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Trainers Need To Upgrade Their Understanding of Learning Theories

In some ways, the training industry has a large contingent of those that feel they need to know almost nothing about how people learn. They believe that because they can remember 10 principles of adult learning, they are prepared to take on any and all challenges of training delivery.

It's crazy. What that says is that teaching and training don't require the practitioner to understand how people learn. You wouldn't want a neuro-surgeon to operate on you if that surgeon had no idea of how the brain worked, because you know that there's no such thing as "cookie-cutter" brain surgery. Yet, for trainers, it's almost the norm.

Learning Theories and Models - Yes There Are a Lot

Most trainers know one or two approaches to understanding how people learn, and so they get stuck having to use the limited tools that fit what they know. The problem is that various theories are useful in various contexts, or even with various individual learners, so the more you know, the more flexible you can be in making instructional decisions.

No Excuses - Go Ye Forth and Learn Learning Theories

You want to be a professional trainer? Then expand your horizons by adding a deep understanding of how people learn, The more you know, the better a trainer you will be, and you can move beyond being just a person with a bunch of training tricks.

Top : Learning Theories As They Relate To Training :


Instructional Design Approaches By na
A chart that compares Behaviorist / Objectivist approach (B.F. Skinner, R.F. Mager, R. M. Gagne)to Cognitive / Constructionist (J. Dewey, J. Piaget, L. Vygotsky ) in terms of instructional design, instructor role, etc. Hits: 577 )

Behaviorism - The Forerunner By Gary DeMar
Behaviorism originated with the work of John B. Watson, an American psychologist. Watson claimed that psychology was not concerned with the mind or with human consciousness. Instead, psychology would be concerned only with behavior. In this way, men could be studied objectively, like rats and apes. (Overview of behaviorism which is probably of more interest for its historical information Hits: 654 )

Convergent and Divergent Learning By JS Atherton
Hudson (1967) studied English schoolboys, and found that conventional measures of intelligence did not always do justice to their abilities. The tests gave credit for problem-solving which produced the "right" answer, but under-estimated creativity and unconventional approaches to problems. He concluded that there were two different forms of thinking or ability in play here: Hits: 600 )

Information Processing Theory (G. Miller) By na
George Miller contributed at least two notable concepts to cognitive science. The first concept is "chunking" and the capacity of short term memory. Miller (1956) presented the idea that short-term memory could only hold 5-9 chunks of information (seven plus or minus two) where a chunk is any meaningful unit. A chunk could refer to digits, words, chess positions, or people's faces. The concept of chunking and the limited capacity of short term memory became a basic element of all subsequent theories of memory. The second concept is TOTE (Test-Operate-Test-Exit) proposed by Miller, Galanter & Pribram (1960). Miller et al. suggested that TOTE should replace the stimulus-response as the basic unit of behavior. Hits: 583 )

Personal Construct Theory By JS Atherton
Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) is known as such, rather than as a “theory”, because it is the only approach in psychology which was developed from the start as a complete psychology, explicit about its asumptions and theoretical base. Although often treated as a cognitive approach alongside others — and seeming a little too rational in some respects — it claims to go beyond the distinction between cognition, emotion and conation (“will”) found in all other psychologies. Hits: 549 )

Instructional Design - ACT-R Model of Memory By John Anderson
Distinguishes between three different types of memory, procedural, working memory, and declarative as formulated by John Anderson et all at Carnegie-Mellon. Hits: 288 )

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer) at Learning Theories By na
cognitive theory of multimedia learning based on three main assumptions: there are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information; there is limited channel capacity; and that learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information. Hits: 686 )

Instructional Design / Learning Models/Theories By na
Another comparitive chart, in great detail comparing Objectivism/Behaviorism, Cognitivism/ Pragmatism, and Constructivism/ Interpretivism. Recommended because of its links to other useful and related information. Hits: 516 )

Successful intelligence in the classroom Theory Into Practice By Robert Sternberg
any students could learn more effectively than they do now if they were taught in a way that better matched their patterns of abilities. Teaching for successful intelligence provides a way to create such a match. It involves helping all students capitalize on their strengths and compensate for or correct their weaknesses. It does so by teaching in a way that balances learning for memory, analytical, creative, and practical thinking. This article describes how such teaching is done and provides data supporting the efficacy of the approach. Hits: 533 )

Multiple Intelligence Theory By n a
Learn more about Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theories model here. Hits: 1753 )

Social Learning Theory (Bandura) By na
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation. Hits: 718 )

Learning how to learn By JS Atherton
For our purposes, there are two quite different traditions about learning how to learn. One stems from the Deep and Surface learning strategies studies (about responses to being taught), and the other from the work of Gregory Bateson. Bateson maintained that many discussions about learning were confused by category errors about the kind of learning they were about. He suggested that there are a number of levels, in which each superior level is the class of its subordinates (rather like Kelly's notion of superordinate and subordinate constructs). Hits: 584 )

APPLYING THE INDIVIDUALIZING INSTRUCTION MODEL WITH ADULT LEARNERS By Roger Hiemstra
While about individualizing instruction, this material presents a model of instruction tied to motivation of adult learners. Hits: 766 )

Cognitive Dissonance and learning By JS Atherton
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. Neighbour (1992) makes the generation of appropriate dissonance into a major feature of tutorial (and other) teaching: he shows how to drive this kind of intellectual wedge between learners' current beliefs and "reality". Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go "over the top", leading to two interesting side-effects for learning Hits: 573 )

Index of Learning Theories and Models at Learning Theories By n a
This is a summary page of some learning theories. Some learning theories discussed are attribution and problem-based learning. Also included are some design and descriptive theories. Hits: 791 )

Algo-Heuristic Theory (Landa) By Landa
Landa's theory is concerned with identifying mental processes -- conscious and especially unconscious -- that underlie expert learning, thinking and performance in any area. His methods represent a system of techniques for getting inside the mind of expert learners and performers which enable one to uncover the processes involved. Once uncovered, they are broken down into their relative elementary components -- mental operations and knowledge units which can be viewed as a kind of psychological "atoms" and "molecules". Performing a task or solving a problem always requires a certain system of elementary knowledge units and operations Hits: 201 )

Learning how to learn - Bateson By na
For our purposes, there are two quite different traditions about learning how to learn. One stems from the Deep and Surface learning strategies studies (about responses to being taught), and the other from the work of Gregory Bateson. Bateson maintained that many discussions about learning were confused by category errors about the kind of learning they were about. He suggested that there are a number of levels, in which each superior level is the class of its subordinates (rather like Kelly's notion of superordinate and subordinate constructs). Hits: 629 )

Comparison of Learning Theories and Implications for Instructional Design By na
Recommended A comparison of three learning models, behaviorist, constructionist, and cognitive, along with implications and applications of the model to instructional design. Hits: 1108 )

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers Researched-Based Strategies (Advanced Organizers, Ausubel By na
Teachers set the stage for learning by finding out what students already know, then connect new ideas to students' existing knowledge base. Using a variety of instructional strategies, teachers guide students from the known to the unknown, from familiar territory to new concepts. Cues, questions, and advance organizers are among the tools and strategies that teachers use to set the stage for learning. These tools create a framework that helps students focus on what they are about to learn. Hits: 539 )

Conversational learning theory; Pask and Laurillard By JS Atherton
ordon Pask's work stands rather outside the mainstream of the psychology of education, but is immediately recognised by many learners and teachers in adult education as being very significant. He was a cyberneticist rather than an educationalist, and developed a systems approach to learning which is highly abstract and difficult, although rewarding: it is reflected in the “conversational” models of learning of Laurillard and Thomas and Harri-Augstein. Hits: 696 )

Attribution Theory (Weiner) By na
Weiner’s attribution theory is mainly about achievement. According to him, the most important factors affecting attributions are ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck. Attributions are classified along three causal dimensions: locus of control (two poles: internal vs. external) stability (do causes change over time or not?) controllability (causes one can control such as skills vs. causes one cannot control such as luck, others’ actions, etc.) Hits: 569 )

Constructivism in learning By JS Atherton
Constructivism is the label given to a set of theories about learning which fall somewhere between cognitive and humanistic views. If behaviourism treats the organism as a black box, cognitive theory recognises the importance of the mind in making sense of the material with which it is presented. Nevertheless, it still presupposes that the role of the learner is primarily to assimilate whatever the teacher presents. Constructivism — particularly in its "social" forms — suggests that the learner is much more actively involved in a joint enterprise with the teacher of creating ("constructing") new meanings. Hits: 724 )

Structure of Intellect - Learning Theory of Guilford By na
Guilford's multiple skills/intelligences was an early attempt to identify over 30 sub-categories of intelligence. Hits: 256 )

Learning how to learn - Bateson By na
For our purposes, there are two quite different traditions about learning how to learn. One stems from the Deep and Surface learning strategies studies (about responses to being taught), and the other from the work of Gregory Bateson. Bateson maintained that many discussions about learning were confused by category errors about the kind of learning they were about. He suggested that there are a number of levels, in which each superior level is the class of its subordinates (rather like Kelly's notion of superordinate and subordinate constructs). Hits: 446 )

Conditions of Learning (R. Gagne) By na
Straightforward explanation of Gagne's approach to instructional design, based on his conditions of learning. Hits: 400 )

GOMS Model (Card, Moran, and Newell) at Learning Theories By na
The GOMS Model is a human information processing model that predicts what skilled users will do in seemingly unpredictable situations. Originators and proponents: Card, Moran and Newell in 1983; Bonnie John et al. Hits: 703 )

Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth) at Learning Theories By na
The paradigm shift from teacher-centric instruction to learner-centered instruction has caused “new needs for ways to sequence instruction” (Reigeluth, 1999). Charles Reigeluth of Indiana University posited Elaboration Theory, an instructional design model that aims to help select and sequence content in a way that will optimize attainment of learning goals. Proponents feel the use of motivators, analogies, summaries and syntheses leads to effective learning. While the theory does not address primarily affective content, it is intended for medium to complex kinds of cognitive and psychomotor learning. Hits: 505 )

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