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Psychology Applied to Teaching, Eleventh Edition
Jack Snowman, Southern Illinois University
Robert Biehler
Chapter Themes
Chapter 11: Approaches To Instruction

Instructional objectives provide specific guidelines about what students should know and be able to do following an instructional unit.
Instructional objectives should be determined prior to the beginning of any instructional unit. Instructional objectives help guide the teacher's instruction and assessment. Instructional objectives come in several forms and apply to many domains. No matter what the type of objective, they should always be evaluated for their effectiveness.

The behavioral approach to teaching is based upon the acquisition of new behaviors.
A behavioral approach to teaching assumes that the goal of instruction is to provide students with classroom conditions that promote the pairing of stimuli with desired behaviors. Teachers using a behavioral approach explicitly instruct students in learning basic skills and knowledge through a structured, teacher-directed approach.

The cognitive approach to teaching focuses on meaningful learning and helping students understand and respond to the world in multiple ways.
Two approaches to instruction based on cognitive theories are the information processing approach and the constructivist approach. Both of these approaches emphasize the meaningful organization of information. The information processing approach to teaching emphasizes the mental manipulation and transfer of information encountered by students while the constructivist approach emphasizes the meaningful creation of reality by students.

The humanistic approach to teaching addresses the noncognitive variables in learning.
The humanistic approach to teaching emphasizes noncognitive variables such as students' needs, emotions, values, and self-perceptions. The goal of this approach is to help students better understand themselves as learners. This approach to teaching argues that student success in the classroom is as highly influenced by how students feel about themselves and their abilities as it is by the actual cognitive skills they possess.

The social approach to teaching is based upon teaching students to teach and learn from one another.
The use of the social approach to teaching, as exemplified by cooperative learning, has grown in popularity over the past 25 years. The reason it has become so popular is because of its success. It has been shown that much of the student learning that takes place in the classroom results from interactions between students. Through group work and peer collaboration, students can often help each other understand a phenomenon or concept in ways that teachers cannot.

Technology enhances the different approaches to teaching.
Behavioral approaches to teaching can utilize technology to present students with discrete tasks or for remediation. Cognitive approaches to teaching can utilize technology to help students build, extend, and amplify new knowledge. Humanistic approaches to teaching can utilize technology to help students explore a variety of different areas of interest. Finally, technology in general, and the Internet specifically has helped to create an entirely different social network for students. Students can now learn from others around the world.