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Subtitle: It’s important to know why we do the things we do!

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2 Subtitle: It’s important to know why we do the things we do!

3 A car mechanic goes to work each day to fix cars, knowing that the principle of the four-stage internal combustion engine underlies everything that he does. What drives your teaching? What underlies your teaching?

4 (Please write down FOUR characteristics of a theory) General explanation for observations made over time Explains and predicts behaviour Can never be established beyond all doubt Can be modified What is a theory? Theories seldom have to be thrown out completely if thoroughly tested but sometimes a theory may be widely accepted for a long time and later disproved. Examples? Name any two disproved theories.

5 Behaviorism: based on observable changes in behaviour. It focuses on a new behaviour pattern being repeated until it becomes automatic Early beginnings of behaviorism started with Aristotle’s “Memory” essay which associated events such as lightning and thunder. The key behaviorists include Pavlov (his dogs), Watson and Thorndike (stimulus/response experiments) and Skinner (reinforcement of behaviours). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism

6 Cognitivism: based on the thought process behind the behaviour. Changes in behaviour are observed, and used as indicators as to what is happening inside the learner’s mind. Much learning involves learners making associations with existing cognitive structures. Schema - internal knowledge structure New knowledge is compared to existing structures which may be extended, altered or combined to accommodate new information Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism

7 Constructivism: based on the premise that we all construct our own reality of the world through individual (reflection) and social (conversation) experiences. Jean Piaget had the most influence. Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism Cognitive Constructivism Social Constructivism Learners construct mental structures similar to external ones via cognitive processes Learning occurs through the negotiation of meaning and multiple perspectives in groups

8 The Greeks Present Day Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism - Timeline Early 1800’s Behaviorism Cognitivism Early 1900’s Constructivism 1930’s + With the onset of scientific inquiry, only observable behaviours could be perceived and explained. However, things do occur inside people’s minds that are not overtly observable. Processes in human minds affect learning and overt behaviour. Builds upon former theories – each individual is unique and in “flux”. Evaluation is the key difference – it must be integrated with the task.

9 Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism Old assumptions People transfer learning with ease by learning abstract and decontextualized ideas. New assumptions Learners are receivers of knowledge. Learning is behavioristic and involves the strengthening of stimulus and response Learners are blank spaces ready to be filled with knowledge. Skills and knowledge are best acquired independent of context. People transfer learning with difficulty needing both content and context learning. Learners are active constructors of knowledge. Learning is cognitive and in a constant state of growth and evolution. Learners bring their own needs and experiences to learning situations. Skills and knowledge are best acquired within realistic contexts. Grabinger, 1996

10 Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism – Implications for Technology Bloom’s Taxonomy, LOGO and Multimedia Read, and where appropriate, complete any tasks. Answer the following questions: 1.Which resource best exemplifies each learning theory? 2.Can you see influences from the other learning theories?

11 Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism – Link to Technology Applications Behaviorism Cognitivism Constructivism Drill and practice software requires a low degree of cognitive processing eg. paired associations and rote memorization invoke behavioral stimulus-response, reinforcement, etc LOGO and the maths software PLATO require increased levels of cognitive processing. They are associated with schematic organization, reasoning and problem- solving. Demanding high levels of cognitive processing, multimedia software enables constructivist perspectives such as situated learning and social negotiation as well as schematic organization. The Personal Computer 1980’s Present Day Drill and practice LOGO Multimedia

12 Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism Strengths and Weaknesses Behaviorism Weakness – missing stimulus for a correct response means no learning Strength – clear goals and automatic response eg. WWII pilots Cognitivism Weakness – task accomplishment may not be the best way to learn Strength – enables consistency, exact routines eg. logging on to PC Constructivism Weakness – divergent thinking encourages unconformity Strength – real-life situations are better dealt with, problem-solving

13 Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism Is one learning theory the best? If so, which one? low high Level of cognitive processing required by the task Level of learner’s task knowledge Constructivist strategies Cognitive strategies Behaviorist strategies

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