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Reflecting Critically on Learning Theories

Developing Critical and Reflective Practice - Lecture 3

Richard Newton

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of Reflecting Critically on Learning Theories

Developing Reflective
and Critical Practice

Lecture 3
Reflecting Critically on
Learning Theories

Learning objective:
that you can begin to recognise, critique and reflect upon the links between learning theories and classroom practice in primary education.
Class PG1
Behaviour Chart

and behaviourist approaches
- classical conditioning
- stimulus and involuntary response
- instrumental conditioning
- positive response leading to repeated behaviour
- operant

- antecedents and consequences strengthen or weaken behaviour /learning
Connectionist / computational models of learning
Limits of behaviourism

- ignores social and cultural aspects of learning
- ignores the active role of the learner (learning as imposed rather than created)
- empty vessel
Social learning /
Social cognitive

Social constructivist /
sociocultural theories
- Enactive learning - learning by doing and the consequences of doing
- Vicarious learning - learning by observing others

- Learning as a complex activity with multiple interconnected dimensions.

- Reciprocal determinism

Physical and social environment
Personal factors
Individual behaviours
Goal progress
- the belief in our personal competence in a particular activity

Self-efficacy is influenced by:
- personal experiences (e.g. success at comparable tasks improves, whilst failure reduces)
- vicarious experiences (e.g. identifying with a model improves, whilst non-identification reduces)
- social interaction (e.g. feedback given whilst engaged in the activity)

(Adapted from Schunk 1999 in Woolfolk et al. 2012)
Reflect on how you think self-efficacy may have influenced your learning.
How is your perception of education, and the various subjects you will teach, shaped by your own beliefs of personal competence?
Share your thoughts with those around you.

Spend a moment and reflect on whether you have seen or used behaviourist-style approaches in the classroom. Think about the activity, the context, the actors, and your evaluation of its success or failure.
Discuss your thoughts with another person.

Jean Piaget
Lev Vygotsky
- how people make meaning, on their own or with others
- universal developmental stages
- schema as the building blocks of thinking

- learning through interaction with the environment and people in the environment
- relationship between mental functioning and the social and cultural context in which the mental functioning arises
- social interaction and sociocultural contexts as essential in learning
- language mediates learning
- learning occurs on the social plane before being internalized
- zone of proximal development (the difference between assisted and unassisted performance)

- a complex, interconnected and active process
- best thought of consisting of approaches and intentions
- approaches:
- feedback
- hints
- instructions
- explanations
- modelling
- questioning
- intentions:
- direction maintenance
- recruitment of interest
- cognitive structuring
- reducing the degrees of freedom
- contingency management / frustration control

Jane S
Jane F
Learning as acquiring new behaviours, processes, skills, knowledge or understandings.
Watch the video of the teacher working with a group of children. What principles of scaffolding does she use to help support the children's learning?

- feedback
- hints
- instructions
- explanations
- modelling
- questioning

- direction maintenance
- recruitment of interest
- cognitive structuring
- reducing the degrees of freedom
- contingency management / frustration control
Potentially useful further reading:
• Daniels, H. and Edwards, A. (Eds.) (2004) The RoutledgeFalmer reader in psychology of education. London: RoutledgeFalmer. (Good coverage of contemporary issues)
• Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Theoretical at times but a key text amongst sociocultural educationalists)
• Mercer, N. (1995) The guided construction of knowledge: talk amongst teachers and learners. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd. (Has perhaps been superseded by his more recent work but still relevant and thought-provoking)
• Rogoff, B. (1990) Apprenticeship in thinking. New York: Oxford University Press. (Develops notions of scaffolding especially in early education)
• Whitebread, D. (Ed.) (2000) The psychology of teaching and learning in the primary school. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer. (Good coverage of contemporary issues)
• Wood, D. (1998) How children think and learn (2nd Edition). Oxford: Blackwell. (Classic text, perhaps dated but useful nonetheless)
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