In psychology and education, learning is commonly defined as a process that brings together cognitive, behaviour and Humanists elements. This assignment shows the concept of the relevant theories and principles of learning and communication; select and critically analysed of how I plan to deliver these strategies in my own teaching; and reflect on the impact that these insights have had on my own practice and professional development. What is the definition of theory? To me theory is something which is explained to you, a system of ideas intended to explain something, one based on general overview. A definition of principles, to me is to be opinionated on how I feel towards chosen topic. Geoff Petty (2009) states that, `every teacher and every learner has a theory about learning.’ To able to conclude my own theories and principles on planning and enabling learning I need to learn what is accepted to others. Research I understand there are many different theories relating to teaching and learning. Those that I have looked at are Behaviourist, Cognitive and Humanists elements. These are not new concepts. Although that some of these theorists are descended their work is still use into practices. Behaviourism is primarily associated with Pavlov (classical conditioning) in Russia; and with Thorndike, Watson and particularly Skinner in the United States (operant conditioning). In educational surroundings, behaviourism implies the dominance of the teacher, as in behaviour modification programmes. It can, however, be applied to an understanding of unintended learning. Classical conditioning in its simplest form is a type of conditioning associates by an external stimulus; in Pavlov original experiment this was a bell, with the arrival of a second stimulus which was the food, this resulted in a response to the bell which would have been achieved previously by the food. Frederic Skinner’s work was influenced by Pavlov’s experiment and the ideas of John Watson, father of behaviourism. His interest in stimulus-response of how humans reacted to various situations became fascinating. Skinner developed teaching machines, so students could learn, uncovering answers for an immediate “reward”. Humanistic, humanism and humanist are terms in psychology relating to an approach which studies the whole person and the uniqueness of each individual by emphasizing the study of the person overall. This behaviour clarifies the ability of learners to respond to the lesson. John Holt, How Children Fail (1964) states that “the school system could destroy the minds and emotions of young children. His blistering attack accused schools of inducing fear in pupils, and humiliating, ridiculing and devaluing them” This is a very generalised point of view due, to the fact that Holt is tarnishing all schools with the same reputation. However, it is important not to completely dismiss his views, as the point he makes about fear of failure is something we must be aware of in our teaching. In another humanistic approach which also fits within the humanistic spectrum is that proposed by Malcolm Knowles (1913-1977) his studies focus on adult education which was formed in 1946. Formal programs were for those sponsored by educational institutions, such as universities, high and trade schools in America. He implemented that adult education was pointed to the
friendly and informal surroundings. This enhanced adult learners to take more responsibility for their destiny as they mature through the learning process. Cognitive learning theory is about how to learn rather than what to learn i.e. how to write a report, how to recall specific facts, how to use learning to solve problems or be creative. Cognitivism is “the psychology of learning which emphasizes on how we think and gain knowledge. Theorists are intrigued and want to understand how problem solving changes throughout childhood, how cultural differences affect the way we view our own achievements,...
Bibliography: Skinner, B.F (Reprint 2003). The Technology of Teaching. Cambridge, MA: B.F.Skinner Foundation
Petty, G (Reprint 2009). A Practice Guide Teaching Today. N. Thornes Forth Edition
Holt, J C 1923- 1985 (revised edition) Classics in child development
Knowles, M. and Swanson R.A, The Adult Learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resources
Harkin, J., Turner, G. and Dawn, T. (2001). Teaching Young Adults. London, Routledge.
Rogers. C and J.H Freiberg (Third Edition) Freedom to learn
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