B. F. Skinner on Teaching Machines (1954)

Mike Caulfield, YouTube | World Economic Forum, Feb 11, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Mike Caulfield links to this video with the commentary, "Skinner tackles concepts of self-paced learning, the importance of quick feedback, the basics of gamification, aspects of proximal development, and mastery learning. He understands that it is not the *machine* that teaches, but the person that writes the teaching program. And he is better informed than almost the entire current educational press pool in that he states clearly that a “teaching machine” is really just a new kind of textbook." Behaviourism was criticized because it was a 'black box' methodology that downplayed the importance of what goes on inside the mind or brain, mostly because we did not have empirical access to it. Today we are not in a much more privileged position- while we know a great deal of what goes on inside the brain, our focus continues to be on inputs and outputs.

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