Theories and Principles for Planning and Enabling Learning

Topics: Learning, Psychology, Education Pages: 10 (3313 words) Published: July 14, 2011
UNIT 4 – TASK 12
Gestalt Theory2
The Cognitivists3
Other theories3
Transactional Analysis (TA) and Teaching3
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)4
UNIT 4 – TASK 25
How to apply the Humanist perspective?7
How to apply the Cognitivist perspective?7
UNIT 4 – TASK 39

Total Word Count: 3297
Identify and discuss the significance of relevant theories and principles of learning and communication Unit 4 – Task 1
“Educational theory has, at its base, psychology, sociology, and the study of behaviour. As teachers, it is argued, we need to know how people behave under certain circumstances so that we can optimise their learning through the provision of conditions that make it as easy a process as possible. For instance, how do we help our students to memorise the material in our subject, how do we make them understand the concepts and principles, does their attitude to both learning and the subject have a bearing on how they learn, and so on?” (Reece I & Walker S, 2006, p53) The field of educational theory is vast with contributions from many experts looking at education from different angles, putting emphasis on different aspects. Also the learners come in a wide variety with individual needs and learning styles. We, therefore, have to separate and subdivide this material to clearly identify the essence of, and differences and similarities between the different approaches. Relevant Theories of Learning

Behaviourists and Neo-Behaviourists focus on the Stimulus-Response (S-R) model and the teacher spends much time assessing the responses and helping to shape desired behaviours. Behaviourists would tend to spend less time discussing ‘extraneous’ factors, but would provide detailed feedback in the form of further stimuli and the provision of ‘reinforcement’. Humanists

“Humanistic psychology emerged in America largely as a deliberate reaction against behaviourism…” (Curzon, 2006, p111). Curzon (2006) mentions that Rogers as a Humanistic educator: •‘calls for student-centred education based on active discovery, in contrast to the essentially passive, conformist, accumulation of stored knowledge’… •The outstanding quality of the successful teacher is empathy – the ability to see someone else’s problems through one’s own eyes, and to communicate that understanding with clarity and care … Gestalt Theory

Gestalt comes from the German for pattern or structure. Reece & Walker (2006) say this indicates the Gestaltists are interested in the overall perspective as opposed to the behaviourists who are concerned with a series of incremental actions. Learners gaining insight (the dropping penny syndrome) is one of the central concepts of this theory: learning does not take place at a steady rate but goes through periods of plateau and occasionally rapid rises. Although the Gestalt theory applies to all aspects of human learning, it most directly applies to perception and problem-solving. One of the proponents of the theory, Wertheimer, formulated the laws of organisation in terms of proximity, similarity, closure and simplicity. The Cognitivists

According to Reece & Walker (2006), the Cognitivists place their focus on the students and how they gain and organise their knowledge (cognise) as opposed to the Behaviourists, who place their focus on the task and the Stimulus-Response model. There is also emphasis on the importance of feedback, students being reflective about their learning and teachers discussing with the students. Bruner insists that students must be taught how to analyse problems and how to think for themselves in order to become independent learners. Other theories

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