Chapter 2: Reflective Web Activities (RWA)

RWA2.1: Avoiding the possibility of learned helplessness

You can find text and video materials related to ‘Learned Helplessness: Seligman’s Theory of Depression (+ Cure)’ (Ackerman, CE, 2020) here. This material explains the theory of learned helplessness together with Seligman’s later work on learned optimism. It also contains video clips that outline the work with animals that is the basis for the theory of learned helplessness. Once you have accessed the material, please answer the following question:

To what extent do you find this material helpful in enabling you to avoid encouraging learner helplessness?

RWA 2.2: Investigating and understanding Harlow’s experiments

If you are interested in the original research on which Harlow based his conclusions, you can watch a clip of his work here.

Do you think this kind of research can ever be justified?

RWA 2.3: Understanding the concept of ‘unconditional positive regard'

The term ‘unconditional positive regard’ often seems to be used in a way that is disconnected with Rogers’ theory and with therapeutic contexts. If you are interested in reading more about this term and the way it is used in therapy you can find more information on the following sites:

Further Reading 1
Further Reading 2
Further Reading 3

How useful do you find the term ‘unconditional positive regard’ now?

RWA2.4: Investigating Pavlov’s work

Whatever descriptions of experimental work you might read, it is not the same as seeing something in practice. If you are interested in exploring classical conditioning and Pavlov’s work, you can find this here.

How closely do you feel that Pavlov’s conclusions can be related to human behaviour?

RWA 2.5: Investigating Skinner’s work

If you are interested in exploring operant conditioning and Skinner’s work, you can find this here.

How closely do you feel that Skinner’s conclusions about animal behaviour can be translated in educational contexts?

RA2.6: Ethics implicit in experiments in social psychology
This Youtube clip contextualises Milgram’s thinking in setting up the electric shock experiment, as well as demonstrating how this experiment worked in practice.

'These days we would consider an experiment like this to be highly unethical.' Do you agree with this statement?

RWA2.7: Understanding more about, and applying, Piaget’s work in educational contexts

If you are interested in knowing more about the life and work of Jean Piaget, further material can be accessed here.

How useful do you feel that knowledge and understanding of Piaget’s stages in cognitive development might be in conceptualising how to differentiate activities for learners who experience cognitive difficulties?

RWA2.8: Applying principles of scaffolding

The Education Department of the State Government of Victoria in Australia has published online material relating to the application of the concept of scaffolding in the context of education. This can be accessed here.

How useful could this material be to you in conceptualising support for learners at different levels?