How Does Learning Occur?

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How Does Learning Occur?
EDU 490-Interdisciplinary Capstone
January 24, 2011

In ensuring that genuine learning transpires in the classroom, there are various issues that educators must concern their selves with. Understanding and responding to these issues require extensive knowledge of various theories in education as well as in the application of such theories. One such issue which is the focus of this paper is that on how learning occurs. Student learning is the primary goal of any academic institution, and leading students to achieve learning is the purpose of every educator. However in order for teachers to be able to lead students to learn, it is only logical to consider that teachers must know how learning actually transpires. Towards the goal of helping teachers develop a strong understanding of the different theories that attempt to explain how learning occurs in an educational setting, Marlowe and Canestrari (2006) present excerpts from the writings of different educators and education researchers which explain the dynamics behind being able to learn. These include the work of B.F. Skinner on behaviorism, of Bandura, Ross, and Ross on imitation of aggression models, of David Willingham on cognition and memory, and of Witte-Townsend and Hill on relational consciousness. The importance of these theories on how learning occurs is expounded on by Sontag (2009) in her discussion of learning theories that are applicable to students in the 21st century. According to Sontag (2009) being able to explain how students learn take teachers is a critical step that an educator must make in order to be able to help students learn. By understanding the mechanism involved in the transfer of information from the lesson to the student, teachers would be able to modify the learning environment and their own teaching techniques such that these would be most suitable for the learners. Thus in the succeeding sections, different theories on how students learn...
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