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Most influential theories of learning

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http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/geqaf/annexes/technical-notes/most-influential-theories-learning

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Most influential theories of learning
Learning is defined as a process that brings together personal and environmental experiences and influences for acquiring, enriching or modifying one's knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, behaviour and world views. Learning theories develop hypotheses that describe how this process takes place. The scientific study of learning started in earnest at the dawn of the 20th century.

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Learning theories

Learning theories develop hypotheses that describe how learning takes place.

The major theories of learning are the following: 

  • behaviorist theories 
  • co...

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Behaviorism theories

The behaviorist perspectives of learning originated in the early 1900s. The main idea of behaviorism is that learning consists of a change in behavior because of obtaining, strengthening and app...

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Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology started in the late 1950s and contributed to the move away from behaviorism.

  • Instead of viewing people as collections of responses to external stimuli, people a...

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Constructivism

Constructivism started in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • The idea is that learning is not passive, but that learners have to make sense of their world by interpreting information actively.

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Social learning theory

The theory of Albert Bandura suggests that people learn within a social context and that learning is the result of imitation and observation, which are processes involving attention, retenti...

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Socio-constructivism

In the late 20th century, socio-constructivism highlighted the role of context, in particular social interaction.

The criticism against the information-processing constructivist approach to ...

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Experiential learning

It puts experience at the center of the learning process.
Carl Rogers is an influential proponent of these theories, suggesting that people have a natural inclination to learn, that they learn w...

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Multiple intelligences

Howard Gardner's theory challenges the understanding of intelligence as a single general ability. He argues that every person's level of intelligence actually consists of many distinct bits of i...

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Situated learning theory

Situated learning theory recognizes that there is no learning which is not situated. Learning occurs most effectively within communities - e.g., cooperation, problem-solving, building trust, und...

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21st-century learning or skills

21st-century learning or skills result from the concern that learning should meet the new demands of the 21st century, which is knowledge and technologically driven. It encourages the developmen...

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Reading and continuous learning

Reading is one of the best sources of continuous learning. It allows your mind to grow, change and make new connections.

Highly successful learners read a lot: Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother. Bill Gates reads 50 books per year. Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks. Warren Buffett spends five to six hours per day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports.

Learning as a process 

Learning is a journey, not a destination. It's a process of self-discovery, fueled by curiosity.

Learning is an investment that usually pays for itself in increased earnings. And in a fast-changing world, the learning skills quickly is becoming a necessity.

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Mark Twain

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain

The most useful learning

Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.

The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.

Types of Unlearning

  • Straightforward refutation of the old idea. This complete refutation is atypical. More likely the new knowledge doesn’t contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way.
  • The new knowledge revises a simpler picture by filling it with more complex details. This is similar to adding new knowledge, although because the older, simpler view of the issue has been overwritten with more detail, there is some unlearning going on.

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Re-reading and highlighting

Both of these study strategies are relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text over and over again won’t do much for recall unless it’s spaced out over time. 

Different learning styles

Systematic studies of learning styles have consistently found no evidence or very weak evidence to support the idea that matching the material to a student’s learning style is more effective.

Right or left-brained

There is no conclusive evidence that people preferentially use the left or right hemisphere.

Certain functions are processed more by one region of the brain than others, and this is known as lateralization. But we all use our entire brain equally.

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