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Learning Theorist & Theories

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1 Learning Theorist & Theories
Cognitive and Behavioral Miriam Mallory

2 INTRODUCTION Behaviorism Behaviorism is a school of psychology that focuses on the observable, measurable aspects of experience and that, educationally, is stimulus-response based. Cognitivism Cognitivism stresses cognition and sees learning as occurring within the learner. It focuses on processing rather than behavior. Adult Learning Adult learning differs from children’s learning in that it is self-directed, problem-centered, experience based, and more often relevant to life. Andragogy Andragogy is learning theory specifically for adults.

3 Edward Thorndike Behavioral Theorist
Edward Thorndike is one of the great learning theorists of all time. He believed that instruction should pursue specified, socially useful goals. In 1928 his classic study, Adult Learning, posited that the ability to learn did not decline until age 35, and then it declined only 1 percent per year, thus going against the grain of the time that "you can't teach old dogs new trick." However, it was later shown that the speed of learning, not the power to learn declined with age. Thorndike  also formulated the law of effect, which states that behaviors that are followed by pleasant consequences will be more likely to be repeated in the future. Thorndike ( )

4 Thorndike’s Theory Thorndike's setup of the puzzle boxes is an example of instrumental conditioning: An animal makes some response, and if it is rewarded, the response is learned. If the response is not rewarded, it gradually disappears. The entire experiment was based on animals being placed into these contraptions, and could only escape from it by making some specific response. Such escape procedures would be pulling a sting or pushing a button. The way his experiment worked was by placing a hungry cat into the box, then observing its behavior as it tried to escape and obtain some food. For the most part, he noticed that the cats obtained the food only by "trial-and-error."

5 Thorndike-Maximized Learning
The law of effect stated that the likely recurrence of a response is generally governed by its consequence or effect generally in the form of reward or punishment.  The law of recency stated that the most recent response is likely to govern the recurrence.  The law of exercise stated that stimulus-response associations are strengthened through repetition

6 Thorndike's Theory of Learning
1)The most basic form of learning is trial and error learning. 2)Learning is incremental not insightful. 3)Learning is not mediated by ideas. 4)All mammals learn in the same manner. 5)Law of readiness Interference with goal directed behavior causes frustration and causing someone to do something they do not want to do is also frustrating. a.When someone is ready to perform some act, to do so is satisfying. b.When someone is ready to perform some act, not to do so is annoying. c.When someone is not ready to perform some act and is forced to do so, it is annoying.

6)Law of Exercise We learn by doing. We forget by not doing, although to a small extent only. a. Connections between a stimulus and a response are strengthened as they are used.(law of use) b. Connections between a stimulus and a response are weakened as they are not used.(law of disuse) 7)Law of effect If the response in a connection is followed by a satisfying state of affairs, the strength of the connection is considerably increased whereas if followed by an annoying state of affairs, then the strength of the connection is marginally decreased. 8)Multiple Responses A learner would keep trying multiple responses to solve a problem before it is actually solved. 9)Set or Attitude Set or attitude is what the learner already possesses, like prior learning experiences, present state of the learner, etc., while it begins learning a new task. 10)Prepotency of Elements Different responses to the same environment would be evoked by different perceptions of the environment which act as the stimulus to the responses. Different perceptions would be subject to the prepotency of different elements for different perceivers. 11)Response from analogy New problems are solved by using solution techniques employed to solve analogous problems.

8 Robert Gagne Theorist Robert Gagne, a psychologist and educator, developed his learning theories based partially from behaviorist's points of view. He made an enormous contribution to learning theory and instructional systems design. While in the Air Force, he began to develop some of his ideas for his comprehensive learning theory. He incorporated characteristics of both behavior modification theory as well as performance education. Gagne developed three principles that he viewed as integral for successful instruction: (1) providing instruction on the set of component tasks that build toward a final task, (2) ensuring that each component task is mastered, and (3) sequencing the component tasks to ensure optimal transfer to the final task.

9 Gagne's Theory Robert Gagne's theory of instruction is comprised of three principles: taxonomy of learning outcomes, conditions of learning, and nine events of instruction. Gagne asserts that specific learning conditions critically influence the learning outcomes. In addition, special care must be given to the external conditions during instruction, known as the nine events of instruction. Implications for Adult Learning: Using Gagne's nine instructional events is good way to plan adult training. Keep lecture time short and spend more time on solving the problem by making the training active and relevant.

10 Nine Events of Instruction:
Gain attention Gagne felt it was important to grab the students' attention at the beginning of each lesson in order to prepare them for the upcoming lesson. By incorporating some type of video clip, audio clip, or other attention-getting display, the instructor is able to focus student learning from the outset. Inform learners of objectives Gagne felt that if learners knew the objectives of the lesson from the outset, then they would be able to set a framework within which the learning process would occur. Students' would have a general idea of what was expected of them and they could adjust their thinking accordingly. Stimulate recall of prior learning Gagne felt that if students could relate new lesson content to past knowledge, retention rates of the new information would increase. Present the content Gagne stressed the importance of organization the data in such a way as to make it easily understaood by the learner. Information should be organized into comprehensive blocks that make sense as a unit to the student.

11 Nine Events of Instruction:
Provide "learning guidance" Gagne felt that "learning guidance" should be provided by te instructor to ensure high retention of lesson content. Some guidance could be offered in the form of multimedia presentations of case studies, representative images, and other examples of the lesson at hand. Elicit performance Gagne iterated the importance of practicing the new lesson content and the application of newly acquired knowledge in order, again, to increase retention and to ensure proper applicability skills. Provide feedback Quick and in-depth feedback on student practice is also an essential element in ensuring student understanding and retention. Assess performance A final assessment should be administered, without the assistance of the instructor, in order to ensure mastery of the subject. Enhance retention transfer Finally, Gagne stressed the importance of applying newly acquired knowledge to practicable, real-life situations.

12 Andragogy Learning Theory
This learning theory was introduced by Malcolm Knowles in 1968 (though it can be traced back to German grammar teacher, Alexander Kapp in 1833) in his article "Adult Leadership." Knowles wrote about this theory of Andragogy in order to address the special learning needs of adult students. Perhaps the most important component of this learning theory is that adult learners are most often "self-directed" and want to take an active part in their learning experience.

13 Knowles Theory According to Knowles, learning experiences should be designed so that: Adults know why they need to learn something Adults need to learn through their own experiences Adults learn most often through problem-solving Adults learn best when the topic is of interest or use to them on a personal level Overall, Andragogy focuses the learning experience for adults on the "learning process," rather than on the content Andragogy, as a learning theory, is very important to those instructors who find adult learners in their classrooms. By following these simple concepts for helping adult learners engage in their own learning process, the overall learning experience will likely be more successful!

14 REFERENCES <Gagne Learning Theorist> < WebWizard/Theorist_Gagne.html > <September 2007> <Andragogy Learning Theory> < WebWizard/Andragogy_Learning _Theory.html ><September 2007> <Edward Lee Thorndike> < ych/psycweb/history/ m> <May 1999>

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