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There is no use denying the fact that existence of human society is possible due to the ability of people to impart knowledge and experience to new generations. It is also obvious that this process is impossible without teaching which was created in order to make the process of data transfer more efficient. Since the appearance of this science people had been trying to create some remedies which could make teaching more efficient. Moreover, different periods of history can be characterized by various approaches to the process of teaching and, that is why, teachers used a great number of things in their work to make the process more efficient. Modern age is not an exception. Though, it is obvious that it has its own unique features.
First of all, it is the blistering development of technologies and industrial revolution. That is why, the appearance of the term teaching machines can also be related to our age (Ludy para. 6). Having appeared, the issue became so significant and caused such a great influence on teaching that nowadays it is difficult to imagine modern education without the usage of this tool (Watters para. 3). Resting on this fact, there is also a great number of different researches and articles devoted to this issue. One of these articles is the work Teaching Machines by B. F. Skinner.
Main ideas of the paper
In the given research, the author cogitates about the issue of teaching machines. The work presents the authors point of view on the way these machines work and also has some historical retrospectives connected with teaching machines. The article starts with the description of Presseys Teaching Machines and the main principles according to which they worked. These machines could teach pupils and it was a new feature (Skinner 969). However, they still had to be used after some training. Thus, it was an important step in the development of the whole issue.
The main purpose of the article is to show readers the process of development of teaching machines and the main principles of their work.
In the given work, the author cogitates about the tasks which can be accomplished with the help of these machines. He tries to show readers that they do not teach, however, being used with some other remedies and tools, they can help to increase the level of efficiency of teaching process significantly. Moreover, the author shows some other ways to use teaching machines in the sphere of education. It should be said that Skinner is not the only researcher who tries to show positive sides of this issue. Nichole Wleklinski, in her article, agrees with Skinners ideas, stating the fact that it can be rather efficient and should be used by teachers (Wleklinski para.2).
From the other hand, there is the point of view which presents another vision of teaching machines and their influence on people. Joseph Barr states that wide usage of these machines in teaching process can have pernicious influence on pupils mind and lead to the decrease of their ability to think. (Barr para. 6). Existence of at least two points of view on the same issue can be taken as the evidence of its significance and importance. Moreover, it also helps to develop this sphere as constant debates help to develop new theoretical basis. It should also be said that Ferster also agrees with the great importance of the given issue, stating the fact that it can be taken as the new page of development of teaching and the process of data transfer (Ferster 123).
Additionally, it should be mentioned that in the given article the author also suggests his own programs and ways to use these machines in teaching. The whole section of the work is devoted to description of the best possible variants of usage of teaching machines. The author suggests the task which seems the most appropriate for him in order to develop pupils skills and make them understand the subject better. In general, it should also be said that Skinner is always taken as one of the pioneers in this sphere and his work and contribution to this sphere cannot be overestimated. Exercises developed by him and introduced in this very article can be taken as the first attempt to use the issue of teaching machines in the teaching process.
With this in mind, having read the article, it should be said that the author tries to show all aspects of the usage of teaching machines in educational sphere. The article opens with the description of different stages of development of teaching machines. However, the author does not just enumerates different kinds of machines, though, he tries to show different aspects of their usage. Additionally, Skinner also suggests his own ideas about the most efficient usage of these machines and introduces special exercises which can help to achieve the best effect. There are different points of view on the given issue, however, there is no use denying the fact that appearance of machines of this sort can be taken as a very important stage of development of teaching and education in general.
Barr, Joseph. Learning and Teaching Machine Learning: A Personal Journey. 2014. Web.
Ferster, Bill. Teaching Machines: Learning from the Intersection of Education and Technology. Baltimore, the USA: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Print.
Ludy, Benjamin. “A History of Teaching Machines”. American Psychologist, 43.9 (1988):703-712. Web.
Watters, Audrey. Teaching Machines: A Brief History of “Teaching at Scale. n.d. Web.
Skinner, Burrhus. “Teaching Machines”. Science, 128.3330 (1958): 969-977. Web.
Wleklinski, Nichole. Skinner’s Teaching Machine and Programmed Learning Theory. n.d.. Web.