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Learning Theories

Learning theories are frameworks that theorise a persons ability to learn new information, and their ability to retain and share the information learned.

Liz Franks

on 13 September 2015

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Transcript of Learning Theories

Social Constructivism
Learning Theories
BF Skinner (1904-1990)
Skinner believed that by changing behaviour, children could be remoulded by using positive reinforcements to discourage the inappropriate action. Children do not ‘become’ adults and choose professions because of their genetic makeup but because of the environment that has shaped them. Remove the undesirable behaviour by supporting the positive behaviour or rewarding the child when they choose a more positive choice (Kearns, 2010).

Four Stages:
Sensory-Motor, 0-2
Preoperational, 2-7
Concrete Operations, 7-11
Formal Operations, 11-16

Humanistic Learning Theory
Humanistic Theorists
Major Factors
Humanism emphasizes each individual is unique and all individuals have the "natural desire" to grow and learn in a positive way. According to humanistic learning theory:
Learning is student centered and very personalized according to each individual.
Learning is learner self-directed. Learners choose what they want and need to learn.
Educators act as facilitators encouraging students to learn and discover for themselves.
Feeling and emotions are the keys to learning, communication and understanding.
Self-evaluation is the only meaningful evaluation of a student's work.

Application in classroom
Co-operative/collabrative learning,
encourage students work in collabrative small groups .
Pros/Cons of Theory
Carl Rogers
Founder of person-centred psychotherapy
Leading theorist in the development of humanistic learning theory
Places emphasis on what learning was, the feeling of learning and what learning strive to be.

Main Theorist
Cognitivism's main theorist is credited to be Jean Piaget, a Swiss Developmental Psychologist

Application in
An educator skilled in these cognitive milestones can assess each child's ability in each developmental stage and address any concerns, assisting the child develop to their age appropriate levels.
Pros and Cons
Each child goes through the same developmental stages. Learning milestones are measurable in this instance.

Children learn at different paces, due to learning difficulties, mental health and physical capabilities.
Major Factors:
The Three Elements
A term used in psychology and in cognitive science. A way in which a person organises and categorises the information they learn and already know.
Transition Processes
: a state of cognitive imbalance between an individual’s understanding of the world and their experiences
: a state of cognitive balance between an individual’s understanding of the world and their experiences
when an existing schema is modified in response to new learned information
an existing schema is used to understand a new experience in the environment.

Core Concepts/Characteristics:
So what does it mean by the word ‘behaviour’ or to behave is; to conduct oneself properly or as desired.

The manner in which behaviour is influenced by the many variables and these variables often determine whether the behaviour is acceptable or not. It is during our childhood that the educator needs to be positive supportive adults, develop positive relationships, feel good about themselves and learn and understand how to behave in different situations.

Application in the Classroom/Workplace as an Educator:
• Be a good role model
• Always give positively worded instructions.
• Be assertive when behaviour is inappropriate – don’t let poor behaviour escalate.
• Collaborative with colleagues and parents to develope guidelines and managing incidents.
• Stay calm when reasoning.
• Be flexible and avoid being rigid.
• Redirect, distract or have a ’space alone’.

Pros/Cons of Theory:
By having adult intervention a child will develop confidence, self-control, do well at school, make good friends and feel good about themselves!

Part of developing cooperative responsible relationships is to ensure that parents are supported and educated in the area of guidance and discipline.

Theorist don’t take into consideration that parents uses different techniques from the other.

Different cultures and events in a child’s environment may affect the behaviour guidelines.

Holz, L.O.U.I.S.E. (2012). CHCIC510A Establish and Implement Plans for Developing Cooperative Behaviour. (CHC08 Community Services Training Package Version 4 ed.). Meadowbank: Training and Education Support Industry Skills Unit.
Kearns, K.A.R.E.N & Austin, B.E.V. (2010). Birth to Big School. (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
McLeod, S. A. (2015). Jean Piaget. Retrieved 7 September, 2015, from www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

Pritchard, A. (2013). Ways of Learning Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom. (3rd ed.). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 19, pp. 119-121
Main Theorist
The foundation of the social constructivism theory was laid by Lev Vygotsky. He was a Russian psychologist, known throughout the world for his sociocultural theory. (Aboutcom, 2015)

Major factors
The social constructivist theory focuses on the idea that individuals are shaped by their view of the world they live in and their culture.

Key assumptions of this perspective include:
1. What the individual/student believes is important, whether correct or incorrect.
2. Each individual will base their learning on the understanding that is meaningful to them.
3. Constructing and understanding a meaning is an active and constant process
4. Conceptual changes may be needed to learn.
5. If individuals construct a new meaning, they may give it some acceptance or even rejection.
6. Learning is not a passive process; it depends on the students taking responsibility to learn. (Ucdoerie, 2015)
Application in the classroom
Students work mostly in groups
The curriculum is presented with the emphasis on the big concept
students questions are highly valued
students are viewed as thinkers with emerging theories
Teachers are the facilitators
students point of view is sought by the teachers to understand student learning
Assessments are interwoven with teaching, through observations etc
(Slidesharenet, 2015)
Pros/Cons of Theory

Students enjoy working collaboratively
A higher level of thinking occurs in a group
Hands on learning is engaging for students
Rather than just being told what to do, students have an imput.
(Slidesharenet, 2015)

Students may prefer to work alone
Rifts may be created by teachers not accepting any responsibility
Students may feel that learning is based on their ability to discover new knowledge, causing low self esteem etc.
(Slidesharenet, 2015)
Learning Group 41
Wiki Group 5

Emotional literacy classes
based on learners life experiences, respect student’s feelings and aspirations, right to self-determination, social personal development, provide opportunity for success.
Abraham Maslow
Father of Humanistic Psychology
Believes that choice, creativity, values and self realization are more important than objectivity.
Famous for proposing “Hierarchy of Needs”

Hierarchy of
Discovery learning
, social activities instead of competitive learning, filed trips, learning and interest centers encourage students to learn and discover what they want and need to learn.
Pros of humanism theory:
Cons of humanism theory:
Humanisam considers the understanding of learners' inner thought and admits their differences in interests, needs, experience and individual personality. It has active significance on the improvement of educators.
Humanisam takes the relationship between educators and learners and teaching style into consideration
Emphasizing learners' potential unilaterally, ignoring the effect of environment and education
Emphasizes the center position of learners excessively, influencing the sufficiency of education and teaching
Extending the learners' interests and hobby excessively, understanding the power of society and education
Understimating the effect of teacher

[DU Jingna (2012), Higher Education of social science, 3(1), 32-36.]

"The goal of the theory is to explain the mechanisms and processes by which the infant, and then the child, develops into an individual who can reason and think using hypotheses." McLeod, S. A. (2015)
Jean Piaget
(Born: 09-08-1896- Died: 16-09-1986)
was a Swiss Developmental Psychologist who greatly influenced early educational practices.
Key Factors
Jean formulated the Constructivism theory which is based on learning factual information, learning to understand new ideas and to learn new skills, both mental and physical by drawing on prior knowledge and experience in a new learning situation.
3 key questions can draw information to the forefront in a new learning situation.
• What do you already know? (Pritchard, 2013)
• What do you want to find out? (Pritchard, 2013)
• What have you learnt? (Pritchard, 2013)
It is valuable for teachers to go through a process of “activating prior knowledge” (Pritchard, 2013) using strategies to make the individual think about the topic or remember what has already been covered.
in the classroom
Pros of Constructivism
collaboration with others, being
able to activate prior knowledge about
particular topics which enhance overall
learning and using key questions to
ensure the information is specific and
on topic.

Cons of Constructivism
include a lack of
of social interaction. Greater knowledge can be
gained through Social Constructivism, as
other individuals bring different
experiences and knowledge to the learning
environment, that constructivist
models lack.
Pros & Cons
Learning Theories have been developed through the contribution and research of key theorists within this past century.

Learning theories are frameworks that theorise a persons ability to learn new information, and their ability to retain and share the information learned.

This presentation covers the theories from Jean Piaget, BF Skinner, Abraham Maslow and Lev Vygotsky.
Aboutcom. (2015). Aboutcom. Retrieved 10 September, 2015, from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesmz/p/vygotsky.htm
Slidesharenet. (2015). Slidesharenet. Retrieved 10 September, 2015, from http://www.slideshare.net/mlegan31/constructivism-in-the-classroom

Learning theories have evolved considerably over the past century as clearly evidenced through this presentation. Specialists within their fields, Jean Piaget (Pritchard, 2013), BF Skinner (Kearns, 2010), Abraham Maslow (Jingna, 2012) and Lev Vygotsky (Aboutcom, 2015) formulated theories through substantial investigation, research and testing which have shaped education and learning. These theories have formulated learning and teaching models used today (Pritchard, 2013).

Earlier theories still have place within educational settings today, particularly in settings where technologies are not available, which makes the Social Constuctivism model of learning impossible, for example 3rd world countries.

'Social constructionism places great emphasis on everyday interactions between people and how they use language to construct their reality. It regards the social practices people engage in as the focus of enquiry. This is very similar to the focus of grounded theory but without the emphasis on language' (O'donnell, 2012).

Social Constructivism allows for collaborative learning which utilises technologies available within todays' environment, which creates open communication and collaborative participation globally. The key is to determine the validity of the information available through the larger internet source.
O'donnell, .A.M. (2012). Social constructivism. (1st ed.). Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 365-385
McLeod, S. A. (2014). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
Ucdoerie. (2015). Ucdoerie. Retrieved 10 September, 2015, from http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php/Education_Theory/Constructivism_and_Social_Constructivism_in_the_Classroom
McLeod, S. A. (2015). Humanism. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/humanistic.html
DU Jingna. (2012). Higher Education of social science.3(1), pp.32-36
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