Educational theory is anything that can be considered as a speculative
thought regarding education or a theory of education that guides,
enlightens, or describes educational practice.
As far as speculative thought is concerned, its history begins with
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophers” o “Philosophers”
philosophers and HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophists”
o “Sophists” sophists descending from Greece, and in today’s world
it is a term used for reflective theorizing about HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curriculum” o “Curriculum” curriculum
, studying , and schooling HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy” o “Policy” policy
, system and HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership” o
“Leadership” leadership . Educational thinking is usually learned by
various strands of HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History”
o “History” history , HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy” o “Philosophy” philosophy
, HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology” o “Sociology”
sociology , HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory”
o “Critical theory” critical theory , and HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology” o “Psychology” psychology ,
to count a few.
A theory regarding education can be prescriptive in philosophy,
or descriptive like Science. Prescriptive in philosophy means, a
theory means a statement about what it should be. It supply’s the
“goals, norms, and standards for performing the progression of
education. In the second case, descriptive like Science means “One
hypothesis or a set of hypotheses that may have been confirmed by
observation and experiment.” Other than that a normative educational
theory stated by a philosopher may offer goals of education, but the
descriptive theory supplys concrete and hard data that helps realize all
the targets recommended by the philosopher. A expressive theory of
education can be portrayed as a theoretical scheme that ties together
various discrete particulars. For example, the cultural theory of
education can easily show how the concept of culture is used to classify
and amalgamate the many facts regarding how and what people learn.
Another example is the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviorism” o “Behaviorism” behaviorist
theory of education which comes from HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_psychology” o “Educational
psychology” educational psychology and also HYPERLINK
“Structural_functionalism” o “Sociology of education” the theory of
learning that comes from sociology of learning. (Kazepides, 2010)
Today people working on education theories struggle over the point that
whether a single model of learning is appropriate for both men and women
or for students of all ethnicities although the quality of educational
opportunity in USA is an accepted principle, it is not an easy one to
practice. All through history different theories of education have been
reflected by the dominant psychologies of learning and systems of
An ancient hypothesis, given by Socrates, is that a rightly trained mind
would always turn towards virtue. This idea has actually never been left
alone, though different criteria of truth and authority have prejudiced
both the content and the techniques of tutoring. This was reproduced in
the classical curriculum of the Renaissance.
Since the beginning of 17th centaury the idea has grown that education
should only be aimed at individual development for social living. Some
theorists like Johann HYPERLINK
“http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0838555.html” Pestalozzi ,
Maria HYPERLINK “http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0833836.html”
Montessori , Jean Jacques HYPERLINK
“http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0842540.html” Rousseau ,
“http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0819762.html” Froebel , John
HYPERLINK “http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0813016.html” Comenius
, and Horace HYPERLINK
“http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0831566.html” Mann proved to
be outstanding figures in this development. When the 20th century began,
John HYPERLINK “http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0815368.html”
Dewey said that youthful people should be trained to make use of the
experimental technique in tackling problems of the constantly changing
environment. Later in the same century the psychologist B. F.
HYPERLINK “http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0845472.html” Skinner
put forward a theory of learning, which was based on animal
experimentation. This had a tough consequence on contemporary theories
of learning, especially if by the method of program. Some more modern
educational models are based on the theories given by Jean HYPERLINK
“http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0838913.html” Piaget , Jerome
Bonner, and Howard Gardner.
In this essay some important aspects of human learning that are
particularly relevant to educators are discussed at length. So this
makes the study an exciting but difficult challenge because human
learning is a complex topic. Some theories have come up as researchers
have focused on different kinds of learning. Some theorists focused on
the acquiring of skills such as learning to type, write and read. Some
others have focused on learning with understanding and its effects.
Still others have studied the materialization of new ideas through
interacting with other people. Learning theorists have also examined
some settings for learning. This includes preschool, school,
experimental laboratory, informal gathering spots and different home and
workplace settings. They have also used a mixture of measurements of
education. Learning theorists work at different time scales that go from
milliseconds of processing time to lifespan and intergenerational
Different theories on education thought that have been used to
scrutinize the progression of human learning. Some traditions like the
rationalist, empiricist, and socio-historical contrast the numerous ways
in which the customs have observed cognition and wisdom, and also that
how each tradition has contributed towards the aim of educational
practices. Take behaviorism for example, it is a 20th century expression
of the 17th -18th century empiricist norms of Locke and Berkeley and
their views learning as the strength of associations between stimuli and
responses increases. At the other end, learning from the constructivist
tradition is conceptualized in provisions of growth of conceptual
organization and general cognitive abilities such as reasoning and
solving problems. Lastly, the situation’s perspective, views learning
as being delicately tied up with social interactions and cultural tools.
It is also discussed that the few foremost modifications in how the
learning investigation has been carried out in the past 30 years, and
some changes that engage covering the “laboratory only” studies and
the research actually done in complex environments such as classrooms,
schools and districts. These changes have proven to be fundamental to
the discussion that is given below. (Kieran, 1992)
In the further discussion the main aim is to write with a focus towards
the coming decade, which will be a “decade for synergy”. Here it is
not attempted to exhaust any reviews of all learning research that might
be potentially relevant to education. Instead, the discussion is built
and focuses on several key traditions of thinking and investigating,
that may have the potential to mutually manipulate one another in
different ways that can change how we think about the science of
learning, also change how future educators and scientists of Learning
Theories and Education are trained. It is believed that the timing is
right for focused efforts towards synergy in order to become an explicit
goal of educational researchers.
Three main areas of research that should be explored include:
(1) Hidden learning and brain power
(2) Informal learning
(3) Means for formal learning.
Constructivism can be described as the philosophy of learning originated
on the base that, we create our personal understanding of the world we
live in, purely by reflecting on our experiences. Each one of us
generates our own “rules” and “mental models,” in some way which we tend
to use to make sense of our experiences. Therefore, Learning is quite
simply the process of altering our mental models to accommodate new
experiences we have. (Senyshyn, 2010)
Principles of Constructivism:
Learning can be defined as a search for meaning. Hence, learning usually
starts with the concerns about which students dynamically try to
Meaning calls for understanding both wholes as well as parts. And parts
must be taken in the context of wholes. So, the learning process may
focus on primary concepts, and not on isolated facts.
To teach well, it must be understood that the mental models that
students use to recognize the world and the assumptions they create in
order to support those models.
The goal of learning for an individual is to build his/her own meaning,
and not just memorizing the “right” answers and restate someone else`s
meaning. According to this, in education the only important way to
measure learning is to make evaluation part of the learning process.
This ensures that it offers the students with information on the worth
and value of their education and learning.
Impact of Constructivism on learning:
Constructivism sometimes calls for the removal of a standardized
curriculum. But sometimes, it promotes using curricular customization to
a students` previous knowledge. Also, it tends to emphasize hands-on
According to the theory of constructivism, educators center on creating
relations between facts and promoting fresh understanding in the
learner. Instructors tend to adapt their teaching strategies according
to student responses and persuade students to analyze, interpret, and
predict information. Teachers also usually rely on open-ended questions
and promote broad dialogue amid students.
Constructivism also calls for the exclusion of grades and standardized
testing. Instead of this, the assessment becomes part of the learning
method so that students play a better role in moderating their own
Behaviorism can be defined as the philosophy of learning that only
focuses towards objectively observable behaviors and reduces
psychological behavior. Behavioral theorists characterize learning as
not more than an acquiring of new behavior.
Experiments conducted by different behaviorists identify conditioning as
a universal learning procedure. There are two different types of
conditioning, each of which has derived a different behavioral pattern:
Classic conditioning occurs when a normal reflex counters a stimulus.
A popular example of this is Pavlov`s observation that dogs salivate
when they eat or see food. Fundamentally, animals and people both are
biologically “wired” so that a certain stimulus will produce an explicit
Behavioral conditioning occurs only when a response to a stimulus is
Operant conditioning is a pretty simple feedback arrangement: If a
reward or reinforcement follows the appropriate response to a stimulus,
then the response becomes more possible in the future. The leading
behaviorist B.F. Skinner used reinforcement procedures to teach pigeons
Famous author Jean Piaget gave a theory based on the idea that a child
in its developing years builds cognitive structures, some sort of mental
“maps”, for understanding and responding to physical practices within
the environment. Piaget proposed that a child`s cognitive configuration
increases in sophistication with maturity they tend to move from a few
innate reflexes like crying and sucking to highly complicated mental
There are four developmental stages of Piaget`s model and the
progression by which children advance through them.
In the early stages the child is not able to conceptualize abstractly
and requires concrete physical circumstances. As physical skill
accumulates, the child starts to conceptualize, making logical
structures that can explain their physical experiences.
At this stage abstract problem solving is possible. For example,
arithmetic equations can be cracked with numbers, and not just with
Reaching this point, the child`s cognitive constructions are like those
of a grown up and contain conceptual reasoning. Piaget proposed that
during all development phases, the child experiences their environment
by means of whatever mental maps they have created. If the experience is
repeated again and again it tends to fit easily or is incorporated into
the child`s cognitive structure so that they uphold mental
“equilibrium”. If the experience is different or new, the child loses
this equilibrium, and changes their cognitive structure to accommodate
the new given conditions. In this way, the child constructs increasingly
complicated cognitive constructions.
How Piaget`s theory impacts learning:
Educators should sketch a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate
and increases the students` logical as well as conceptual growth.
Teachers should accentuate the critical role that experiences, or
communication with the surrounding environment, play in learner’s
experience. For example, coaches should take into account the function
that fundamental concepts, like the permanence of objects, play in
launching cognitive structures.
The brain-based learning theory is supported on the structure and
purpose of the brain. As long as the brain is not forbidden from
fulfilling its normal course, learning will always occur.
Everyone is born with a brain that functions like a processor of all
kinds of information. Traditional schooling, mostly inhibits learning by
discouraging, disregarding, or punishing the brain`s natural learning
The basic principles of Brain-based Learning say that:
Our brain is a parallel processing machine, which means that it can
perform several actions at once.
Learning employs the total physiology.
The hunt for meaning is innate.
The hunt for meaning comes in the course of patterning.
Emotions are very significant to patterning.
Our brain processes wholes and parts concurrently.
Learning entails both focused attention and tangential perception.
Learning consists of both conscious as well as unaware practices.
Two types of memory can be classified: spatial and rote.
We understand best when facts are rooted in ordinary, spatial memory.
Learning is improved by challenge and subdued by threat.
Each and every brain is unique.
There are three main instructional techniques related to Brain-based
Learning. They are:
First of all, creating learning surroundings that fully immerses
students in an enlightening experience. Secondly, try to eliminate fear
in students, while maintaining highly challenging surroundings. And
lastly allowing the student to combine and internalize information by
energetically processing it.
Ways in Which Brain-based Learning impacts education:
Teachers have to design the learning around the students’ interests
and try to make learning contextual.
Teachers need to let students learn in teams and make use of peripheral
learning. Teachers construct learning around real problems this
encourages the students to learn in settings outside the classroom as
well as the school building.
Since all students are learning new things and behaviors, their
assessment should permit them to understand their own learning styles
Control Theory Of Motivation:
The Control theory of motivation was first proposed by William Glasser.
It challenges that behavior is never sourced by a reaction to an outside
stimulus. Instead, the behavior is stimulated by what a person desires
most at any specified time.
Giving answers to complaints that today`s students are “unmotivated,”
Glasser tries to prove that all living individuals can control their
behavior to make the most of their need satisfaction. According to
Glasser, if students are not provoked to do their schoolwork, it`s only
because they view schoolwork as extraneous to their essential human
Glasser also identifies two types of teachers:
Some teachers use prizes and punishment to persuade students to obey
rules and complete given assignments. He calls this “leaning on your
shovel”. He illustrates how elevated percentages of students know that
the work they do, even when teachers admire them, is low-level work.
Take teachers, on the other hand, keep away from coercion completely.
They make the fundamental rewards of doing the work clear to their
students, comparing any proposed assignments to the students` needs.
Teachers use grades as gauges of what has and hasn`t been educated,
rather than as a reward. They protect the extremely engaged, totally
motivated students who are doing quality work from having to accomplish
meaningless requirements. (Bertrand, 2003)
How the Control Theory impacts learning:
Teachers consult both content and method with pupils. Students` needs
accurately help shape how and what they are educated.
Teachers also depend on cooperative, energetic learning techniques that
improve the power of the students. Lead teachers make sure that all
coursework is met with some degree of the students` need contentment.
This secures a student’s loyalty, which brings the class through
whatever comparatively meaningless tasks might be required to satisfy
Teachers give good grades to officially state quality work. Student
evaluation uses an absolute standard, rather than a relative “curve.”
Social Learning Theory:
Social learning theory happens when an observer`s actions alter after
watching a behavioral model. An observer`s behavior can be exaggerated
by the positive or negative penalty also called explicit reinforcement
or vicarious punishment.
The principles of Social Learning Theory:
An observer will copy the model`s behavior if the model has things like
talent, intellect, power, good looks, or reputation that the observer
finds attractive or advantageous.
The observer will act in response to the way the model is treated and
copy the model`s behavior. If the model`s behavior is rewarded, the
observer is likely to replicate the behavior. If the model is punished
in some way, the observer is less likely to repeat that behavior.
Dissimilarity exists between attain a behavior and performing a
behavior. The spectator can attain the behavior without performing it.
The observer might then later, in circumstance where there is an
incentive to do so, exhibit the behavior.
Learning by examination involves four basic processes:
Attention: Observers cannot learn except for if they pay attention to
what`s occurring around them. This process is inclined by
characteristics of the model, like how much one identifies with the
model, and by characteristics of the spectator, such as the observer`s
potential level of emotional stimulation.
Retention: Observers must not only distinguish the observed behavior
but also bear it in mind for some later time. This method depends on the
observer`s aptitude to code or arrange the information in an
effortlessly remembered form or to mentally or physically go over the
Production: Observers have to be physically and intellectually
proficient in producing the act. In some cases the observer has the
necessary answers. But sometimes, duplicating the model`s actions might
entail skills the observer does not yet have.
Motivation: Usually, observers will execute the act only if they have a
little motivation to do so. The existence of reinforcement or
punishment, whichever to the model or straightforwardly to the observer,
becomes most important in this course.
Attention and retention are a part of acquisition or knowledge of a
model`s behavior manufacture and motivation have power over the
How Observational Learning impacts learning:
Students should always get a chance to watch and model the behavior that
guides towards an optimistic reinforcement.
Educators should persuade collaborative learning, since a lot of
learning takes place within significant social and environmental
A learned behavior sometimes cannot be executed except if there is the
right atmosphere for it. Educators have to offer the incentive and the
compassionate environment for the behavior to occur. Otherwise,
evaluation may not be accurate.
Social Cognition Learning Model:
This model states that culture is usually a major determinant of
individual development. Humans are the lone species that have created
culture, and every child grows in the shadow of a culture. Therefore, a
child`s learning progress is exaggerated in ways large and small by the
culture. For example the culture of a family environment in which he/she
is entangled. (Schunk, 2011)
Here given are basic principles of The Social Cognition Learning Model:
Culture makes up two contributions to a child`s academic development:
Children may sometimes acquire much of the substance of their knowledge
in the course of growing surrounded by their culture.
The culture surrounding a child presents him/her with the development or
means of their thinking.
In other words, according to the Social Cognition Learning Model,
culture educates children both what to believe and how to think.
Cognitive growth is the result of a dialectical course in which a child
learns with problem solving experiences collectively with someone else,
probably a parent or teacher but it can sometimes be a sibling or
Usually, a person interacting with a child supposes most of the
responsibility for the problem solving, but steadily this responsibility
relocates to the child.
Language is a crucial form of interaction through which adults broadcast
to the child the rich knowledge that is present in a culture.
As the process of learning develops, the child`s own language serves as
his or her prime tool of intellectual variation. After that they can use
internal language to direct their own conduct.
Internalization is the process of learning and internalizing, i.e. a
rich organization of knowledge and apparatus of thought that first exist
outside the child. This tends to happens through language.
A dissimilarity exists between what a child can do on their own and what
a child can do with the help of others.
Since a lot of what a child discovers comes form the specific culture
around him and a lot of the child`s problem solving is arbitrated
through an adult. Therefore, it is wrong to spotlight on a child in
isolation. Such focus does not disclose the processes by which children
obtain new skills.
Kazepides, T. (2010). Education as dialogue: Its prerequisites and its
enemies . Mcgill Queens Univ Pr.
Kieran, E. (1992). Imagination in teaching and learning: The middle
school years. (Ex: 1st ed.). Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
Senyshyn, Y. (2010). The artist in crisis: Kierkegaard`s philosophy of
the aesthetic stage of existence and live musical performance . Platon
Plato. Republic. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, (The
series) 1993, 1998.
Bertrand, Y. (2003). Contemporary theories and practice in education.
(Ex: 2nd ed.). Atwood Pub.
Schunk, D. H. (2011). Learning theories: An educational perspective.
(Ex: 6 ed.). Pearson.
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