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Transcript of Learning Theories
Behaviorism sees learning as a reaction to outside stimuli rather than internal processes - Cognitivism is the exact opposite.
Cognitivism is the psychological belief that learning takes place "when information enters through the senses, undergoes mental manipulation, is stored, and is finally used" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 29).
Similarities & Differences
of the Three Learning Perspectives
Fun With Learning Perspectives
"Behaviorism sees learning as the response to an external stimulus" (Lever-Duffy, 2011 p. 29).
The term "Behaviorism" was coined by John B. Watson in the early 20th century (Hauser).
The Cognitive-Constructivism model sees learning as the "result of an individual's cognitive efforts to construct his or her personal knowledge" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 30).
Robert Gagne is an example of a cognitive-constructivist (Lever-Duffy, 2011).
Social constructivism is the perspective that views learning as the result of "collaboration of a group of learners in an effort to construct a common knowledge" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p 30). Examples of social constructivists include Lev Vygotsky and Albert Bandura (Lever-Duffy, 2011).
Behaviorism and B.F. Skinner
Following Pavlov's Classical Conditioning and Watson's ideas, B. F. Skinner also had ideas about external stimuli affecting behavior. Though Watson coined the term "Behaviorism," Skinner is thought to be the "father of modern behaviorism" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 28),
Before Watson coined the term "Behaviorism" Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, experimented with "Classical Conditioning" at the turn of the 20th century.
Pavlov's work involved learning to associate an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned (new) stimulus so that the new stimulus would have the same result (McLeod, 2007).
Constructivism, like Cognitivism sees learning as a mental process (Lever-Duffy, 2011).
Constructivists, such as Piaget, see learning as a constructive process, meaning learning is "a unique product for each individual based on the experiences within which those mental processes occurred" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 29).
Within the Constructivist Perspective of Learning there are two dominate views: Cognitive-Constructivism and Social Constructivism.
EDTC 4001, Section 601
John B. Watson believed that "making behavior, not consciousness, the objective point of our attack" was necessary in order to make human psychology a more tangible science (Hauser).
His work functioned under the idea that learning and behavior was the result of outside actions (or stimuli) rather than inner processes. Watson's work was not new - Ivan Pavlov had worked with similar ideas a few years earlier.
Classical Conditioning was discovered accidentally, in a way, in that Pavlov initially began experimenting with dogs to study their salivation in response to food - after awhile, Pavlov noticed the dogs would salivate when they were expecting food and not just when they received food (McLeod, 2007).
Skinner developed "Operant Conditioning" or approaching the causes and consequences of behavior in order to understand the behavior (McLeod, 2007).
Hannum, W. (2005)
David Ausubel's theory
. Retrieved from http://www.theoryfundamentals.com/ausubel.htm.
Hauser, L. (n.d.)
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/behavior/#SSH1a.ii.
"ISLES #1." (2013)
. East Carolina University. Retrieved from blackboard.ecu.edu.
"Jean Piaget > Quotes." (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/12064.Jean_Piaget.
"Jerome S. Bruner." (n.d.) In
Britannica Academic Edition
. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/82186/Jerome-S-Bruner.
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J.B. (2011)
Teaching and Learning with Technology
. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
McLeod, S. (2007)
. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html.
McLeod, S. (2007)
Skinner - operant conditioning
. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html.
Weibell, C. J. (2011).
Principles of learning: 7 principles to guide student-centered, personalized learning in the technology-enhanced, blended learning environment: Subsumption Theory (David P. Ausubel - 1962).
Retrieved from http://principlesoflearning.wordpress.com/dissertation/chapter-3-literature-review-2/the-cognitive-perspective/subsumption-theory-david-p-ausubel-1962/.
Images Retrieved from:
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Jean Piaget was an early constructivist, but his work also contributed to cognitivism, as we saw earlier with Bruner's work. Piaget suggested that "children develop cognitive structures during specific developmental stages" (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 29).
Cognitivists see learning as more complex than your average Behaviorist. With this perspective, behavior is viewed as an "indicator of cognitive processes rather than just an outcome of a stimulus-response cycle." (Lever-Duffy, 2011, p. 29)
Some Cognitivists include Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, and David Ausubel.
Bruner's work with cognition, memory, and learning in young children, greatly influenced the American educational system. His studies helped to incorporate Jean Piaget's work on the developmental stages into the classroom setting ("Jerome S. Bruner").
Ausubel's work with cognitive thought focused on the idea that what a student already knows is the "primary determiner" of what the student will learn next. Ausubel felt, like many cognitivists, that learning was the result of an active result and not a response to environment and/or external stimuli. (Hannum, 2005)
"According to Bruner, all children have natural curiosity and a desire to become competent at various learning tasks; when a task as presented to them is too difficult, however, they become bored. A teacher must, therefore, present schoolwork at a level so as to challenge the child’s current developmental stage" ("Jerome S. Bruner").
"...We always have to construct what we think the world is..." Bruner's Approach to Learning:
Ausubel developed and studied the use of graphic organizers in learning. He developed the "advance organizer" which follows a deductive method of reasoning (ISLES #1). Advance organizers help learners organize and interpret information by providing a framework for the new information. (ISLES # 1).
"...new information is linked to relevant, preexisting aspects of cognitive structure and both the newly acquired information and the preexisting structure are modified in the process” - David Ausubel (Wiebell, 2011)
“The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.” - Jean Piaget ("Jean Piaget > Quotes")
In conclusion, Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism are all different perspectives on how people learn. Behaviorists see learning as a response to external stimuli. Cognitivists and constructivists both see learning as mental processes, but constructivists see the mental process as the result of constructing ideas based on previous knowledge. Even though some ideas differ, they all attempt to explain how people learn.