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How Do We Learn? Six Learning Theories

A review of six learning theories from across the spectrum.
by

Kurt Waywood

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of How Do We Learn? Six Learning Theories

What are some ways that we learn? Social Learning Theory Important Minds Albert Bandura, Dale Schunk, and Barry Zimmerman What is this? We learn from observing one another. But How?? Modeling:
Imitating the things others do. Self-Efficacy:
Believing you can do it!
(I think I can, I think I can) Self-Regulation:
TAKE CHARGE! Sociocultural Theory Important Minds Lev Vygotsky, Barbara Rogoff,
Mary Gauvin, Jean Lave Contexts Social We learn from those we surround ourselves with. Cultural Our background is important. Who you are counts! Historical What's going on around us can certainly affect us. Cognitive-Developement Theory Important Minds Jean Piaget, Jerome Rbuner, Robbie Case, Kurt Fischer, and Lawrence Kohlberg 4 Stages 1) Sensorimotor 2) Preoperational 3) Concrete 4) Formal When: Birth to 2
What: Children focus on what's going on at the moment. Based on behaviors and perceptions. When: 2 through 7
What: Vocabulary expands. Children can talk about the things around them but cannot think logically about them yet. When: Age 7 through 12
What: "Adult-like logic appears but is limited to reasoning about conrete, real-life situations" (Ormrod, 2009, p. 149). When: 12 through adulthood
What: Student can logically think about abstract ideas and later develop advanced reasoning skills. Schemes: "Groups of similar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment" (Ormrod, 2009, p. 141). Schemes are initially developed in response to our senses and behaviors toward objects. They later become mental schemes, or as Ormrod (2009), calls categories or concepts. Examples of Cognitive Developement Learning Assimilation: Using a current scheme to understand new events and objects. Accomodation: Manipulating an existing scheme in order to understand new events and objects. Internalization: Integrating social activities with day-to-day learning. Synaptogenesis and Synaptic Pruning: The brain continues to develop from birth through adulthood. Nativism Important Minds Renee Baillargeon, Elizabeth Spelke, Noam Chomsky What is it? Primarily, it's your heredity......your genetics! Maturation: how you grow and develop based on your genetic makeup. These changes are like "inhereted biological instructions" (Ormrod, 2009, p. 139). Examples: motor skills, brain developement, muscular control, physical fitness, etc. Temperament: How children respond emotionally to their environment. This is also genetic! Learning can make you angry, frustrated, happy, curious, anxious, or bored. The same can be applied to social interactions. Children have a "sensitive period." Also determined by genetics, all children have a certain age when they will be affected more than usual by the environment around them. Examples: Nutrition, language developement, etc. Self-Determination Theory Important Minds Edward Deci, Richard Ryan, and Johnmarshall Reeve Human Beings have 3 basic needs: 1) Competence: Dealing with the things that happen around you. Autonomy: Being able to do things on your own for yourself. Relatedness: having a social life; being able to connect with other human beings. Human beings have a basic, instinctual need for self-determination. We see what other people have and what makes them happy. This is called: Internatlized Motivation: "That person looks happy. Maybe if I do those things, I can be happy too!" Goal Theory Important Minds Carol Dweck, Carol Ames, Paul Pintrich, Edwin Locke, Gary Latham What is it? Pretty simple..... We set goals, and we learn in order to accomplish those goals. Two types of goals: 1) Social goals: setting goals that pertain to interpersonal relationships with other people. We all just want to be liked.....but what do we do about it? We set a... 2) Core Goals: long-term goals. The things of which dreams are made. This is what drives us....this is what makes our future. There are many other ways to learn and many more theories to study. These are just a few. No person fits any single theory perfectly, but a mixed blend helps you get an excellent look of how the human mind really ticks. Reference

Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2009). Essentials of Educational Psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle-River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
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