How Behaviorist Strategies Made a Boring Class Fun-filled and Exciting

imagesCAVSLM4A How We Developed Love For Our Geography Class                                                                                                                                                    imagesCAR1XPJD

I remember how bored I was in my Tour Guiding subject back in college. Except for the travel activities, I was not interested with the rest of the subject. After graduation, I was hired by our school as an instructor and guess what! Tour Guiding was one of the subjects assigned to me.

I was aware that one of the challenges would be to keep those bunches of energetic and fun-loving college students present in my class as we all discuss geography, a topic which I myself, dislike the most.

Below is a table which I used to present my problem way back then and the solution my students and I came up with using Pavlov’s Theory. Being non-education students as we are, none of us probably knew of Pavlov nor of his theory but the strategy we used is based on his studies.

Application of Pavlov’s Conditioned Emotional Reactions (CER) to my Tour Guiding Class.

Dysfunctional   Behavior Stimulus   Response
Boredom Discussion   of Geography NEUTRAL STIMULUS   = memorization of provinces and scenic spots UNCONDITIONED   RESPONSE = students cutting classes because of a boring subject
Boredom Discussion   of Geography CONDITIONED   STIMULUS  = Geography + Games + Grades   depending on Game Scores CONDITIONED   RESPONSE = everyone enjoys learning, complete attendance, camaraderie

  A geography class set at 2:00 pm (siesta hours) is the most tempting reason for students to cut classes. For the more responsible ones, it is the best time for “day dreaming” as the teacher patiently does her monologue about the provinces and their capitals and location.

To solve this, I and my students decided to conduct discussions in the form of games and contests. All students are so focused on memorizing the so many provinces firstly because they associate recitation with fun and games. Again, this is an example of “flow.” While the other neighboring classrooms, silently conduct their classes, our room is very much alive because students would not want to lose over their classmates. We memorize together and we have fun together.

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