Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Function IV

Many instructional arrangements seem "contrived", but there is nothing wrong with that. It is the teacher's function to contrive conditions under which students learn. Their relevance to a future usefulness need not be obvious.

It is a difficult assignment. The conditions the teacher arranges must be powerful enough to compete with those under which the student tends to behave in distracting ways.

--B.F. Skinner,
"Free and Happy Student" in The Phi Delta Kappan (September 1973); later published in Reflections on Behaviorism and Society (1978).

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