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Behavioural Approaches For Children’s Growth And Learning

Behavioural approaches consist of theories which are based on learning. The changes in people’s behaviours lead to behavioural learning. The behaviour of humans is not constant, and it changes with time with the addition or ejection of some traits or habits. The behavioural approaches include the behavioural learning model, which encompasses the fact that conditions improve with the help and improvement of learning.

The conditions include several factors, like reinforcement. Reinforcement refers to the idea that a wanted behaviour can be achieved when a reward is granted to an individual. Reward increases the probability that the wanted action will occur again or will be repeated. Reinforcement is the most important factor of behavioural approaches.

When a certain behaviour is introduced first, the reward or continuous reward increases the likelihood that a certain behaviour will happen again or be repeated. When a wanted behaviour is accomplished once, reinforcement maintains or sustains the behaviour. Moreover, irregular reinforcement also has a great likelihood that individual behaviour will be repeated in the future. Behavioural theories and approaches are used in certain measures like weight loss, drug usage, smoking and alcohol termination, and anxiety reduction processes.

The success of the behavioural approach occurs when the desired behaviour is accomplished by reinforcement continuously, and the unwanted behaviour will not occur again. In these cases, the wanted behaviours are rewarding, and the unwanted behaviours are not rewarding. Behavioural learning is always used in small steps so that it will be more effective and durable. For example, in a certain experiment, a child is selected for a particular experiment. The analysis is based on the reduction or elimination of certain habits. The selected child will be treated to reduce the habit by slowly applying certain measures to his habits. He will be rewarded continuously when he shows encouragement and performs all the tasks or shows certain behaviours that he wants. It will lead to the reduction of his habit, and continuous implementation of measures will lead to the termination of this habit. A similar implementation of reinforcement on the behavioral patterns of children is effective and makes them able to leave a certain bad habit or develop a good habit instead.

Cognitive learning is also an important and significant part of psychology. It refers to the approach that learning is an internal process. In this internal process, knowledge is transferred to an individual’s cognitive structure. When knowledge is transferred into the cognitive system, learning occurs through the process of education. The style and presentation of knowledge and information are important in the cognitive learning approach. At the start of the process of learning, children learn and get to know about the details of the task provided and the related sequences involved in the task. Later on, in the second part of the cognitive learning process, mostly known as the fixation learning process, the children are trained according to the required skills and expertise. These skills are required to perform certain tasks. In this method, specific terminologies are used to enhance and increase the skills of a child. These skills are effective in a way that will lead to the accomplishment of a particular goal, task or objective. This approach is used widely around the world due to its effectiveness and durability. Cognitive approaches are a significant part of the study of psychology and are effective in children’s learning process.

Both behavioural and cognitive approaches are effective in particular circumstances and situations. The similarities between behavioural and cognitive approaches include the learning processes and improvement of the behaviours or learning. The differences between the approaches include the different methods used for the learning processes. It also contains the fact that both approaches use different learning techniques and measures to achieve precise and particular outcomes.

The perception of agency is an important part of cognitive psychology. The term agency is used to explain the particular person or some organization that is accountable for the learning or actions which are specified. For example, in an experiment, the supervisor told all the students that they would use the computers for certain tasks, but they were not allowed to press a certain key. This key can crash or damage the computer. During the experiment, a computer was damaged without pressing the specific key. However, the supervisor became angry at the student and asked him to sign a letter, which showed that the student had pressed the key by mistake and the computer crashed. The student will agree to do that because he has no other option, or he will feel threatened, so he will sign the letter to resolve the issue. Another example is when a person decides to go outside when it’s raining, and he leaves his umbrella intentionally. The reason is that he thought he could make it and remain safe during the rain. This attitude is another example of the perception of agency in cognitive psychology. The perception of agency is not an effective way to deal with the issues and problems and leads to more challenges and issues.

Pre-attentive processing is based on visual properties. These visual properties are specified in a way that an individual could recognize immediately, even in the little framework of visual properties. This processing is based on the addition of subconscious knowledge, which is collected from the environment. Its features are based on lopsided and irregular approaches and ideas. This process is quick, and the most important information is missed during these processes. Post-attentive processing occurs only when concentration is occupied. It is based on the active and continuous effort. The efforts are formulated using numberings, and their reaction time is lengthy and time-consuming.

The most appropriate difference between both processes is that the pre-attentive can get little estimates while the post-attentive can get increased ratings. The visual properties in the pre-attentive approaches are utilized in the addition of the numbers. It relates to the exclusive features of testing or research. Subitizing is a process which is used to get accurate numbers. In this method, the judgments are always executed to find out the small numbers in the experiments or research. The decisions are dependent on the variables and the number of elements included in the operations. Most processes include both pre-attentive and post-attentive measures based on the requirements.

Executive attention is a collection of different processes, the main task of which is to maintain a certain task or related property, materials, or assets. The major task or objective is to complete a specific goal. It is a particular term which is used to define the mental control approaches and self-direction approaches. The attention functions are based on specified tasks and assignments. It always needs a power which is compulsory for its implementation and execution. In this method or function, efficiency and accuracy are required as the most important success factors for the assignments. The goal is not accomplished without these specific qualities. The Stroop task is also based on a particular goal or objective. It is linked with the cognitive approaches and recommended objective maintenance. The centralized attention and functions are based on inhibition and the hindrance of working memory.

Object recognition is an important tool in the field of psychology and the learning development of children. It can identify the physical properties of an object. These physical properties include the shape of the object, its colour, and its pattern. In object recognition, after the identification of the object, one applies specific characteristics to it. Object recognition consists of two approaches, including the parts-based approach and the image-based approach. In a parts-based approach, the attributes of the particular object are evaluated and accumulated in the human memory. The approach is based on a description in which all the attributes of the object are listed in this description. In this approach, the primary focus is on the features of the object and its assessment.

In the image-based approach, a detailed process is designed in a way that consists of the match of the actual image and mental image. In this approach, a view of an object is dependent on the viewpoint and the viewer. Biederman gives a more comprehensive approach, and it makes the approaches more simple and understandable. The knowledge of objects includes the separation, breaking down into parts, and recombination of all the parts. This theory or approach is named the recognition by components theory. It is based on the fact the identification of the object is a topic where separation, analysis, and recombination are important for the particular object.

Episodic memory refers to the type of memory that is centred on events experienced by a person and includes contextual aspects of that event in a record, like the date and time of the event. On the other hand, semantic memory refers to the type of memory that revolves around the perceptions and ideas of the surroundings and does not include details of the date and time of certain happenings. The second major difference between episodic and semantic memory is that episodic memory repossession or reclamation is simply achieved by the conscious recollection of the particular event.

On the other hand, the reclamation of semantic memory cannot be achieved by the simple recollection of a separate event. Just like the recollection of semantic memory is more difficult than episodic memory, it is less prone to forgetfulness as compared to episodic memory. The episodic type of memory is more prone to forgetfulness. However, there is the presence of more or less emotional components in episodic memory that are absent in the opponent. Moreover, when it comes to usefulness and beneficence, semantic memory holds more importance than episodic recollection.

Both of these types of reminiscence are sub-types of declarative memory, which is a long-term reminiscence system. This type of system is responsible for realistic and accurate information regarding the surroundings and daily happenings. There is a significant difference between these two discussed types of memory or reminiscence that must be appreciated to recognize them separately.

In most parts of the world, adults talk to babies differently and are unique in how they speak to others. Usually, that unique kind of speech is high-pitched, and words are lengthened in an embellished manner. This kind of speech is termed as ‘child-directed speech.’ It has four major characteristics that separate it from normal language patterns and speech.

First, when adults are using CDS, they say a word more slowly than normal. Second, the words that are used for speech are overextended to increase their expected impact on the baby. Third, the pitch or tone of the voice and speech is much higher, more extensive, and different from the normal way of speaking. Fourth, to make the baby learn expressions, adults intentionally put longer gaps between their words. It is for the baby to understand and interpret the meaning or expression of the speech.

A variety of researchers have proved that baby talk or CDS have great positive impacts and results when applied. The child talked with CDS speedily and learned to appreciate the difference in expressions, emotions, and speech as compared to the baby, who dealt with the normal way of speaking. CDS makes the procurement or possession of language or dialect very less demanding for the learning children. There are also many arguments and objections to child-directed speech, and this is why it is not used all around the world. One argument states that there is no need for child-directed speech because children learn their access to speech even without it and, most of the time, learn better than those who learn dialect from CDS. The other argument includes the fact that CDS is not reliable as the baby not only observes how adults are talking with him/her but also observes the pattern of dialect during inter-adult communication.

There is a significant difference between insight and non-insight problems. An insight problem refers to the problem that claims the particular person to change or alter his/her perception or concepts for the sake of viewing the problem. This change is essential to solve the insight problem. Insight problems consist of several types; however, there are three major ones: mathematical, verbal, and spatial. The basic concept of an insight problem is that the solution becomes suddenly available by changing the perception of the problem. If the examinee restructures the whole situation and tries to think about it for a change, different or alternate way, the solution becomes instantly available.

The insight problem is different from non-insight problems in a variety of ways. The non-insight problem refers to a situation that compromises a particular person suddenly. It does not provide the time for excessive thinking or any preparation. It is just like solving a complicated math problem that appeared easy from the start. Non-insight problems are also referred to as ‘Aha-Erlebnis’ in the German language. This is because this term was originally derived by a German theoretical linguist and psychologist, Karl Buhler. The same problem of non-insight is also termed an ‘epiphany.’

In an article, “Applying Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development to Mathematics Instruction” author Ojose Bobby is based on the children understanding of mathematical instructional methods. This paper focuses on the four stages of cognitive development of children presented by Jean Piaget and how they must be related to the mathematical instructional methods for the education of children. Children gradually develop with the progress of their age, and the development of a child’s mind is directly related to how different mathematical methods must be conveyed to children at different age years. Piaget presented four main stages of cognitive development, with specific age years for each. These stages include the sensorimotor stage, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage and formal operational stage.

The sensorimotor stage of development ranges from birth up to two years of life. During this stage, the child has developed sensory and motor coordination and feels a heightened curiosity for the surrounding world. The object performance has evolved, so the mathematical instructions given at that part of age must consist of pictorial methods. This is because, during this time, everything is the first time for the child, and he/she tries to develop a mental image of every concept and perception. The pre-operational stage continues from two to seven years of life. At this stage, the child has developed proper symbolic thinking and utilized grammar as well as syntax for the expression of concepts. However, complex abstract thinking has not evolved, so a child must be taught mathematical methods involving the basics of essential concepts so that the child develops a base for every idea.

The concrete operational stage ranges from seven to eleven years, and during this period, a child develops a central and straightforward concept of space, quantity and time. So, a child must be taught all of the methods, but not on the highly complex and abstract levels. The last stage of formal operations continues from eleven years to the rest of the child’s life, and now the child has developed abstract thinking and a complex conceptual base efficiently. Following and keeping Piaget’s stages of cognitive development in mind, a child can be taught from simple to incredibly complex mathematical methods without any complication.

According to Eleanor Duckworth (2006), Piaget’s theory is no doubt very useful, but it is not suitable for the learning of teachers as they are not able to actively interfere with their understanding of children. He worked with several teachers and realized that no teacher could be able to affect the children’s thinking until they are not ready to develop their understanding and make any theory a fundamental part of their memory. Theoretical elements are not as essential as the developmental ways to develop the understanding of the teachers so that they can impart wisdom to the children in the most appropriate manner. Duckworth encouraged the teachers to have confidence in their knowledge and help themselves to learn about a better understanding of any process (Duckworth, 2006).


Cameron-Faulkner, T., Lieven, E. V. M. & Tomasello, M. (2003) ‘A construction-based analysis of child directed speech’ Cognitive Science 27, 843-873.

Cognitive Vs Behaviorist Psychology. 1 April 2018, from

Difference Between Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Psychology. (2017). Retrieved 1 April 2018, from

Duckworth, E. (2018). The Having of Wonderful Ideas by (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.

Metcalfe, J., and Wiebe, D. (1987). Intuition in insight and non-insight problems. Memory and Cognition, 15 (3), 238-246.

Ojose, B. (2008). Applying Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development to Mathematics Instruction. The Mathematics Educator, 18(1), 26-30.



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