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Topics: Classical conditioning, Learning, Behaviorism Pages: 8 (1478 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Cavite State University
Indang, Cavite


Understanding Learning and Acquisition of Knowledge

Reported by:

Aquino, Jester Ruth

Eliseo, Ma. Teresa

Rogelio, Rossette Anne

Valencia, Leo Eliza

Submitted to:

Dr. Alicia M. Rodrin

Professor EDUC 38


Understanding Learning and Acquisition of Knowledge


Educators have realized that for the students to be successful in life they need to be lifelong learners. Many educators have attempted to define learning. Some of these definitions are too complicated to have meaning. Others are not broad enough in their scope. Perhaps the best definition, especially where educators are concerned, is the definition which puts emphasis on the student’s ability to perform as the result of learning.

Nature of Learning

• Ornstein (1990) – learning is a reflective process whereby the learner either develops new insights or changes or restructures his mental process.

• Lardizabal (1991)- learning is an integrated, on-going process occurring within the individual.

• Slavin (1995)- learning is a change of individual cause by experience.

• Calderon (1998)- learning is the acquisition through maturation and experience of new and more knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable the learner to make better.

Theories of Learning


Theories are statements that explain a certain event or phenomena. This report discusses different theories that explain how learning occurs in learners, thus, the learning theories. These learning theories are classified among the Behavioral Theories, Cognitive Theories, and Constructivist Theories. However, even though there are a lot of theories which explain how learning occurs, there is no single perfect theory that can explain all as learning depends also on the learners, the teacher and the environment that they have.

Behavioral Theories

Among the Behavioral Theories are the well-known theories like Ivan Pavlov ‘s Classical Conditioning Theory, Thorndike’s Stimulus-Response Theory, B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning and Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theories.

1. Ivan Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov based his theory from his experiment on the digestive process of dogs where he found that the dogs respond to neutral stimulus when it is associated with a conditioned stimulus. From this experiment he also concluded the ways of learning in humans. He formulated concepts like stimulus generalization, discrimination, and extinction which all talks about how learners respond to various stimuli.

2. Thorndike’s Stimulus-Response Theory

Thorndike’s theory has a little resemblance to Pavlov’s theory such that his theory also uses stimuli and responses. Thorndike did a cat experiment and from it, he concluded that stimuli can prompt responses. Moreover, a behavior which gives a pleasant consequence is more likely to be repeated, and a behavior which results to bad consequence is tending not to be repeated. This led him to formulate the Law of Effect. He also formulated the Law of Readiness which exemplifies the importance of the readiness of learners in learning for them to not be forced to learn or do some activities. He also formulated the Law of Exercise which emphasizes the significance of exercise or continuous practice or doing of a certain activity can the learner really appreciate and perfect it.

3. B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning

Skinner’s Operant Conditioning highlights the use of pleasant and unpleasant consequences to change behavior. These pleasant or unpleasant consequences are called reinforcements.

Reinforcements are any behavioral consequence that strengthens (that is, increases the frequency of) a behavior. It increases the likelihood of the...
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