Theories and Principles of Learning

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Theories and Principles of Learning
This piece of academic writing is about a student teacher that is currently on their teacher-training placement. It will be discussing two theories of learning and how they affect the student teachers teaching techniques and promote inclusive learning. Learning theories are used to create different methods of portraying information to the learners, these theories mould the way in which we teach and the strategies and techniques we use. Willis (1990) gave insight to how learning should be initiated by the teacher proposing ‘learning needs to be presented in the language of the learner in order to be accessible’. Students learn in their own way and factors influence this, so in different environments or for different students, some learning theories will work better than others. The behaviorist theory came about in the 20th century when it is was though that human learning could be predicted by the study of animals, at the time they experimented the use of stimuli to see the outcome from the animals. "The behaviorist learning theory suggests that we learn by receiving a stimulus that provokes a response. So long as that response is reinforced in some way that response will be repeated."(Reece, Walker, 2006, pg81) Pavlov and Watson were one of the first to experiment with this and many people criticised them but it was proving to work, a bit like when you smell your favourite food, it sparks certain emotions that make you feel a certain way, this when put into the classroom can be used as a trigger for different activities or to calm behaviour. It is about getting the students to associate in the classroom, which will benefit the learning environment. Learning by association is considered a behavioural view and can be used within the lesson to trigger different parts of a lesson depending on what the task is. Within Design and Technology subject, lessons are normally broken up into practical based learning and theory based learning, and triggers can be used to put the learners in the correct frame of mind to be able to really connect with the work.

“We are so used to seeing trademarks in the media and around our environment. The trademarks for Mercedes-Benz, Nike, McDonalds, for example, are so familiar that we do not need the company name to recognise who they are. This is because we have learnt the company name through association” (Ingleby, Joyce, Powell, 2010, pg.62) As the quote explains, media makes the viewer associate different visuals with companies so that names are no longer needed. This can be achieved in lesson to separate different required elements of the lesson and also to stimulate students to think in a certain way. The student teacher achieves this with three different items that have been introduced into his lesson. One, the ‘objectives hat’. This is a bright top hat with coloured dots on it, this is a quirky hat and it is trying to promote a positive attitude about the lesson objective and the enjoyment that hopefully will follow. Another reason is also at the beginning of the lesson the students are required to know their objectives for the session and this hat is associated with writing them down in their books. The second object that is used is the ‘action hat’. This is an Australian hat with corks on it, it symbolises action and adventure and is used when the students are going to be starting practical in the workshop, vocal instructions is not needed when it is the practical part of the lesson, the hat lets students know that it is that time and they require to put and aprons and prepare for practical, the student teacher has mixed ability classes and some students would prefer visual stimuli so this promotes the inclusive learning of the students and gets all participating without confusion. Finally the third object that is used in the student teachers lesson is their plenary glasses. These are bright blue, thick-rimmed glasses, and they are to symbolise a...