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Classroom Observation Project

Classroom Observation Project


University of Belize
Psychology of Learning
EDUC 3403
Course Instructor: Noel Carballo Ph.D.
Yasmari Barrera
July 26, 2016
Classroom Observation project

Classroom Observation Project


The classroom observation took place on Tuesday July 19, 2016 at the Corozal
Community College (CCC). The classroom was a reading summer class that was
offered to the students entering their first year in high school. The class observed
was a 40 minutes session which was held in the class 1Y and was during the times
of 11:10 a.m. to 11: 50 a.m. Moreover, the class consisted of students with different
backgrounds. Therefore, upon entering the class the diversity of students was
clearly noticeable since they were all wearing their primary schools uniform. The
class setting was chosen to observe and record student behavioural interaction
when they are new to each other and also their adaptation when exposed in a
different environment.
The class was a little late, as the class arrived the students stood in front of the
class waiting for the president to open the class. As the class was opened, the
students entered the class and settled on their chairs, there were 5 columns and 6
rows of chairs in the class making up seats for 35 students. However, there were a
couple chairs that were empty since some students were absent. Later on, the
teacher greeted them and welcomed them to their reading class. He gave
instructions to the students to get to their reading groups. Therefore, the students
stood up and arranged their chairs in their groups. Some groups had crumbled up in
the classroom, so the teacher took time to settle them so that enough spacing
between the groups were available. Thus, there was a total of 10 groups, the order
of their groups were four groups at the back, 2 groups at the middle and 4 groups at
the front. In addition, most of the groups comprised of 3 members and others had
only 2 members since the other students were absent.
The observation started when the students were entering the class it was clearly
noticed who were the hyperactive students. There was one in particular that was

Classroom Observation Project


very talkative amongst the group so when the class entered and settled down, the
same child continued talking and was trying to distract the whole class. As the
teacher greeted the class, the student continued talking and went to the extent of
repeating what the teacher was saying. As the class continued, the student saw that
everyone in the class was ignoring him so the student discontinued misbehaving
and finally. Teacher at the beginning had given the students instructions to get in
their previous reading group. They already had a handout with a variety of
paragraphs, so teacher allowed the groups to practice their reading.
During their reading practice the entire class became loud while they were reading
aloud. After a couple of minutes that the students were rehearsing, the teacher
called their attention so that they lowered their noise and also insisted to the
students to read in silent. Moreover, during their reading rehearsal there were
several behavioural scenarios that were seen. Some students in their groups were
reading along with their other group members and others were busy doing
something else. On the other hand, it was noticeable that some students seemed
really interested in their reading due to the fact that they were reading on their own
and in silent. Another scenario that was observed was that several students were
playing with their pens and pencils and writing on their note books.
After their reading rehearsal the teacher announced to the class that each group will
take their turn to read aloud in the class. However, the teacher also persuaded the
students that they need to take into consideration that every individual in the class
came from different backgrounds and that each student may have their own
reading style. In addition, the teacher also told the students to be respectful while
others were reading and also be respectful if any student made a mistake while
reading. The different reading group had their opportunity to read aloud in the class.

Classroom Observation Project


However, during their presentation there were many behavioural scenarios within
the groups and between the groups. For example, in one group there were two girls
that were having their own conversation, one of the girl was writing on her
notebook. After writing in her notebook the girl did not hesitated in pulling the page
out of her notebook while the other girl beside her had been telling her not to pull
her note book pages apart.
At the beginning of the presentations, the first group had three students reading
however at the middle of the reading one student in the group started mumbling.
The other two students continued reading.
Others in their groups were still practicing their own reading and were not paying
attention to the other readers. Also there were students from different groups that
were having their conversations at a distance.
In addition, it was clearly seen that most students that are slow readers were the
ones that were not paying attention to the others that were reading. When those
students had their turn, it was clear that they were struggling to read, others were
mumbling and others were just moving their lips as if they were reading.
Interpretation of the observations:
Behavioural psychology is the study of human behaviour when exposed to a
different environment. Thus, people have no free will-a persons environment
determines their behaviour. We learn new behaviour through classical or operant
conditioning. Therefore, when born our mind is tabula rasa (blank slate) (McLeod,
2007)
Classical condition is the one of the most popular method that is used in
behavioural psychology and it was the theorist Ivan Pavlov that came up with this
method. Moreover this method of conditioning can be applied in the classroom and

Classroom Observation Project


can be applied in several ways. Educational implications for Pavlov classical
conditioning theory are: that fear, love hatred towards specific subjects are created
through conditioning. If the teacher uses suitable methods and good treatment to
the students then a desirable impact may occur upon the learners. The use of
auditory and visual aids are important to create a desirable environment for the
students. The use of conditioning can be used to construct good habits and
eradicate various phobias. (Notes, 2012)
The teacher was using classical conditioning, upon entering the class the teacher
used a suitable approach. His introduction was persuading when he was telling the
class that reading is important because by reading you can get many benefits such
as learning new words, increasing your comprehension and becoming an excellent
reader. At that moment most students were focused on what the teacher was
saying. Moreover, the teacher kept motivating them to read by telling them that if
they want novels to read they can go to the English department where they have
the latest novels which they can lend and read. Another conditioning that was
observed was that the students since day one were conditioned as when the
teacher said get into your groups the students would get into their groups very
neatly and organized. So when the teacher said get into your groups, the students
didnt hesitated into getting in their groups, all students moved quietly and
organized.
B.F skinner he came up with the study of private internal events, known as
perceptions, emotions and thoughts by observing our own sensory responses, the
verbal reports of others, and the conditions under which such events occur. Skinner
believed that we do have such a thing as a mind, but that it is simply more

Classroom Observation Project


productive to study observable behaviour rather than internal mental events.
(McLeod 2007)
From the observation it was clearly seen that there was a change in the students
attitude when they were suggested by the teacher to read in their minds. At first
there was a noisy environment and after there was a peaceful environment, the
students in the noisy environment were having their own conversations and doing
other things otherwise than their reading practice. After their attention was called
the environment became peaceful and it was clearly noticed that when students are
exposed to a peaceful environment they will tend to concentrate and do their
readings in their minds. Moreover, their behaviour in a peaceful environment was
totally different compared to the behaviour they had when the class was noisy.
Through this observation it can be seen that persons under different events will
tend to have different sensory responses.
In the social learning theory Albert Bandura (1977) he agrees with the behavioural
theories of classical and operant conditioning. However, his theory is based on
mediating processes occurring between stimuli and responses and behaviour is
learned from the environment through the process of observational learning.
Moreover, Albert Bandura's theory says that a child will most likely observe and
imitate others.
Similar scenarios were seen, for instance the students at the beginning when they
were given the task to practice their reading only a group started reading aloud,
when the other groups saw and heard that that group was reading aloud then the
entire class started reading aloud their paragraphs.

Classroom Observation Project


As the observation went along it was seen that environment does make an effect on
human behaviour.

References:
Mcleod, S. (2007). simplypsychology.com. Retrieved from skinner-operant
conditioning: http://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html
Mcleod, S. (2007). simply psychology . Retrieved from Behaviorist Aproach :
http://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html
Mcleod, S. (2011). simplypsychology.com. Retrieved from Bandura social learning
theory : http://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html
notes, s. l. (2012). Study lecture.notes. Retrieved from Pavlov classical conditioning
theroy and its educational implication : http://www.studylecturenotes.com/social-

Classroom Observation Project


sciences/education/311-pavlov-classical-conditioning-theory-and-its-educationalimplications
Wade, travris Invitation to psychology mypsychlab fourth edition, pearson prentice
hall