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Chapter 1

Learning: From Speculation to Science

By: Shari Wickline

Focus of Book

is on research about human learning in relation to the neuroscience theories. Focus on research in relation to designing learning environments and curriculums. Focus on a more individualized learning approach that helps each student reach their fullest potential when mastering a subject.

A Look at Behaviorism B
(radical behaviorism)
Ivan Pavlov

B.F. Skinner

Classical Conditioning Pavlov's ideas were studied and introduced to the area of psychology by James Watson el_prizes/medicine/laurea tes/1904/pavlov-bio.html

Behavior modification Use of reinforcers both positive and negative http://webspace.ship. edu/cgboer/ ml

Behaviorism with a b
(moderate behaviorism)
Edward Thorndike

Albert Bandura

Followed Skinners work and adapted S-R theories to learning situations Was a pioneer in Educational Psychology ~intell/ethorndike.shtml

Self-control therapy Self regulate habits Modeling therapy - If someone has a undesirable behavior then modeling proper behavior can alter them http://webspace.ship.ed u/cgboer/bandura.html

Limitations of Behaviorism

Study was restrictive by only studying observable behaviors and stimulus conditions that could be controlled. Believed that learning was a process involving a connection between stimulus and responses. Techniques used made it difficult to study whether subjects were understanding, reasoning or thinking to achieve a response.

Cognitive Theories
A New Approach
Jean Piaget

Erik Erickson

Stages of development show levels of cognitive development from birth through adolescence Worked towards movement into the constructivists theory /cgboer/piaget.html

Stages of Development personality traits from birth through adulthood Relates the influences of culture and environment to development http://webspace.ship.ed u/cgboer/erikson.html

A Step in the Right Direction



to learning was from a multidisciplinary perspective. Studies were beginning to be based on mental functions rather than on speculation.

Constructive Theories
The Whole Person
Jerome Bruner

Lev Vygotsky

Discovery Learning theory takes place in when problem solving build on what is already known Students are more likely to remember concepts learned on own kers/bruner.htm

Began to observe higher mental functioning in relation to social stages of development Zone of Proximal Development range of tasks that are to difficult for a child to learn on their own but can be mastered with assistance y/

One Step Closer

are goal-directed and are always seeking out new information. New knowledge and understanding is built upon what is already known or believed; no matter how they are taught. Believe that it is the best practice for teachers to give the students opportunities to construct knowledge for themselves.


Neuroscience Theories
The New Generation of Theorists



An approach to individualized learning




are in control of their own

Learners utilize metacognition focus on sense-making, self-assessment and reflection.


at how an individual learns and giving them opportunities to use these methods. Give focus to redesigning what you teach, how you teach it and how learning is assessed.


Volume provides an overview of research on learners learning and teachers teaching

Students come to a classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. They need to develop competence in an area of inquiry:

Understanding of factual knowledge Understanding facts and ideas in the context of conceptual framework Organize knowledge in ways that it can be retrieved or applied

Utilizing a metacognitive instructional approach allows the learner to define goals and monitor progress while achieving them.


To be discussed in more detail in later chapters.

Implications for Teaching

Work with students preexisting knowledge Teach some subject matter in-depth using various approaches and examples Teaching metacognitive skills should be integrated into curriculum and into multi-subject areas Learning to look at which technique is best for accomplishing a specific goal of the learner Must be learner centered Must pay attention to what is taught, why it is taught and what mastery of the concept looks like Use of formative assessments (ongoing assessments) Community centered approach that supports core learning values Does not assume that all learners are children Looks at where and what areas teachers and/or adults need to focus to gain better insight into their own learning and mastery of skills.

Bringing Order to Chaos

Designing Classroom Environments

Applying Design Framework to Adult Learning