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Applying IB Principles of Assessment

D​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‌‌‍​iscuss the application of IB principles of assessment, referencing IB documents and relevant literature to answer the following question. In what ways are IB principles and policies of assessment reflective of the broader discourse of assessment in education?

Sample Solution

cement. While various Behaviourist theories were first put forward as long ago as Aristotle, the term is thought to have been coined by John B. Watson in around 1912 (Pritchard, A. 2009). Watson proposed that the brain could only be studied with total objectivity and that anything less would be worthless. For this reason, people who subscribed to the Behaviourist school of thought studied only what could be seen or measured such as physical responses or changes in behaviour. The basic premise of Behaviourism is that learning takes place as a result of stimuli to either reinforce or dissuade a desirable or undesirable behaviour type, and this is known as ‘conditioning’ of which there are two major types known as ‘classical’ and ‘operant’ conditioning. Early Behaviourist studies linked a behaviour type with either a positive or negative effect. Pavlov, working in the 1890s, discovered that by ringing a bell every time dogs were offered food, the dogs would become conditioned to commence salivation when they heard the bell, even after the food was withdrawn. (Aubrey and Riley, 2018). John Watson, too, studied this behaviour, by creating a loud noise when a small baby (known as ‘Baby Albert’) saw a rat, which induced fear in the child. From these studies, theorists concluded that learning of new behaviours did not come from any free will on behalf of the learner, but was a direct result of the stimuli causing either a preference for, or an aversion to a specific action. Later theorists, such as Burrhus F Skinner, who was heavily influenced by Watson, fleshed out these ideas. Skinner believed that by altering the environment of animals, that the behaviour of those animals would also change (Aubrey and Riley, 2018). He tested rats and pigeons with both food and electric current within a box. In both cases, the creatures could work out that using a lever in the box would create a more comfortable condition, either by dispensing food, or by turning off the current. The rats would continue this behaviour once they had learned it. This type of learning style became known as Operant Conditioning and is linked with learning taking place through the use of rewards and punishments, both positive and negative. In the case of the rat, a positive result would occur if food dropped, and a negative effect would be removed in the case of the electric current. Both effects cause the rat to press the lever, and Aubrey and Riley (2018) describe that in Skinner’s experiments, it soon became habitual for the rats to try the level on entry to the box, regardless of whether electrical current was flowing. In terms of education, Behaviourist approaches are linked
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