Assimilation is the interpretation of new information in terms of pre-existing concepts, information or ideas. Stated in this general form, individual constructivism is sometimes associated with a well-known educational philosopher of the early twentieth century, John Dewey (1938–1998). However, educational psychologists can also pursue careers as researchers, consultants, and teachers in a variety of contexts, including schools, community organizations, government research centers, and learning centers. These requirements sound, of course, a lot like the requirements for classroom teaching. For convenience these are called psychological constructivism and social constructivism (or sometimes sociocultural theory). Reinforcement was associated with pressing a lever when, and only when, the light was on. This paper. Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners, and learning disabilities. (2001). Language and dialogue therefore are primary, and development is seen as happening as a result—the converse of the sequence pictured by Piaget. For example, constructivist influence shapes the common teaching practice of posing questions or problems and then inviting students to answer and solve them in their own ways. Rather, this school of thought suggests that learners create their own subjective information by interpreting their world and restructuring their thinking. Abstract thinking is possible, according to psychological constructivism, but it emerges relatively slowly and relatively late in development, after a person accumulates considerable concrete experience. However, teachers’ efforts to balance lectures with activities that encourage mental processing also reflect cognitivist influence. As explained more fully in the next chapter (“Student development”), elementary-age students can reason, but they are thought to reason only about immediate, concrete objects and events. The earliest stages of a child’s life are thought to be rather self-centered and to be dependent on the child’s sensory and motor interactions with the environment. Connectivism is the newest educational learning theory. Predict some of the things that Goldilocks might have used if she had entered your house. Bandura’s ideas correlate with Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, where the zone of development is only accessible to a learner through interaction with mentors or other more knowledgeable persons. Using the computer as a metaphor for the human mind, cognitivists see learning as a product of mental faculties and activities, including thought, knowledge, memory, motivation, reflection, and problem-solving. There are 5 overarching paradigms of educational learning theories; behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, design/brain-based, humanism and 21st Century skills. Sometimes they are controlled by the activity itself (as in the track team example), or by classmates (as in the “giggling” example). Constructivists agree that learners create knowledge rather than passively receiving it, and that preexisting knowledge plays a crucial role in their learning. As psychologists, these professionals often work directly with children — and in collaboration with parents and teachers — to improve a child’s learning outcomes. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. 2 Educational Learning Theories edited by Molly Y. Zhou Dalton State College David Brown Dalton State College December, 2017 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-SA). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Bruner, J. Note that the extrinsic part of the reinforcement may sometimes be more easily observed or noticed than the intrinsic part, which by definition may sometimes only be experienced within the individual and not also displayed outwardly. Social and contextual learning theories also inform educators’ efforts to connect new concepts with direct applications of concepts in specific contexts where a student lives, works, and/or learns. Calling on a student to speak, for example, can be a cue that if the student does say something at that moment, then he or she may be reinforced with praise or acknowledgment. By assigning a more active role to expert helpers—which by implication includes teachers—than does the psychological constructivism, social constructivism may be more complete as a description of what teachers usually do when actually busy in classrooms, and of what they usually hope students will experience there. A teacher’s effort to explicitly address the importance of lesson material reflects the impact of social and contextual learning theory. Piaget did recognize the importance of helpful others in his writings and theorizing, calling the process of support or assistance social transmission. Select the part of the story where Goldilocks seemed most comfortable. Applied behavior analysis for teachers, 7th edition. Learning and behavior, 6th edition. (2005). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. In respondent conditioning, however, the schedule in question is the pattern by which the conditioned stimulus is paired with the unconditioned stimulus. Psychology gives education the theory of individual differences that every child has different mental ability and learns with different pace. It uses psychological concepts and research methods to understand teaching, learning, and human development (Berliner, 2006). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice offers complete, up-to-date information that is presented in readable, practical ways and illustrated with engaging examples and case studies. They may not understand the experiment as an adult would, but the discussion can begin moving them toward adult-like understandings. However, two differing strands of constructivism bear mentioning. Such environmental influences include associations, reinforcements, punishments, and observations. (2001). For teachers concerned both about motivating students and about minimizing inappropriate behaviors, this is both good news and bad. Operant conditioning can encourage intrinsic motivation, to the extent that the reinforcement for an activity is the activity itself. Note that in all of these examples, focusing attention on behavior instead of on “thoughts” may have been desirable at that moment, but not necessarily desirable indefinitely or all of the time. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Behaviorist models of learning may be helpful in understanding and influencing what students do, but teachers usually also want to know what students are thinking, and how to enrich what students are thinking. This fact makes the psychological constructivism valuable in its own way, even though it (and a few other learning theories as well) may seem to omit mentioning teachers, parents, or experts in detail. Gradually the rat would spend more time near the lever and press the lever more frequently, getting food more frequently. If a student tells a joke to classmates and they laugh at it, then the student is likely to tell more jokes in the future and so on. At the same time, though, note that each student probably was also extrinsically motivated, meaning that another part of the reinforcement came from consequences or experiences not inherently part of the activity or behavior itself. This was because part of what reinforced their behavior was the behavior itself—whether it was making faces, running a mile, or contributing to a discussion. Departing from the comparative emphasis of behaviorists, cognitivists see human beings as rational creatures quite different from animals. In this view, human behavior reflects internal processing of the human mind, rather than simply a conditioned response to external stimuli. As some of the comments above indicate, psychological and social constructivism have differences that suggest different ways for teachers to teach most effectively. In more everyday (but also less precise) terms, Piaget might then say that “the child has learned more about birds.”, Exhibit 1 diagrams the relationships among the Piagetian version of psychological constructivist learning. Experiential learning theories identify meaningful everyday experience as the most central factor in increasing a learner’s knowledge and understanding, as well as transforming their behavior. Generalization refers to the incidental conditioning of behaviors similar to an original operant. While late 20th century cognitivist theories tend to reduce a learner to a passive receptacle, social constructivism believes learners actively hypothesize about their environment and test these hypotheses through social negotiations. Some of the primary learning theories of development include: Classical conditioning. Cite the book: Today in modern era, education psychology is the foundation of education. First, the process is widespread in classrooms—probably more widespread than teachers realize. In most of them the operant behavior tends to become more frequent on repeated occasions: These examples are enough to make several points about operant conditioning. The second set of theories propose cognition as the source of motivation. And still another example—one often relevant to new teachers: when I began my first year of teaching, I was more focused on doing the job of teaching—on day-to-day survival—than on pausing to reflect on what I was doing. Bloom’s taxonomy makes useful distinctions among possible kinds of knowledge needed by students, and therefore potentially helps in selecting activities that truly target students’ zones of proximal development in the sense meant by Vygotsky. At some point we all use this perspective, whether we call it “behaviorism” or something else. This includes connections with each other and connections between their increasing number of roles, obligations, hobbies, and other aspects of life. For another example: when I reached the point in life where I began cooking meals for myself, I was more focused on whether I could actually produce edible food in a kitchen than with whether I could explain my recipes and cooking procedures to others. Assessing and judging the value or ideas, objects, or materials in a particular situation. Educational Psychology Theories The research on Educational Psychology Theories are extensive, and the four major perspectives which make the foundation for its qualitative and quantitative research methods of study are those of behaviorist, cognitive, humanistic and social learning. The second category can be further divided into psychological constructivism (changes in thinking resulting from individual experiences), and social constructivism, (changes in thinking due to assistance from others). He also argued that a curriculum could only be justified if it related as fully as possible to the activities and responsibilities that students will probably have later, after leaving school. If you are teaching, you will need to attend to all forms of learning in students, whether inner or outward. A student who clowns around inappropriately in class, for example, may not be “supported” by classmates’ laughter every time it happens, but only some of the time. Ferster, C., Skinner, B. F., Cheney, C., Morse, W., & Dews, D. Schedules of reinforcement. The goal of educational psychology is to create a positive student-teacher relationship. Explore Careers in Educational Psychology. Combining elements or parts into a new object, idea, or procedure. Meanwhile, behaviorist insights underlie many of the teaching methods still used today in homes, classrooms, workplaces, and other contexts. To many educators these days, his ideas may seem merely like good common sense, but they were indeed innovative and progressive at the beginning of the twentieth century. For this goal of teaching, some of the best help comes from constructivism, which is a perspective on learning focused on how students actively create (or “construct”) knowledge out of experiences. Cognitivism has given rise to many evidence based education theories, including cognitive load theory, schema theory and dual coding theory as well as being the basis for retrieval practice. Presto! Many schools incorporate experiential education as a formal component in their programs and curricula. Pinpointing the most appropriate learning activities to accomplish this objective remains the job of the teacher-expert (that’s you), but the learning itself has to be accomplished by the student. Guy Lefrancois (1994) describes it as a study of human behavior in an education setting. Learning involves the integration of information into a stored and usable body of knowledge. The main idea of psychological constructivism is that a person learns by mentally organizing and reorganizing new information or experiences. Behavioral psychologists have studied schedules of reinforcement extensively (for example, Ferster, et al., 1997; Mazur, 2005), and found a number of interesting effects of different schedules. The Student development chapter was appropriate for a course on educational psychology, but may present too much information for more introductory courses. In practice, however, the actual behavior of teachers and students may be quite similar in both forms of constructivism. Despite this, his work has continued to grow in influence since his death, particularly in the fields of developmental psychology and educational psychology. Consequently, cognitive theory explores the complexities of the human mind as it processes information. A case study in Appendix A of this book (The decline and fall of Jane Gladstone) suggests how this happened to someone completing student teaching. This dual principle is important for teachers because so much of the reinforcement we give is partial or intermittent. Even older youth are thought to reason in this way much, or even all of the time. New York: Teachers College Press. It is less useful for understanding changes in students’ thinking; for this purpose we need theories that are more cognitive (or thinking-oriented) or social, like the ones described later in this chapter. Theories in Educational Psychology’s purpose is to introduce readers to the pioneering educational psychology theories that continue to shape our understanding of the classroom learning environment, present support for the theories from perspectives in the current research literature, and share how these theoretical traditions have translated into effective teaching methods. Rejecting all didactic approaches, experientialism argues that one person cannot effectively impart knowledge directly to another person; people must learn for themselves. Dewey, J. of the Special Interest Group on Teaching Educational Psychology (TEP SIG) sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. Operant conditioning focuses on how the consequences of a behavior affect the behavior over time. This led to new metaphors for learning as a “participation” and “social negotiation.”. The teacher calls on her and she makes her comment (the reinforcement). Any significant new learning requires setting aside, giving up, or revising former learning, and this step inevitably therefore “disturbs” thinking, if only in the short term and only in a relatively minor way. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. In classrooms, cues are sometimes provided by the teacher deliberately, and sometimes simply by the established routines of the class. Explanations and illustrations of reasons for a lesson typically improve student motivation, helping students visualize or actually practice using this knowledge in practical contexts. The idea of “democracy,” for example, may be experienced simply as an empty concept. Understanding facts, interpreting information. For now, look briefly at just two. As the name implies, it is grounded in the notion that people learn and grow by forming connections. Hull’s Deductive Theory. Read easy-to-understand guides for psychology, education, business and design. 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