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Q&A from AQA: Behaviourism & SLT

Below you will find a question and response from AQA in relation to: Behaviourism & SLT.

Question 1

In the 3rd set of exam papers the question "describe and evaluate the behaviourist approach". I set this for my students and several discussed Bandura and SLT. Could this get any credit? I had always thought SLT was part of the behaviourist approach but isn't mentioned in the mark scheme. I taught learning approach as the same thing as behaviourist approach (and it contains different theories, classical conditioning, operant conditioning and SLT) and now wondering if AQA considers these as two different things!?

Response 1

"Thank you for your email. We do have separate points for the behaviourist approach and social learning theory within the specification but they are both under the title of learning approaches. This means that we could ask separate questions on either. We do mention Bandura specifically under the Social Learning Theory but he has also done work on the behaviourist approach. The mark scheme in this question is not meant to be exhaustive and the answers we give are only possible answers. If the examiner finds an answer that they deem appropriate they will award the marks even though it does not appear in the mark scheme. I hope this helps."

Question 2

Not really no – I still don’t know if I can accept it. I am marking student essays and they have described Bandura and Social Learning theory in the behaviourist approach essay. Can I mark this as correct or not. Would they gain marks for including Social learning theory in this essay.

Response 2

"In this question you are asked to describe and evaluate the behaviourist approach. This means that the answer has to be to do with this approach. We consider social learning theory and the behaviourist approach to be to separate things, although there will be some overlap. If the students have used Social Learning Theory or Bandura's research to describe or evaluate the behaviourist approach we would award marks. If they are talking about them solely in terms of Social Learning Theory then we wouldn't."

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