Customized Learning Theory
The purpose of this paper is to discuss different learning theories and how the years have caused educators and psychologists to evaluate the validity of some of them. Technology alone has caused a major kink in some of the learning theories from earlier psychologists. Although there are multiple learning theories that have been developed over the years, not one of them includes all aspects of learning and many have left little room for the growth in technology. Not to mention that there was little research done during the earlier years of Piaget, Vygotsky, and his colleagues involving children with disabilities or mixed ability groups. Most of the research was focusing mainly on social and cognitive development.
For the sake of this essay the learning theory introduced will be called, The Development of the Well Rounded Child. This theory takes into account not only the cognitive and social development of a child but also the mental, physical, moral and spiritual. In order for a child to develop in every area, educators must acknowledge that there is more to education and learning than “book” smarts. Children need to develop social skills as well as mental. Physical education is also very vital to the overall health of a child. There also needs to be a certain amount of moral stability instilled into each student. Even if education is taking place in a public classroom, teachers can model their Christian faith. According to Derrick Bell, we must recognize and acknowledge (at least to ourselves) that our actions are not likely to lead to transcendent change and, despite our best efforts, may be of more help to the system we despise than to the victims of that system that we are trying to help. (Bell, D. 2004, 192) First let’s take a look at Vygotsky’s theory. He focused on the connections between people and sociocultural context in which they act and interact in shared experiences. (Crawford, 1996) Vygotsky’s theory implies that students play an active role in the learning process. Pavlov introduced the theory of Classical Conditioning. Classical Conditioning is described as a reflexive or automatic type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus. (www.learning-theories.com) Albert Bandura is known for developing the Social-Learning Theory. This theory states that people learn through observing the behavior of others, their attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. This theory, according to Bandura, explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences. (Bandura, 1977) Erickson is known for the theory of Personal and Social Development. The theory of Personal and Social development states that people pass through eight psychosocial stages in their lifetime. At each stage, there are crises or critical issues to be resolved. His theory emphasizes the role of the environment both in causing the crises and in determining how they will be resolved. The stages are played out in constant interactions with others and with society as a whole. (Slavin, 2009) Piaget on the other hand is widely known for his theory of Cognitive and Moral Development. Piaget’s theory proposes that a child’s intellect or cognitive abilities progresses through four distinct stages. Each stage is characterized by the emergence of new abilities and ways of processing information. He also believed that moral development developed in predictable stages. (Slavin, 2009) Lastly, Kohlberg is known for his Stages of Moral Reasoning. He proposed that people pass through six stages of moral judgment. Like Piaget, Kohlberg studied how children (and adults) reason about rules that govern their behavior in certain situations. (Slavin, 2009) All of these theorists had good ideas and each one proved...
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