Volume 2, Issue 2 (1973)
Group Contingencies, Peer Tutoring, and Accelerating Academic Achievement
R.L. Hamblin, C. Hathaway, J. Wodarski
In general, experimental results have shown that children learn most quickly in environments where there are (a) strong reinforcers for the response pattern in question, (b) quick and consistent feedback (reinforcement or process cues predictive of later reinforcement), and where (c) the individual is able to work in the environment at his own pace, i.e., where he is neither rushed nor slowed down by environment response (cf. Hamblin, et al., 1971). In manipulating these variables to decelerate a behavior the operational problem is often quite simple - i.e., do nothing in response to the behavior in question. However, in designing a classroom learning environment to accelerate acquisition rate, it is usually necessary to do something new to optimize all of the above four factors. In a classroom this usually implies an instructional system with several components : (a) individualized curricula materials, (b) a token reinforcement system with powerful back-ups contingent on tests which gauge acquisition of the subject matter, and (c) a teaching procedure which allows self-pacing and yet provides quick and consistent feedback.
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