As a project for Dr. Perry Marker’s Curriculum Development class (EDCT 585), I created a movie that explores some of the possible widespread effects of psychologist B.F. Skinner‘s theories of behaviorism and reinforcement. Embraced by parents, teachers and even corporate managers, Skinner’s work appears to have turned America from a country of hard-working, selfless citizens into a population of whiners who ask “Why should I?” and “What’s in it for me?” every time they are asked to do something. While one man’s proposals can’t be blamed for an entire country’s shifting attitudes and priorities, the unblinking acceptance of rewards in the schools has certainly had an impact that can’t be ignored.
Click on the image below to view “Why Should I?”, my movie on the potential Skinner effect:
On a similar topic, here is an article that looks at possible consequences of the self-esteem movement:
“A Downside to High Teen Self-Esteem?” (Chicago Tribune, 7/4/2010)