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Operant Theory of Conditioning

According to Skinner, there are two forms of reinforcement schedules that are applicable to the behavioural control. Two forms of behaviour reinforcement include positive and negative one.  The positive reinforcement includes awarding the subjects after the desirable outcome is achieved. On the other hand, the negative reinforcement is implemented by removing unpleasant or undesired events after the desirable outcome is achieved (Hamachek, 1975). There are many examples that are applicable when one wants to achieve any of these two kinds of reinforcement in a classroom setting.

In order to encourage the students to provide outstanding performances in the classroom, a teacher can promise the students an award every week for those who show them. These performances should not be limited to specific tasks so that the teacher has as many students, who intend to participate, as possible. Therefore, the awards should be given to desired performances in any area, including good grades or the most polite student. The awards can be extra time in computer games engagement, a trip to a favoured setting, addition of specific points to the final grade, or a performance certificate/badge. There can be an additional grand award at the culmination of the learning period before the end of the season. 

An example of negative reinforcement includes failure to punish a child who has shown excellent performances. In such a situation, the teacher may fail to call the parents of all the students who show improved grades in a subject or activity. On the other hand, the teacher may fail to ask the students to redo a particular activity if they show excellently its improvement. The teacher can engage one or both types of reinforcement, depending on the effect of the reinforcement applied.