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Copy of Learning Theories

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Ali Millsom

on 26 November 2015

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Transcript of Copy of Learning Theories

Zone of Proximal Development
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) describes the method by which a competent adult may assess a child's current level of development and the room for which the child has to grow. (Johnston, Jane; Nahmad-Williams, Lindy Sep 19, 2014)

Methods of assessment:
Dynamic testing
Once educators are aware of a child’s current developmental stage. The educator will create an appropriate learning environment while adjusting the support level so the child can move beyond their initial ideas and develop their conceptual understanding.

Activities should be designed to challenge the child’s thinking.
Activities may include:
dramatic play
dress ups
show and tell

Skilled Adult Support

The parent or educator may model behaviours and/or provide verbal instructions. The child then seeks to understand the actions or instructions, internalises the information and uses it to guide or regulate their own performance.
Who was Lev Vygotsky?
Vygotsky’s theories promotes social interaction with peers, describing peer groups as compromising of both those who are equally competent and those who are more competent (Johnston, Jane; Nahmad-Williams, Lindy Sep 19, 2014). Vygotsky recommended a social context where a more competent child would be paired with a less competent one, so that former can elevate the latter’s competence. (Johnston, Jane; Nahmad-Williams, Lindy Sep 19, 2014)

Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
was a psychologist at the
Moscow Institute of
Vygotsky’s research preceded
much of Piaget's initial work
on cognitive development.
Smagorinsky, Peter; Fly, Pamela K. April, 1993, Vol.42 (2)

Vygotsky focused on describing how socio-historical influences modelled the human capacity for language and thought, and formed the interactionist learning theory.
Smagorinsky, Peter; Fly, Pamela K. April, 1993, Vol.42 (2)
Key Ideas of Interactionist Theory
Zone of proximal development
The importance of skilled adult support.
Modelling and interaction
Social interaction with peers

Social Interaction

Learning occurs every day of a human being's life from the first day until the last. Little of that learning occurs as a conscious response to the teachings in a classroom environment. The exact process that allows humans to acquire knowledge whether formally or informally has been the subject of centuries of study and thousands of bodies of work.

This presentation will examine three unique theoretical perspectives on learning to provide a better understanding of different learning avenues and how educators at all levels may apply them to achieve successful learning outcomes.
Presented by
Natasha Bloomfield with the Interactionist theory
Janelle Scrivener with the Nativist theory
and Ali Millsom with the Behaviourist theory.
Learning Theories
Avram Noam Chomsky was born in 1928 in Philadelphia.
His work during the 1950’s can be attributed to the decline in the behaviourism theory and introducing the thought that people are born with the skills required to acquire language and literacy.

Chomsky theorises that we are all born with the tools to learn and understand language. He believes we are all born with a Language Acquisition Device, also known as LAD.

Chomsky believes that there is a “critical period” of when children will acquire language skills that will aid in the development of language and literacy. This critical stage, as he has suggested, is from two years old through to adolesonce.
The Language Acquisition Device is a tool that Chomsky believes we are all born with that aids in the acquisition of languages.
In the diagram below as cited in Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, pg 234, it shows how language is learnt. From the primary input of adult interaction to the LAD being activated and the child acquiring the language skills to speak.
Chomksy feels that children learn a language better when it is spoken at home rather then being taught. “Children absorb language unconsciously, provided that they hear it around them… “ (Chomsky, A beginner’s Guide, pg 393.) during the critical period from about two years through to adolescence. It is also believed that the LAD can be attributed to children being able to acquire language at such a young age. This knowledge can also be linked to why it is harder to learn a second or third language later in life.

In the 1950’s Chomsky reviewed Skinner’s book Verbal Behaviour. Chomsky’s review of Skinner’s booked signalled the end of Behaviourism, as it made us think of ourselves as “creative beings not as animals or robots” which is how the theory of behaviourism sees humans. Skinners states in his book Verbal Behaviour that an organism will only respond to stimuli, where as Chomsky believes that children respond to everything. They are constantly absorbing and learning all the time, not just when stimulated.

(Johnston, Jane; Nahmad-Williams, Lindy Sep 19, 2014)
Johnston, Jane; Nahmad-Williams, Lindy (19th Sep, 2014). Early Childhood Studies. P.280, P.143, P.28, P.116

Smagorinsky, Peter; Fly, Pamela K. April, 1993, Vol.42 (2), the social environment of the classroom: a Vygotskian perspective on small group process.

James A. Jaramillo, MA/ABD. Vygotsky’s Sociocultral theory and contributions to the development of constructivist curricula, Education Vol 117 No.1. (P.134-P.140)

Department of psychology and social relations, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Science, Vol.213, 31 July 1981. Selection by Consequences.

John P. Hewitt 1941. Self and society: a symbolic interactionist social psychology; 2nd Ed.

Chapman, Stephen, Garnett, Steve Jervis, Alan. 2011. Improving Classroom Performance theoretical perspectives. (P.17)

Dismor James, the American Psychologist, Nov, 1992, Vol.47 (11), P.1454 (10). Article.

Website consulted for reading. http://www.simplypsychology.org/Vygotsky.html

Website consulted 20th August, image retrived. https://www.google.com.au/search?tbm=isch&q=Lev+Vygotsky&hl=en&authuser=0&gws_rd=ssl#gws_rd=ssl&imgrc=gwFdfwhVHIzLpM%3A

Hauser, MD. Chomsky, N. Fitch, WT. (2002). http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20021122.pdf

Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language. (pg 234).

Dean, M. (date). Chomsky, A beginner’s Guide. Kindle Edition. Hachette Book Group (AU).

McGilvray, JA. (n.d) Noam Chomsky: American Linguist. http://www.britannica.com/biography/Noam-Chomsky#ref1033673

Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. Simon and Schuster.

McLeod, S. A. (2013). Pavlov's Dogs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html

Kearns, Karen. (2010) Frameworks for learning and development (2nd ed). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. Pearson Australia.

DEMİREZEN, M. (1988). Behaviorist theory and language learning. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 3(3).

Study Place. (2007). On Skinner and Behaviourism. Study Place. Retrieved from http://www.studyplace.org/wiki/On_Skinner_and_Behaviorism

Website consulted for reading. http://www.simplypsychology.org/Vygotsky.html
Website consulted for reading. http://www.simplypsychology.org/Vygotsky.html
Who was B.F. Skinner?
To conclude this presentation it is vital to understand that all learning theories play a significant role in a child's learning environment.

A single learning theory cannot be singled out as the most effective of all learning strategies. In today’s presentation we offered insight into three learning theories:

The Interactionist theory which factors in a child’s social environment with understanding the importance of adult modeling.
The Nativist theory which theorises that we are all born with the tools to learn and understand language, and that we are all born with a Language Acquisition Device, also known as LAD.
And finally, the Behaviourist theory that a learner is a blank slate and is shaped by stimus and reinforcement.
Who is Noam Chomsky?
LAD or Language Faculty
Chomsky Theories
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an American psychologist, researcher and social philosopher. He headed the Harvard school of Psychology for 16 years, during which he taught his theories on conditioning, observable behaviour and human response.

Skinner is most well known for his studies on observable responses to stimulus and behavioural conditioning as it pertains to verbal language and academic learning.

The theory of how learning occurs during this process is known as ‘habit-formation-by-reinforcement’ (Demirezen, 1988).

Key Behaviourist ideas:

The Blank Slate
Operant Conditioning
Classical Conditioning
The Blank Slate

Behaviourists believe that all children are created as empty vessels and require all learning to be consciously created through teaching by an adult role-model (Kearns, 2010). Capability develops as a response to stimuli, such as examples provided by a competent practitioner.

The learner is then required to emulate the example (a process known as ‘trial-and-error’) and when the learner displays an acceptable level of competence, the practitioner rewards them with positive feedback. This stimulus-response cycle creates a learned habit (On Skinner and Behaviourism, 2007).
Operant & Classical Conditioning
Classical Conditioning
Famously studied in the nineteenth century by Ivan Pavlov, the theory of Classical Conditioning describes the process by which an unconditioned response (a ‘natural’ association) can be leveraged to create a conditioned response (an ‘unnatural’ association) (McLeod, 2013).

Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning describes the process by which an association or response can be created where none previously exists. This can be observed in language learning where a child repeatedly hears the word ‘apple’ when they are handed an apple slice. Eventually the child will connect the word symbol to the site, smell and taste of an apple slice and can begin to attempt to emulate the word sound to request a snack.
Image sourced from: http://images.flatworldknowledge.com/stangor/stangor-fig07_003.jpg
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