Guthrie used the contiguity theory while teaching at the University of Washington. "We learn only what we ourselves do" . The responses we wish to cue to various stimuli must be made by the individual himself in the presence of those stimuli . He extends this philosophy when emphasizing that circumstances must be changed in order to further learning. Teachers often limit their involvement in the classroom in order to further student learning.
By doing this, they allow the student to make the desired responses without stimuli from the teacher. Guthrie had a large interest in the evaluation of teaching ability. He stressed the idea that the circumstances under which he wishes the desired response to be made in the future should be approximated as closely as possible by the present circumstances .