Traditional Learning Theories

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Traditional Learning Theories

Strayer University


Traditional Learning Theories
Cognitive constructivism is based on the work of Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget. Piaget's theory has two major parts: a component that predicts what children can and cannot understand at different ages, and a theory of development that describes how children develop cognitive abilities.(Piaget 1970) It is the theory of development that will be the focus here because it is the major foundation for cognitive constructivist approaches to teaching and learning. Piaget's theory of cognitive development proposes that humans cannot be "given" information which they immediately understand and use. Instead, humans must "construct" their own knowledge. (Piaget 1970) They build their knowledge through experience. Experiences enable them to create mental models in their heads. These schemas are changed, enlarged, and made more sophisticated through two complimentary One important generalization of Piagetian theory is role of the teacher. In a Piagetian classroom an important teacher role is to provide a rich environment for the spontaneous exploration of the child. A classroom filled with interesting things to explore encourages students to become active constructors of their own knowledge through experiences that encourage assimilation and accommodation. Robert Gagné is one of the key constructivist theorists. He is also known as a bridge theorist because he took the best of both worlds, behaviorism and cognitivism, to create his view of instruction and its design. Like Skinner, Gagné believes that learning results in behavior changes that are observable. He called these changes in behavior outcomes. Outcomes, according to Gagné, are descriptions of educational goals in terms of what is to be accomplished through the prescribed learning activities. Activities stem from performance objectives, that is, explicitly 3

Traditional Learning Theories
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