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In education and psychology, learning theories help us understand the process of learning.

There are basically three main perspectives in learning theories, behaviorism, Cognitive Information Processing (CIP), and constructivism.

Constructivism Edit

Constructivism views learning as a process in which the learner actively constructs or builds new ideas or concepts based upon current and past knowledge. In other words, "learning involves constructing one's own knowledge from one's own experiences" (Ormrod, J. E., Educational Psychology: Developing Learners, Fourth Edition. 2003, p. 227). Constructivist learning, therefore, is a very personal endeavor, whereby internalized concepts, rules, and general principles may consequently be applied in a practical real-world context. According to Jerome Bruner and other constructivists, the teacher acts as a facilitator who encourages students to discover principles for themselves and to construct knowledge by working to solve realistic problems, usually in collaboration with others. This collaboration is also known as knowledge construction as a social process. Some benefits of this social process are, 1.) Students can work to clarify and organize their ideas so they can voice them to others. 2.) It gives them opportunities to elaborate on what they learned. 3.) They are exposed to the views of others. And 4.) It enables them to discover flaws and inconsistencies (Ormrod, J. E., Educational Psychology: Developing Learners, Fourth Edition. 2003, p. 232). Cognitive theorists such as Jean Piaget and David Ausubel, and others, were concerned with the changes in a student's understanding that result from learning and with the fundamental importance of the environment. Constructivism itself has many variations, such as Generative Learning, Cognitive Apprenticeship, Problem-based learning, Discovery Learning, situated learning, and knowledge building. Regardless of the variety, constructivism promotes a student's free exploration within a given framework or structure.

Behaviorism Edit

Behaviorism is an educational theory grounded on the seminal works of B. F. Skinner and Ivan Pavlov, both scientists well known for their studies in animal behavior. Behaviorists believe that organisms need reinforcements to keep them interested and that the use of stimuli can be very effective in controlling behavior. For the behaviorist, environment directly shapes behavior, and complex learning requires a series of small, progressive steps. The behaviorist theory of education is probably by far the most commonly practiced, because the behaviors of the learners can be easily viewed and therefore measured, which is itself a basic premise of the scientific method.

ShapingEdit

Informal theoriesEdit

Informal theories of education deal with more practical break down of the learning process. One of these deals with whether learning should take place as a building of concepts toward an overall idea, or the understanding of the overall idea with the details filled in later. Modern thinkers favour the latter.

Other concerns are the origins of the drive for learning. To this end, many have split off from the mainstream holding that learning is a primarily self taught thing, and that the ideal learning situation is one that is self taught. According to this dogma, learning at its basic level is all self taught, and class rooms should be eliminated since they do not fit the perfect model of self learning.

Informal learning theory also concerns itself with book vs real-world experience learning. Many consider most schools severely lacking in the second.

See alsoEdit

About accelerating the learning process:

About the mechanisms of memory and learning:

See also:

External linksEdit

Learning
Types of learning
Avoidance conditioning | Classical conditioning | Confidence-based learning | Discrimination learning | Emulation | Experiential learning | Escape conditioning | Incidental learning |Intentional learning | Latent learning | Maze learning | Mastery learning | Mnemonic learning | Nonassociative learning | Nonreversal shift learning | Nonsense syllable learning | Nonverbal learning | Observational learning | Omission training | Operant conditioning | Paired associate learning | Perceptual motor learning | Place conditioning | Probability learning | Rote learning | Reversal shift learning | Second-order conditioning | Sequential learning | Serial anticipation learning | Serial learning | Skill learning | Sidman avoidance conditioning | Social learning | Spatial learning | State dependent learning | Social learning theory | State-dependent learning | Trial and error learning | Verbal learning 
Concepts in learning theory
Chaining | Cognitive hypothesis testing | Conditioning | Conditioned responses | Conditioned stimulus | Conditioned suppression | Constant time delay | Counterconditioning | Covert conditioning | Counterconditioning | Delayed alternation | Delay reduction hypothesis | Discriminative response | Distributed practice |Extinction | Fast mapping | Gagné's hierarchy | Generalization (learning) | Generation effect (learning) | Habits | Habituation | Imitation (learning) | Implicit repetition | Interference (learning) | Interstimulus interval | Intermittent reinforcement | Latent inhibition | Learning schedules | Learning rate | Learning strategies | Massed practice | Modelling | Negative transfer | Overlearning | Practice | Premack principle | Preconditioning | Primacy effect | Primary reinforcement | Principles of learning | Prompting | Punishment | Recall (learning) | Recency effect | Recognition (learning) | Reconstruction (learning) | Reinforcement | Relearning | Rescorla-Wagner model | Response | Reinforcement | Secondary reinforcement | Sensitization | Serial position effect | Serial recall | Shaping | Stimulus | Reinforcement schedule | Spontaneous recovery | State dependent learning | Stimulus control | Stimulus generalization | Transfer of learning | Unconditioned responses | Unconditioned stimulus 
Animal learning
Cat learning | Dog learning  Rat learning 
Neuroanatomy of learning
Neurochemistry of learning
Adenylyl cyclase  
Learning in clinical settings
Applied Behavior Analysis | Behaviour therapy | Behaviour modification | Delay of gratification | CBT | Desensitization | Exposure Therapy | Exposure and response prevention | Flooding | Graded practice | Habituation | Learning disabilities | Reciprocal inhibition therapy | Systematic desensitization | Task analysis | Time out 
Learning in education
Adult learning | Cooperative learning | Constructionist learning | Experiential learning | Foreign language learning | Individualised instruction | Learning ability | Learning disabilities | Learning disorders | Learning Management | Learning styles | Learning theory (education) | Learning through play | School learning | Study habits 
Machine learning
Temporal difference learning | Q-learning 
Philosophical context of learning theory
Behaviourism | Connectionism | Constructivism | Functionalism | Logical positivism | Radical behaviourism 
Prominant workers in Learning Theory|-
Pavlov | Hull | Tolman | Skinner | Bandura | Thorndike | Skinner | Watson 
Miscellaneous|-
Category:Learning journals | Melioration theory 
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