Re: Scaffolding

Date: Sun Jan 23 2005 - 10:36:31 PST

How so, Skinner was focusing on birds, Bruner children? :-)

In 1943 Keller Breland, Norman Guttman, and I were working on a war-time
project sponsored by General Mills, Inc. Our laboratory was the top
floor of a flour mill in Minneapolis, where we spent a good deal of time
waiting for decisions to be made in Washington. All day long, around the
mill, wheeled great flocks of pigeons. They were easily snared on the
window sills and proved to be an irresistible supply of experimental
subjects. ...This was serious research, but we had our lighter moments.
One day we decided to teach a pigeon to bowl. The pigeon was to send a
wooden ball down a miniature alley toward a set of toy pins by swiping
the ball with a sharp sideward movement of the beak. To condition the
response, we put the ball on the floor of an experimental box and
prepared to operate the food-magazine as soon as the first swipe
occurred. But nothing happened. Though we had all the time in the world,
we grew tired of waiting. We decided to reinforce any response which had
the slightest resemblance to a swipe -- perhaps, at first, merely the
behavior of looking at the ball -- and then to select responses which
more closely approximated the final form. The result amazed us. In a few
minutes, the ball was caroming off the walls of the box as if the pigeon
had been a champion squash player. The spectacle so impressed Keller
Breland that he gave up a promising career in psychology and went into
the commercial production of behavior. (Skinner, 1958, p. 94)

Email: willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at

"The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions could be termed the buds or flowers of development rather than the "fruits" of development. The actual developmental level characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively." - L.S.V.

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