Learning Theories Sample
Cognitive theory argues that in a learning environment, the instructor facilitates learning but is not the one who delivers the message. The first principle of this theory emphasizes on the importance of the information to be learned. Emphasis is given to what is to be learned to ensure effective learning. This principle argues that teachers should expound the main points on the board to make it easier for students to understand the content in textbooks( Evensen, 2000).
The second principle argues that learners respond to information in such a way that the information becomes more meaningful. Images, examples, demonstrations, and earlier knowledge are used to add meaning to information and to enable one easily move from known to unknown. This enables teachers to understand students’ entry behavior( Evensen, 2000).
The third principle argues that information is stored in the long term memory in an organized manner depending on the way learners comprehend the world( Evensen , 2000) . The instructor should help students organize new information in their mind by giving them the right organizational structure which they are familiar with. Alternatively, the teacher can motivate the students to create organizational structures but guide them to avoid a situation where students form a structure that reflects uninformed view of things that leads to misunderstanding . If the students are not well guided, they can simply memorize notes without any structure and this information is not retained in the mind for long( Evensen, 2000).
The forth principle emphasizes on the need for evaluation of one’s understanding of information which leads to refinement and revision of the learned content. The fifth principle argues that practice enables transfer of learning to new contexts. The sixth principle emphasizes on the need for learners to know their learning techniques and their use to facilitate learning( Evensen , 2000). The teacher should help students learn how to put the strategies into use at the right learning stage. This principle emphasizes on the need for students to learn how to learn.
The cognitive theory assumes that; people can learn through watching others, the learning process is internal which may or may not necessarily affect behavior, behavior is directed towards certain objectives, one controls his/her own behavior in order to achieve his/her goals and punishment and reinforcement affect one both directly and indirectly(Leonard,2002).
The factors influencing cognitive learning include environmental factors such as space and weather. In cognitive learning, the mind plays the role of storage and retrieval of information(Leonard ,2002) .
Allan Paivio is an emeritus professor of psychology at the university of Ontario. He has done a lot of research on imagery, memory, language and cognition. He has published numerous psychology articles with his most popular article being the one on dual-coding theory( Evensen, 2000). This theory suggests that visual and verbal information are stored separately in long term memory. He emphasizes the importance of imagery in cognitive operations in this theory(Leonard ,2002).
Robert Gagne was an American educational psychologist who was popular for his conditions of learning. He was the pioneer of the science of instruction for the American air force during the world war 2(Leonard 2002). He is renowned for his involvement in the application of concepts of instructional theory to the design of multimedia based learning and computer based training. In his theory, he assumes that there are different types of learning which are brought about by different instructional conditions. Gagne argues that there are nine events of instructions in his theory(Leonard ,2002) . First, the instructor should capture the attention of the learners, inform the learners of learning objectives, stimulate recall of prior learning which helps facilitate the learning process, present the new content in an organized manner, provide learning guidance so that learners can encode content for long term storage, elicit performance by encouraging the learner to practice the new skill, provide immediate and specific feedback of the performance, evaluate performance without giving additional training and finally enhance retention and transfer to the job by encouraging repetition(Leonard ,2002).
Howard Gardner was a professor of education at Harvard university. His theory of multiple intelligences suggests that intelligence should not be based on IQ testing. He suggests eight different intelligences which are: Linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalistic intelligence(Leonard ,2002) .
Benjamin Bloom was a jewish-american educational psychologist who contributed to the theory of mastery learning and classification of educational objectives. He also investigated the development of exceptional talent. Bloom’s taxonomy includes three domains: cognitive-demonstrated by the recall of knowledge, intellectual skills such as comprehension, organizing ideas, data analysis and synthesis, knowledge application, choosing between alternatives in problem solving, evaluation of ideas and actions. Affective domain which is demonstrated by characters indicating attitudes if awareness, concern, interest, attention and responsibility. Psychomotor domain characterized by physical skills, coordination, grace, manipulation, dexterity, strength and speed which demonstrate fine motor skills (Leonard ,2002).
Constructivism theory argues that human beings generate knowledge and meaning from their experience. Learning is influenced by environmental and motivational factors and the memory plays the work of storage and retrieval. This theory assumes that the nature of the learner, background and culture, motivation, nature of learning process and collaboration between learners are very essential components of the learning process( Klein,2001).
Jerome Bruner was a professor of social psychology at Harvard University. He has contributed immensely to the process of education and development of curriculum theory. He argues that teachers should engage students in their own learning process. ( Klein, 2001)
Jean Piajet was a Swiss developmental psychologist best known for epistemological studies in children. He came up with four cognitive stages namely: sensorimotor (infancy), preoccupational (toddler and early childhood), concrete operational (elementary and early adolescence) and formal operational (adolescence and adult stage) ( Klein,2001).
John Dewey was a leading philosopher and educational theorist. He believed that learning was active and he viewed schooling as unnecessarily long. He emphasized on a progressive and practical education where students are engaged in real life tasks and challenges(Leonard, 2002).