Reinforcement is vital to the behaviorist view of learning. The reinforcement may be negative or positive and intrinsic or extrinsic. The concept of reinforcement forms the basis of the behavioral learning theories. Reinforcement can efficiently be utilized to either instill the desired behavior in a person or a group or to decrease the undesired behaviors.
Concerning the classroom environment, the primary focus of the teacher is for the betterment of her students by instilling the desirable behaviors in them. She wants the students to behave in the right fashion, exhibit excellent manners, be productive and show respect towards her and others. Reinforcing the desired behaviors necessitate the presence of a specific system. As an example, it can be stated that I want the students to avoid interrupting the lectures to ask questions. Instead, they should raise their hands in the case they have a query. The first step to accomplish this goal would be to explain my expectations to the students and describe the negativities of such undesirable behavior. Next, I would establish the form of reinforcement necessitated for the desired outcome. These reinforcements would have to be both, positive and negative. The positive reinforcement can be a reward, such as assigning stars to the students complying with the new system. Upon acquiring five stars, a student would be given additional marks on the term papers. Similarly, if a student does not adhere to the rule of raising hands, she would be punished by assigning a negative point to her. Upon gaining five such points, marks would be deducted from her term paper accordingly.
The importance of reinforcement in establishing the desired behavior can efficiently be assessed by examining the life of Jesus Christ. The Bible states such cases where Jesus used this strategy to discipline his disciples. For example, in one case, Jesus is asked by a centurion to heal his employee. Jesus responds by agreeing to visit and treat him. However, the centurion demands that Jesus should heal him by just uttering the necessary words. It prompts Jesus to reinforce the negative behavior of the centurion by stating that his faith is not as strong as Jesus’s. It encourages the centurion to the concept of believing in Jesus without a doubt and not interfere in his ways, as he knows best.