Learning theories

Concept: Construction workers inspecting brain

When it comes to understanding effective teaching and learning, learning theories provide frameworks for helping to understand how information can be absorbed, processed and retained. Our own and student’s understanding can be influenced by cognitive, emotional and environmental factors, as well as previous experience. These theories each focus on a specific view of learning and illustrate how our understanding of learning as developed over time.

We have all heard the key terms: behaviourist, conditioning theory, cognitivist and constructivist, but remembering what each theory advocates and by whom can often be tricky as each theory does not necessarily stand alone and can be supported by others and their research.

This page provides links to the summaries of key learning theories that educators need to understand in order to provide the most effective education.

* Behaviourist

* Cognitivist

* Constructivist, social and situational

* Humanism and motivational

* Miscellaneous theories and models




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