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Megan Self 1

Reflection Paper #1

The Importance of Different Learning Theories in Education

Learning theories impact education and society daily. If a teacher only believes in one,

this will be shown through how they teach and how their students learn. Behaviorism is how a

learner responds to outside prompts. This is where hands-on learning comes into play best.

Cognitivism is learning that goes beyond the classroom and it is a theory of being open minded.

This is similar to how a computer processes information. Constructivism is bringing a past

experience and tying it into something new a student has learned. Combined, these learning

theories will only help students gain more knowledge, but if a teacher is to pick one, students

will be limited to what they actually learn as “it is easy to see that each of these learning theories

are both correct and limited” (Donachy, 2014).

Collectively, these learning theories will only impact education in a positive way. If a

teacher takes these learning theories and puts them into action, a teacher will get a variety of

teaching styles in order to teach a variety of learning styles, and in turn, have the whole class

become successful and retain what they are learning. With this in context and “understanding

that individuals bring various learning experiences to the learning situation,” a teacher needs to

be prepared to accommodate all students, and not just what they assume they will need to be

teaching (Ertmer, 54). Some of these learning styles in play could look like discussions,

experiments, writing papers, group projects, and many more. After using all of these styles, most

students will be able to learn in the way they want to, instead of only the way the teacher is

wanting to teach.
Megan Self 2

After doing many projects and a lot of research over learning theories, I am aware that

they work best when they are working together. Gradually using more of these styles in my

teaching, will show me what makes my students the most successful. “Through experience what

works and what doesn’t work with your learners” is something all teachers need to take into

consideration (Gravells, 2014). Implementing different activities and finding success rates,

through assessment, is how I will find what works best for my students, which in turn, will help

me become a better teacher. Teaching myself how to learn from my students to better serve to

them, will also help me become the best teacher I can possibly be.

Incorporating different learning theories and styles helps me become a better teacher, but

will also help my students become better learners. Most teachers teach based on the way they

were taught. This does not help expand any knowledge. The world is gaining more knowledge,

which means teachers are needed to grow with this and teach newer ways for newer generations,

instead of the same way they were taught when they were in elementary school. Teaching

different styles reaches all students, which will help my whole classroom be successful learners,

which is all a teacher can hope to do in their time teaching.


Megan Self 3

References

Donachy, J. (9 Nov. 2014). “Four Learning Theories: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism

and Connectivism.” Education, PYP. Retrieved from

https://pypinub.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/four-learning-theories-behaviorism-

cognitivism-constructivism-and-connectivism/

Ertmer, P. (2013). “Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features

From an Instructional Design Perspective.” Retrieved from

https://www.uwplatt.edu/files/ttc/idarticle.pdf

Gravells, A. (2014). “Teaching and Learning Theories.” The Certificate in Education and

Training. Retrieved from https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1505