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Learning Theory EDUC 275 Winthrop University Lisa Harris, Marshall Jones, Suzanne Sprouse.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Theory EDUC 275 Winthrop University Lisa Harris, Marshall Jones, Suzanne Sprouse."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Theory EDUC 275 Winthrop University Lisa Harris, Marshall Jones, Suzanne Sprouse

2 How does learning theory inform teaching? Source of instructional strategies, tactics, and techniques. Provide a foundation for appropriate strategy selection. Provide information about relationships among instructional strategies and instructional contexts. Allow teachers to select strategies that are the most likely to work.

3 Learning theories help explain … How learning occurs. Factors that influence learning. The role of memory. How students transfer information to other contexts. How instruction should be structured to facilitate learning.

4 Ways of knowing 1.Knowledge has a separate, real existence of its own outside the human mind. Learning happens when this knowledge is transmitted to people and they store it in their minds. (Roblyer, page 53) 2.Humans construct all knowledge in their minds by participating in certain experiences; learning happens when one constructs both mechanisms for learning and his or her own unique version of the knowledge. (Roblyer, page 53)

5 Three Major Branches Behaviorism/ Direct Instruction Cognitivism Constructivism

6 Behaviorism Learning occurs when students are able to provide the proper response to the given stimulus Methods include the use of instructional cues, reinforcement and practice. Students learn basic skills before moving to more complex processes. Instructional goal – elicit the desired response from the learner who is presented with a garget stimulus

7 Behaviorism Continued Teacher role: Transmitter of knowledge/expert source Student role: Receive information; demonstrate competence – all students learn the same material Curriculum: Skills are taught in a set sequence Learning goals: Stated in terms of mastery learning Types of activities: Lecture, demonstration, seatwork, practice, testing Assessment strategies: Written tests, same measures for all students

8 Examples of Content Taught using Behaviorism Multiplication Tables Branches of Government Procedural tasks –Driving a stick shift Listing State Capitals

9 Cognitivism Shift in thinking about learning –Behaviorists: learning as observable behavior –Cognitivists: learning as complex cognitive processes How people reason, problem solve, learn language and process information Learners’ thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and values impact learning Focus on relationships between pieces of information (ex. chunking)

10 Cognitivism Continued Teacher role: Construct appropriate learning environments and materials, scaffolding the learning process Student role: Actively involved in the learning process through self-planning, monitoring, revising, understanding relationships Curriculum: Relationships among information is stressed Learning goals: Understanding processes as well as basic skills, learning how to learn Types of activities: using graphic organizers, demonstration/ think aloud, matrices, advanced organizers Assessment strategies: performance assessment, project- based learning, essay questions (i. e. summarize, compare and contrast)

11 Examples of Cognitivist Content Compare and contrast two characters in a novel. Draw the stages of the water cycle. The writing process (drafts and revision).

12 Constructivist Learning Knowledge is a function of how the individual creates meaning from his or her own experiences (Ertmer, p. 9) Meaning is created rather than acquired. Content knowledge is embedded in the context in which it is used.

13 Constructivist Instruction Cont. Teacher role: Acts as a guide and facilitator; collaborative resource as students explore topics Student role: Collaborate; develop competence; may learn different material Curriculum: Based on projects that foster higher level and lower level skills at the same time Learning Goals: Stated in terms of growth from where the student began; work independently and with groups Types of Activities: Group projects, hand-on exploration; product development Assessment: Performance tests and products (ex. Portfolios); quality measured by rubrics and checklists; measure may differ among students

14 Examples of Constructivist Content Causes of WWII The strengths and weaknesses of Democracy How technology fosters collaboration The effects of global warming

15 Which theory is better? Neither Depends on your needs Depends on your content Depends on your environment Depends on your students

16 Why are these theories important? Gets to the notion of HOW you learn How you LIKE to learn How to manage favorite and least favorite environments Affords us variety in pedagogy

17 Now, an activity

18 In groups create a list of the following: How do you like to learn… –To use a new electronic device (phone, PDA, etc) Manuals? Play around? Watch an expert? Others? –To play a new board/card/video game Read directions? Play a practice round? Others? –A list of items or set of definitions Read? Recite many times? Flash cards? Others?

19 Take your list Rank your learning strategies by voting on them. Record your votes on the list –100%, or ¾, or 1 out of 3 Find out which ones your group thinks are best to use. Are they behaviorist, cognitivist or constructivist in nature?

20 Make a hard decision Thinking as a teacher, your group should pick three learning strategies from your list that you would recommend to your students. You must pick three and only three. Thinking as a teacher, your group should pick three learning strategies from your list would you NEVER use. You must pick three and only three.

21 Here’s the thing… Good teaching is all about examples and options for learning You should never discard a possible learning theory PARTICULARLY the ones that few people will use. Don’t forget the principles of UDL/ Multiple Intelligence Yes, this was a dirty trick to make a point.

22 Exploring Theorists In groups, use Inspiration to create a concept map of the three major learning theories discussed in this article. –Compare and contrast the characteristics of each theory. –Give highlights of the theory. –Give examples of appropriate technology integration for each theory.

23 Sources Ertmer, P.A. & Newby, T.J. (1993). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical features from an instructional design perspective. Improvement Quarterly, 6 (4): 50-72. Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, M.D. Roblyer Constructivist vs. Directed PowerPoint by Dr. Marshall Jones

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