Learning Theories

Topics: Psychology, Educational psychology, Operant conditioning Pages: 3 (687 words) Published: March 3, 2013
As centuries changes, so too does the learning styles of students’ changes. Hence different learning theories such as behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism have been used to improve learning, performance and class involvement of student. Each of theories has distinctive features based on their individual perspectives of the learning process. In this essay, I will mainly discuss 3 things: 1) the main tenet of behaviorism and constructivism, 2) a comparison between cognitive and constructivism and 3) the implications that constructivism has for the classroom teacher with the central task of teaching.


Behaviorism is an approach which denies (with greater / lesser insistency) that consciousness has any relevance to the understanding of human behavior. Behavior is seen in terms of an identifiable and measurable response to external or internal, recognizable, and measurable stimuli. The response can be modified by rewards or various forms of discouragement- a process known as conditioning. The main theorist for behaviorism involves Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B F skinner. Firstly, a main tenet of behaviorism is that the teacher is in control of the class hence it is more of a teacher centric learning. Based on the views of behaviorism , the teacher is the power house, which creates a teacher centric learning. Teacher-centric learning involves direct or explicit teaching, where they control what information they teach in the classroom and use approaches such as drilling, lecturing and demonstrating. This also involves immediate reinforcement of desired behaviors or reinforcement of concepts through repetition.

Secondly, behaviorism belief is that behavior can be described and explained without using references to internal or mental processes According to Driscoll (2000,p.36), “behaviorists believe that people behave the way they do because of a complex set of external stimuli, which can be studied and observed.” For example, a classroom...
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