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					My Funderstanding Lecture Notes
                   • Learning Theories




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      Constructivism
Definition
                                                  Discussion
                                                  There are several guiding
Constructivism is a philosophy of learning        principles of constructivism:
founded on the premise that, by reflecting on
our experiences, we construct our own             Learning is a search for
understanding of the world we live in. Each of    meaning. Therefore, learning
us generates our own "rules" and "mental          must start with the issues
                                                  around which students are
models," which we use to make sense of our
                                                  actively trying to construct
experiences. Learning, therefore, is simply the   meaning.
process of adjusting our mental models to
accommodate new experiences.                      Meaning requires
                                                  understanding wholes as well




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                                                                  B.F.Skinner
        Behaviorism                                               Behavioral
                                                                  Psychologist



                                               Discussion:
Definition                                     Experiments by behaviorists
                                               identify conditioning as a
                                               universal learning process.
Behaviorism is a theory of animal and          There are two different types of
human learning that only focuses on            conditioning, each yielding a
objectively observable behaviors and           different behavioral pattern:
discounts mental activities. Behavior          Classic conditioning occurs
theorists define learning as nothing more      when a natural reflex responds
than the acquisition of new behavior.          to a stimulus. The most
                                               popular example is Pavlov's
                                               observation that dogs salivate
                                               when they eat or even see




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                  Piaget                                               JEAN PIAGET
                                                                       1896 - 1980

Definition
Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget        Discussion
(1896-1980) is renowned for constructing a
highly influential model of child development       Piaget's theory identifies four
and learning. Piaget's theory is based on the       developmental stages and the
                                                    processes by which children
idea that the developing child builds cognitive
                                                    progress through them. The
structures--in other words, mental "maps,"          four stages are:
schemes, or networked concepts for
understanding and responding to physical            Sensorimotor stage (birth - 2
experiences within his or her environment.          years old)--The child, through
Piaget further attested that a child's cognitive    physical interaction with his or
structure increases in sophistication with          her environment, builds a set of
                                                    concepts about reality and how
development, moving from a few innate
                                                    it works. This is the stage
reflexes such as crying and sucking to highly
complex mental activities.

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         Neuroscience
                                                 Discussion
                                                 The nervous system and the
                                                 brain are the physical
Definition                                       foundation of the human
                                                 learning process.
Neuroscience is the study of the human           Neuroscience links our
nervous system, the brain, and the biological    observations about cognitive
                                                 behavior with the actual
basis of consciousness, perception, memory,      physical processes that
and learning.                                    support such behavior. This
                                                 theory is still "young" and is
                                                 undergoing rapid, controversial
                                                 development.




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Brain-based Learning
                                                  Discussion
                                                  People often say that
                                                  everyone can learn. Yet the
Definition                                        reality is that everyone does
                                                  learn. Every person is born
This learning theory is based on the structure    with a brain that functions as an
                                                  immensely powerful
and function of the brain. As long as the brain
                                                  processor. Traditional
is not prohibited from fulfilling its normal      schooling, however, often
processes, learning will occur.                   inhibits learning by
                                                  discouraging, ignoring, or
                                                  punishing the brain's natural
                                                  learning processes.




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http://www2.umist.ac.uk/staff/talsc/TaLSC/VARK/default.htm

          Learning Styles
  Definition                                            Discussion
                                                        The concept of learning styles
                                                        is rooted in the classification of
  This approach to learning emphasizes the fact         psychological types. The
  that individuals perceive and process                 learning styles theory is based
                                                        on research demonstrating
  information in very different ways. The learning
                                                        that, as the result of heredity,
  styles theory implies that how much                   upbringing, and current
  individuals learn has more to do with whether         environmental demands,
  the educational experience is geared toward           different individuals have a
  their particular style of learning than whether       tendency to both perceive and
  or not they are "smart." In fact, educators           process information differently.
  should not ask, "Is this student smart?" but          The different ways of doing so
                                                        are generally classified as:
  rather "How is this student smart?"




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http://www.ourschoolzone.com/main/dox/project/mi/mi.htm


 Multiple Intelligences
 Definition                                          Discussion
                                                     Gardner defines an
                                                     "intelligence" as a group of
 This theory of human intelligence, developed        abilities that:
 by psychologist Howard Gardner, suggests
 there are at least seven ways that people have      Is somewhat autonomous from
 of perceiving and understanding the world.          other human capacities
 Gardner labels each of these ways a distinct        Has a core set of information-
                                                     processing operations
 "intelligence"--in other words, a set of skills
                                                     Has a distinct history in the
 allowing individuals to find and resolve            stages of development we
 genuine problems they face.                         each pass through
                                                     Has plausible roots in
                                                     evolutionary history




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  Right Brain vs. Left
         Brain
                                                 Discussion
                                                 Experimentation has shown
Definition                                       that the two different sides, or
                                                 hemispheres, of the brain are
                                                 responsible for different
This theory of the structure and functions of    manners of thinking. The
the mind suggests that the two different sides   following table illustrates the
of the brain control two different "modes" of    differences between left-brain
thinking. It also suggests that each of us       and right-brain thinking:
prefers one mode over the other.                 -----------------------------------
                                                 Left Brain
                                                 Logical
                                                 Sequential
                                                 Rational




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      Communities of
         Practice
                                                Basic Elements
                                                The communities of practice
                                                concept was pioneered by the
Definition                                      Institute for Research on
                                                Learning, a spin-off of the
                                                Xerox Corporation in Palo Alto,
This approach views learning as an act of       CA. The Institute pursues a
membership in a "community of practice." The    cross-disciplinary approach to
theory seeks to understand both the structure   learning research, involving
of communities and how learning occurs in       cognitive scientists,
them.                                           organizational anthropologists,
                                                and traditional educators.
                                                Communities of practice is
                                                based on the following




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       Control Theory
                                                   Discussion
                                                   Responding to complaints that
Definition                                         today's students are
                                                   "unmotivated," Glasser attests
                                                   that all living creatures
This theory of motivation proposed by William
                                                   "control" their behavior to
Glasser contends that behavior is never            maximize their need
caused by a response to an outside stimulus.       satisfaction. According to
Instead, the control theory states that behavior   Glasser, if students are not
is inspired by what a person wants most at any     motivated to do their
given time: survival, love, power, freedom, or     schoolwork, it's because they
any other basic human need.                        view schoolwork as irrelevant
                                                   to their basic human needs.




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         Observational
           Learning
                                                 Discussion
                                                 There are several guiding
Definition                                       principles behind observational
Observational learning, also called social       learning, or social learning
                                                 theory:
learning theory, occurs when an observer's
behavior changes after viewing the behavior of   The observer will imitate the
a model. An observer's behavior can be           model's behavior if the model
affected by the positive or negative             possesses characteristics--
consequences--called vicarious reinforcement     things such as talent,
or vicarious punishment-- of a model's           intelligence, power, good
behavior.                                        looks, or popularity--that the
                                                 observer finds attractive or
                                                 desirable.




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  Vygotsky and Social                                               Lev Semenovich
                                                                    Vygotsky

      Cognition                                                     (1896-1934)



                                                 Discussion

Definition                                       Culture makes two sorts of
The social cognition learning model asserts      contributions to a child's
                                                 intellectual development. First,
that culture is the prime determinant of
                                                 through culture children acquire
individual development. Humans are the only      much of the content of their
species to have created culture, and every       thinking, that is, their
human child develops in the context of a         knowledge. Second, the
culture. Therefore, a child's learning           surrounding culture provides a
development is affected in ways large and        child with the processes or
small by the culture--including the culture of   means of their thinking, what
                                                 Vygotskians call the tools of
family environment--in which he or she is
                                                 intellectual adaptation. In short,
enmeshed.




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     So What Does this all Mean for
         Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
  – Practice/ Rote learning = (Behaviorism)
  – Practice Aimed at Improving Different Right Brain/ Left Brain Cognitive
    Activities = (Left Vs. Right Brain & Behaviorism)
  – Group Learning = (Social Cognition /Observational Learning/ Community
    Learning)
  – Project Based Learning = (Constructivism/ Control Theory)
  – Projects allowing students to create mental maps of concepts = (Piaget)
  – Projects geared to different age groups and cognitive levels = (Piaget)
  – Alternating Methods of Information Delivery = (Catering to Differing
    Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligences)




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   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans

• Learning Methods
 – Practice/ Rote learning = (Behaviorism)
 – Use If your Lesson Plan Features Practice.




                http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Projects allowing students to create mental
   maps of concepts = (Piaget)
 – Use this method if you have the students make
   concept maps.




                http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Practice Aimed at Improving Different Right
   Brain/ Left Brain Cognitive Activities = (Left Vs.
   Right Brain & Behaviorism)
 – Use If your Lesson Plan Features Practice.
 – I used this approach Teaching Drawing.




                 http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Group Learning = (Social Cognition
   /Observational Learning/ Community Learning)
 – Use this One if you Break the Kids Into Groups




                http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Project Based Learning = (Constructivism/
   Control Theory)
 – Use this one if the student is given a project that
   is self directed.
 – Use this one if the Student is Given Charge of
   His/Her Learning.



                 http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Project Based Learning = (Constructivism/
   Control Theory)
 – Use this one if the student is given a project that
   is self directed.
 – Use this one if the Student is Given Charge of
   His/Her Learning.



                 http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Projects geared to different age groups and
   cognitive levels = (Piaget)

 – Use this method if You are Setting Age Limits
 – For Your Lessons.




                http://www.funderstanding.com/about_learning.cfm
   So What Does this all Mean for
       Your Lesson Plans
• Learning Methods
 – Alternating Methods of Information Delivery =
   (Catering to Differing Learning Styles & Multiple
   Intelligences)
 – Use this Style if you Change you delivery
   methods.
 – Visual, Aural, Kinesthetic. Etc.



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