EDPSY 304: Group 5 Portfolio

Real Learning: Being able to use your prior knowledge and apply it to different circumstances within your environment. When applying your prior knowledge, you are able to observe the information to either change or reinforce your understanding.


“Extremely complex performances may be reached through successive stages in the shaping process, the contingencies of reinforcement being changed progressively in the direction of the required behavior” Skinner p.87


Positive reinforcements: Receiving a reward for doing the desired behavior after which the pupil will repeat the rewarded and desired behavior.

Negative reinforcements: Not having to do something that is undesired as a reward for doing the desired behavior.

Punishment: A negative consequence for not doing the desired behavior that someone is trying to teach to their learner. Ex) If the learner did not catch the ball like they were supposed to, their punishment might be not using the ball anymore.

Shaping: Teaching a new skill/ behavior by using reinforcement in order to meet the desired goal.

Adapting: Teaching a new skill/ behavior by using reinforcement in order to meet the desired goal.

*Conclusion of Behavior: We applied behaviorist learning to our definition of real learning because the behaviorists goal is to create a change in behavior through the shaping process. We learned how our behavior changes from a young age and we are able to adapt these changes in our environment. For example, our group made a representation based on the study of Behaviorist Erlwanger “Benny’s Conception of Rules and Answers in IPI Mathematics.” Even though the boy mastered the right answer, the boy didn’t understand how he got the answer because he didn’t understand the concept. Benny and our ‘student’ in the representation were taught to work independently and work out the problem alone. The lack of student teacher communication influenced Benny and our ‘student’ to not get the concept because they weren’t able to talk about it and “share their thoughts and ideas(erlwanger.22)” with the teacher. If we were able to use reinforcements with our ‘student’ and communicate with him then we could’ve begun the shaping process and he could have begun adapting his ideas and thoughts to the math problem.

Representation Behaviorism-MATH:

1.) We gave a boy a multiplication problem of 2*1 and he mastered the problem by answering 2, but he did not understand how he got that answer

2.) Sticky notes, tape, paper clips.

3.) No because we did not go out of the way to use the materials given. we used a pencil and the sticky notes.

Representation of Behaviorism-CLAY:

We chose to represent the positive and negative reinforcements that behaviorists believe in as a means for getting the desired outcome for someone’s behavior. In the photo, there are two separate scenarios. The scenario on the left represents positive reinforcement. The boy is eating an apple just like he was asked to, so in return he is awarded a gift. The scenario on the right represents negative reinforcement. The boy also eats his apple like he was asked to, and in return is rewarded by not having to do something that he doesn’t like doing. So since he did what he was asked, he doesn’t have to do his chores.

Cognitive Theory:

“All species inherit two basic tendencies, or “invariant functions.” The first of these tendencies is toward organization: the combining, arranging, recombining, and rearranging of behaviors and thoughts into coherent systems. The second tendency is toward adaptation, or adjusting to the environment.” Woolfolk, p.46

Stages of development: There are four stages of development according to Piaget. Sensorimotor (birth-2), preoperational(2–6), concrete operational(7–11) and formal operational(12-adult). These stages are differentiated by age.

Adaption: Adapting by making adjustments to the environment. Adaption involves two different processes assimilation and accommodation.

Equilibrium: Balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment

Metacognition: Thinking about how you think. Being aware of how your brain is processing information.

Organization- The mind’s natural tendency to organize information into related, interconnected structures

Disequilibrium- People inability to fit new information into their schemes. It begins when information or experiences do not fit into your current knowledge base.

*Conclusion of Cognition:We applied cognitive learning to our definition of real learning because the cognitivists goal is to acquire knowledge and understanding through one’s thought, experience and their senses. In our definition of learning, we explained that when we use our prior knowledge we are able to observe the information to change or reinforce our understanding. Piaget explains in his “Stages of Development” that in each individual stage of our lives, we learn in different ways through our past experiences. As a baby we don’t know much about the world, so we start by grabbing objects, putting them into our mouths and making predictions and conclusions. As we grow older into adulthood, we begin to make sense of what is wrong and right in the world from our prior knowledge during specific situation. We also learn by adapting to the environment and from the people surrounding us.

For example in our representation we made a lego house. Our neighborhood, house and environment is where we begin our stages of development processes. We observe and take information and further our understanding of our environments through organizing, equilibrium, disequilibrium and adapting.

Sociocultural Theory:

“Learning awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers. “ (Vygotsky, p.90)

Culture: The behaviors, beliefs, and characteristics of a person or group of people that help to “classify” them in many different contexts.

Repertoires of Practice: Taking outside tools and applying them to a pupils culture environment/situation. With a developed repertoire a pupil is able to answer effectively to the cultural situation.

Internalization: To learn and understand something new and shape new learning from those new things. Using newly learned information to shape their ideas of how to act.

*Conclusion of Sociocultural: We applied sociocultural learning to our definition of real learning because a socioculturalist looks at an individual’s level of learning at their own pace. We mentioned that a person uses their own prior knowledge to apply it to different individual circumstances, which is very similar to a learner working at their individual pace. Vygotsky’s ZPD is another form of this as well, real learning can also be when an individual uses those experiences and reinforces their current learning to work at their own pace within their ZPD. This also has to do with using one’s own culture to draw from past experiences when learning in order to reinforce a deeper learning experience.

For example: We made a representation of the sociocultural theory and decided to use a collage of pictures to demonstrate our example of littering. We know that littering is wrong, but we do it anyway to satisfy our time. Herrenhohl and Mertl say that ways of being “emerge from and are negotiated in social interaction using culturally available tools, including ways of knowing and doing.” Krista reacted to Marchael pointing at her bottle to put it in the recycling. Not only adults and peers influence individual learning, but also cultural beliefs and attitudes impact how instruction and learning take place.


In our portfolio we demonstrated our definition of real learning; the ability to use prior knowledge and apply it within our environment. By doing this we can observe, change and reinforce our understanding through behavioral changes, cognitive development, and through sociocultural development.

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