat, and relatively instant reward are
ways to be taken, and verbal consequence (praise, scolding) may be taken to either
prohibit or generate certain behaviors. These types of consequences bring both
reinforced behaviors beneficial to community or individual, and also by-products which
are defective. In summary, contrived reinforcers may be taken in education system, to
stimulate strengthened responses (i.e., behaviors), at the risk of unwanted and defective
It is method of Skinner in education by which some contingencies are designed and
corresponding reinforcers are contrived. If we believe his science of education, we have
to design some contingencies and contrive reinforcers which we already discussed
above. There is one example of unstable contingencies which had better be evaded,
personal contingencies, such as show-off, attention-getter, and flatter. On the contrary,
there is recommended one we may use in education: Natural Reinforcers, proposed by
Rousseau. Natural reinforcer is intrinsically away from man-made punishment and
reward. It recommend to teach students independent on men, but dependent on things
themselves. For examples, if a window is broken, it is recommended not to scold and not
to be repaired so that a harsh consequence (e.g., cold wind) is exposed to person who
broke the window, which is a natural punishment (not man-made one). John Dewey also
stressed this type of reinforcers by telling "let students learn in school as they learn in
their daily life". Natural contingencies of reinforcement occur by exposing student to an
environment. However, nature is big, slow, trivial, useless, exhausting, harmful, and
deferred in consequence occurring, thus, teacher has to select proper contingencies for
students to realize that consequence based on natural contingency is result of necessity,
not accidental one, which is one of scientific causality (natural science necessity).
Efficacy in education: It is more effective to newly design better contingencies in
education system, using existing reinforcers, rather than to find new reinforcers. There
are immediate and consistent reinforcements versus later reinforcements (through
mediating devices), which should be well mixed to be designed to produce effective
education. We already know intermittent (but automatic) reinforcers are more effective
than simply consistent and immediate ones; with some latter ones, students or normal
persons feel these are not rewards any longer, but just regular quotas. There are case
that reinforcers are not very effective when it is always right, when it is too easy, when
there are too often reinforcements, and when it is not progressive.
From the perspectives of students in education: Students should know and be recalled
that they are very easy to be controlled by various different reinforcers designed by
teachers, schools, governments, and others. Hard working is better than not, however,
hard working students may be under aversive control and threat, thus, they may study
hard to avoid great punishment of failure. Their prolonged attention is a kind of strain. If
students experience (i.e., response) certain controls (either intentioned or not intentioned
reinforcers), students may react to those and later behave more positively but
sometimes greater negatively; when students recognize some types of controls, they
may behave automatically without any interests (indifference) as they know
corresponding consequence and reinforcer (even aversive), and more importantly they
know how to handle the consequences and reinforcers (they believe they can overcome
those by doing something that they believe they can achieve). This is, I believe, the
worst contingency in education, for both teacher and student. For example, students who
habitually fall into a doze believe they know reinforcers exerted by teachers and schools,
and they have confidence to handle and overcome to get good grades or to graduate
However, it is more important for students to design some contingencies of their own,
for better education, rather than to realize certain aversive controls (even it is somewhat
important). Students are recommended to design their own rewarding program even with
humble rewards but with automatic system, if possible. For general government
controlled education system, "abandon pigeon" is easy to take, thus, students are
required to be awake to give them their own controls designed by themselves. Students
are continuously requested to response difficult problems, under their own controls.
Also, be reminded if students response, schools and other control administrators also