There have been a number of theorists that have had an influence on this approach, some that have created a learning environment for animals in their study such as Pavlov (1849 – 1936) and Skinner (1904 – 1990). Pavlov contributes to the behaviourist approach with his theory on classical conditioning and BF Skinner with operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is when people learn by association, and operant conditioning is when we learn to behave in a certain way because of either positive or negative reinforcement (McDevitt, 2002). Again the psychodynamic approach would disagree with the behaviourists approach as it does not take into account the unconscious mind and just focuses on external observable behaviour.
Now that I have a firmer understanding of both Maturationism and Behaviourism I can imagine these philosophies used in an early childhood environment. In fact I feel quite sure the conforming profile was very dominant in my own Pre-school and Primary school years. I remember being taught by rote and the feelings of inadequacies¸ pressure and assault on my self esteem. These feelings were all generated when it was time for tables and I thought, what if I get it wrong, please let it be a sum I know. It took all my efforts to stop myself from crying just because I had to stand up in front of the class, I had no energy left to remember my tables. Is there an easier way to for children to learn