Theories of Learning

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Information about Theories of Learning

Published on January 17, 2014

Author: santiniescolini



MAIN THEORIES 1. Behaviorism 2. Cognitivism 3. Social Learning Theory 4. Social Constructivism 5. Multiple Intelligences 6. Brain-Based Learning


BEHAVIORISM • It is confined to observable and measurable behavior. • Learning is defined by the outward expression of new behaviors and context-independent. • Biological basis for learning. • Focuses on observable behaviors.

BEHAVIORISM CLASSICAL CONDITIONING (PAVLOV) • A stimulus is presented in order to get a response. • It is about reflexes. OPERANT CONDITIONING (SKINNER) • The response is made first then reinforcement follows. • It is about feedback/reinforce ment.

BEHAVIORISM IN THE CLASSROOM • Rewards and Punishments • Responsibility for student learning rests squarely with the teacher. • Lecture-Based and Highly Structured

CRITIQUES OF BEHAVIORISM • • • • • It does not account for processes taking place in the mind that cannot be observed. Advocates for passive student learning in a teachercentric environment. One size fits all. Knowledge itself is given and absolute. There is programmed instruction and teacher-proofing.


COGNITIVISM • • • • Grew in response to Behaviorism. Knowledge is stored cognitively as symbols. Learning is the process of connecting symbols in a meaningful and memorable way. Studies focused on the mental processes that facilitate symbol connection.

COGNITIVE LEARNING THEORIES DISCOVERY LEARNING (BRUNER) MEANINGFUL VERBAL LEARNING (AUSUBEL) • • • Anybody can learn anything at any age, provided it is stated in terms they can understand. Powerful Concepts (Not Isolated Facts) • • • Transfer to many different situations. Only possible through Discovery Learning. Confront the learner with problems and help them find solutions. Do not present sequenced materials. Advance Organizers: • New material is presented in a systematic way and is connected to existing cognitive structures in a meaningful way. • When learners have difficulty with new material, go back to the concrete anchors (Advance Organizers). • Provide a discovery approach and they will learn.

COGNITIVISM IN THE CLASSROOM • Inquiry-Oriented Projects • Provide opportunities for the testing of hypotheses. • Curiosity is encouraged. • Stage Scaffholding

CRITIQUES OF COGNITIVISM • Like Behaviorism, knowledge itself is given and absolute. • Input – Process – Output model is mechanistic and deterministic. • It does not account enough for individuality. • It has little emphasis on affective characteristics.


SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY • • • • Grew out of Cognitivism. Learning takes place through observation and sensorial experiences. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Social Learning Theory is the basis of the movement against violence in media and video games.

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Learning from Models: 1. Attend to pertinent clues. 2. Code for memory (store a visual image). 3. Retain in memory. 4. Accurately reproduce the observed activity. 5. Possess sufficient motivation to apply new learning.

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Research indicates that the following factors influence the strength of learning from models: 1. How much power the model seems to have. 2. How capable the model seems to be. 3. How nurturing/caring the model seems to be. 4. How similar the learner perceives self and model. 5. How many models the learner observes.

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Four interrelated processes establish and strengthen identification with the model: 1. Children want to be like the model. 2. Children believe they are like the model. 3. Children experience emotions like those the model is feeling. 4. Children act like the model.

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY • Through identification, children come to believe they have the same characteristics as the model. • When they identify with a nurturing and competent model, children feel pleased and proud. • When they identify with an inadequate model, children feel unhappy and insecure.

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY IN THE CLASSROOM • Collaborative Learning and Group Work • Modeling Responses and Expectations • There are opportunities to observe experts in action.

CRITIQUES OF SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY • It does not take into account individuality, context and experience as mediating factors. • Suggests students learn best as passive receivers of sensory stimuli, as opposed to being active learners. • Emotions and motivation are not considered important or connected to learning.


SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM • Grew out of and in response to Cognitivism and was framed around Metacognition. • Knowledge is actively constructed. • Learning is: • • • • • A search for meaning by the learner. Contextualized An Inherently Social Activity Dialogic and Recursive The Responsibility of the Learner

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM IN THE CLASSROOM • Journaling • Experiential Activities • Personal Focus • Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

CRITIQUES OF SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM • Suggests that knowledge is neither given nor absolute. • It is often seen as less rigorous than traditional approaches to instruction. • It does not fit well with traditional age grouping and rigid terms/semesters.


MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES • Grew out of Constructivism and was framed around Metacognition. • All people are born with 8 intelligences: • 1. Verbal-Linguistic 2. Visual-Spatial 3. Logical-Mathematical 4. Kinesthetic 5. Musical 6. Naturalist 7. Interpresonal 8. Intrapersonal Enable students to leverage their strengths and purposefully target and develop their weaknesses.

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES IN THE CLASSROOM • Delivery of instruction via multiple mediums. • Student-Centered Classroom • Authentic Assessment • Self-Directed Learning

CRITIQUES OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES • Lack of quantifiable evidence that MI exist. • Lack of evidence that use of MI as a curricular and methodological approach has any discernible impact on learning. • Suggestive of a departure from core curricula and standards.

BRAIN-BASED LEARNING • Grew out of Neuroscience and Constructivism. • 12 governing principles: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Brain is a parallel processor. Whole Body Learning A search for meaning. Patterning Emotions are critical. Processing of Parts and Wholes Focused Attention and Peripheral Perception Conscious and Unconscious Processes Several Types of Memory Embedded Learning Sticks Challenge and Threat Every brain is unique.

BRAIN-BASED LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM • Opportunities for Group Learning • Regular Environmental Changes • Multi-Sensory Environment • Opportunities for Self-Expression and Making Personal Connections to Content • Community-Based Learning

CRITIQUES OF BRAINBASED LEARNING • Research conducted by neuroscientists, not by teachers and educational researchers. • Lack of understanding of the brain itself makes “brian-based” learning questionable. • Individual principles have been scientifically questioned.


HUMANIST • • • All students are intrinsically motivated to self actualize or learn. Learning is dependent upon meeting a hierarchy of needs (physiological, psychological and intellectual). Learning should be reinforced.


OTHERS • Andragogy (Knowles) • Flow (Czikszentmihalyi) • Situated Learning (Lave) • Subsumption Theory (Ausubel) • Conditions of Learning (Gagne)

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