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Learning Theories and Models

• Define learning
• Discuss learning process
• Discuss learning theories
• Discuss Kolb• s and Tyler learning model
• Analyze learning theories and models in daily
learning activities
• Compare teaching learning strategies which
enhance learning

 When an individual gains knowledge, skill and
understanding the subject learning changes attitude
and behavior it is known as learning.
 Learning is considered as a change in a person has
caused by experience.

• To learning is to acquire knowledge or skill. Learning also
may involve a change in attitude or behavior. Children learn to
identify objects at an early age; teenagers may learn to
improve study habits; and adults can learn to solve complex

• The challenge for the aviation instructor is to understand how

people learn, and more importantly, to be able to apply that
knowledge to the learning environment.

• Teaching learning process is a transaction or a complex
cooperative and personal relation between faculty and
Edmund Amidon
– Teaching is defined as an interactive process, primarily
involving classroom talk, which takes place between
teacher and pupil and occurs during certain definable

T.F. Greens
– Teaching is a task of a teacher, which is performed for the
development of a child. 5
Learning theory may be described as a body of principles
advocated by psychologists and educators to explain how
people acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Various
branches of learning theory are used in formal training
programs to improve and accelerate the learning process.

Learning theories are conceptual framework describing

how knowledge is absorbed, processed, and retained
during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental
influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how
understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed and
knowledge and skills retained. 6
• Behaviorists look at learning as an aspect of conditioning and
will advocate a system of rewards and targets in education.
Educators who embrace cognitive theory believe that the
definition of learning as a change in behavior is too narrow and
prefer to study the learner rather than their environment and in
particular the complexities of human memory

• Those who advocate constructivism believe that a learner's

ability to learn relies to a large extent on what he already knows
and understands, and the acquisition of knowledge should be an
individually tailored process of construction.
Three general theories of learning:

1. Behaviorism
2. Cognitivism
3. Constructivism

• Behaviorism is a worldview that assumes a learner is
essentially passive, responding to environmental stimuli. The
learner starts off as a clean schedule and behavior is shaped
through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement.

• In contrast, punishment (both positive and negative) decreases

the likelihood that the antecedent behavior will happen again.

• Positive indicates the application of a stimulus; Negative

indicates the withholding of a stimulus. Learning is therefore
defined as a change in behavior in the learner.

• Behaviorism

– Stimulus-Response
– Reinforced Behavior
– Antecedent Behavior Consequence
– Sequenced knowledge and skills presented in
logical limited steps

The role of consequences
 Rein forcers

 Punishers

 Immediacy of consequences

 Shaping

 Extinction

 Schedules of reinforcement
 Maintenance and the role of antecedents

Emphasis is on observable and measurable behaviors

Goal of Instruction: Behaviorism

 Communicate or transfer behaviors representing knowledge

and skills to the learner (does not consider mental processing)

 Instruction is to obtain the desired response from the learner

who is presented with a target stimulus.

 Learner must know how to implement the proper response as

well as the conditions under which the response is made.

 Instruction utilizes consequences and reinforcement of learned


Behaviorism does not account for all kinds of learning, since it
disregards the activities of the mind.

Behaviorism does not explain some learning--such as the

recognition of new language patterns by young children-
for which there is no reinforcement mechanism.

Research has shown that animals adapt their reinforced

patterns to new information. For instance, a rat can shift its
behavior to respond to changes in the layout of a hole it had
previously mastered through reinforcements.
• Cognitivism is a learning theory that focuses on the processes
involved in learning rather than on the observed behavior. As
opposed to Behaviorists, Cognitivists do not require an outward
exhibition of learning, but focus more on the internal processes
and connections that take place during learning.

• Cognitivism contends that “the black box” of the mind should

be opened and understood. The learner is viewed as an
information processor. Mental processes such as thinking,
memory, knowing, and problem-solving need to be explored.
Knowledge can be seen as diagram or symbolic mental

• Cognitivism

– Cognitivism Learning Perspective

– Information Processing
– Schema (Plan)
– Mental Models

o Learning is a change of knowledge state.

o Knowledge acquisition is described as a mental activity that

entails internal coding and structuring by the learner.

o Learner is viewed as an active participant in the learning


o Emphasis is on the building blocks of knowledge.

o Emphasis on structuring, organizing and sequencing

information to facilitate optimal processing.

• Communicate or transfer knowledge in the most
efficient, effective manner (mind- independent, can
be mapped onto learners)
• Focus of instruction is to create learning or change by
encouraging the learner to use appropriate learning
• Learning results when information is stored in
memory in an organized, meaningful way.
• Teachers/designers are responsible for assisting
learners in organizing information in an optimal way
so that it can be readily learned

• Constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized
process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it.
Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and
hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test
these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a
different interpretation and construction of knowledge
process. The learner is not a blank schedule but brings past
experiences and cultural factors to a situation.


– Inquiry-based
– Discovery learning
Inquiry-based learning is a strategy used in education that
aims to create a more learner-focused, active, and engaging
experience than in traditional teacher-centered approaches.

Discovery Learning is a method of inquiry-based instruction,

discovery learning believes that it is best for learners to discover
facts and relationships for themselves.

o Learners build personal interpretation of the world
based on experiences and interactions

o Knowledge is fixed in the context in which it is used

(authentic tasks in meaningful realistic settings)

o Create original and situation-specific understandings by

"assembling" knowledge from different sources
appropriate to the problem at hand (flexible use of

Goal of Instruction: Constructivism
• Build personal interpretations of the world based on
individual experiences and interactions (constantly open to
change, cannot achieve a predetermined, "correct" meaning,
knowledge emerges in relevant contexts)

• Learning is an active process of constructing rather than

acquiring knowledge.

• Instruction is a process of supporting knowledge

construction rather than communicating knowledge

• Do not structure learning for the task, but engage learner in

the actual use of the tools in real world situations.

• David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984
from which he developed his learning style inventory.

• Kolb's experiential learning theory works on two levels: a

four stage cycle of learning and four separate learning
styles. Much of Kolb• s theory is concerned with the
s internal cognitive processes.

• Kolb states that learning involves the achievement of

abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of
situations.In Kolb•
s theory, the force for the development
of new concepts is provided by new experiences. 23
1. Concrete Experience: (a new experience of situation is
encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience).

2. Reflective Observation: (the new experience of particular

importance are any inconsistencies between experience and

3. Abstract Conceptualization: (Reflection gives rise to a new

idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept).

4. Active Experimentation: (the learner applies them to the

world around them to see what results).

Stages of Cycles
Effective learning is seen when a person progresses through
a cycle of four stages.

(1) Having a concrete experience followed by

(2) Observation of and reflection on that experience which

leads to

(3)The formation of abstract concepts (analysis) and

generalizations (conclusions) which are then

(4) Used to test hypothesis in future situations, resulting in

new experiences.
Stages of Four Cycles

According to Kolb, “Knowledge results from the
combination of grasping experience and transforming it.”

In his model, there are four distinct segments to learning:

•Description of Concrete experience

•Testing and Application

 Description of Concrete experience:
Discuss your experiences with the way your body reacts to
specific types of foods, namely proteins, carbohydrates, and fats,
and how these contribute to your overall health.
we must go forward with two simple, but not simplistic,
1. Experience is real and emerges in a mediation between ‘people,’
the way they think, and what is going on in the world around
2. People’ are complex and contradictory and embody history,
affect, culture, worldviews, and different approaches to and
experience with modes of thought. ‘People’ do not all learn the
same, interpret the same, or react the same.
 Describe your feelings about your experiences and how your
thoughts, attitudes and observations developed through the
reflective process.
For instance, as you experimented with different foods, how
did your thoughts change about your nutrition plan? Did you
grow to like foods that you didn’•
t like before?

 The Tyler Model, developed by Ralph Tyler in the 1940’s, is
the quintessential prototype of curriculum development in
the scientific approach.
 The Tyler Model is often referred to as the
“objective model• because of its objective approach to
educational evaluation”
It emphasizes consistency among objectives, learning
experiences, and outcomes.
Curriculum objectives indicate both behavior to be
developed and area of content to be applied (Keating, 2006)
The brilliance of Tyler’s model is that it was one of the first
models and it was and still is a highly simple model consisting
of four steps.
I. Defining appropriate learning objectives
II. Establishing useful learning experiences
III. Organize the experiences
IV. Evaluate the purposes

Defining appropriate learning objectives:
Step one is determining the objectives of the class. Each
subject has natural objectives that are indicators of
mastery. All objectives need to be consistent with the
philosophy of the school and this is often neglected in
curriculum development.
Establishing useful learning experiences:
Step two is developing learning experiences that help the
students to achieve step one. For example, if students need to
meet the objective of writing an essay.
Organize the experiences
Step three is organizing the experiences. Should the
teacher demonstrate first or should the students learn by
writing immediately? Either way could work and
preference is determined by the philosophy of the teacher
and the needs of the students.
Evaluate the purposes
Lastly, step four is evaluation of the objectives. Now the
teacher assesses the students’ ability to write an essay.
There are many ways to do this. For example, the teacher
could have the students write an essay without assistance.
If they can do this, it is evidence that the students have
achieved the objective of the lesson.

• Active Learning
• Collaborative/Cooperative Learning
• Critical Thinking
• Discussion Strategies
• Experiential Learning
• Humor in the Classroom
• Interdisciplinary Teaching
• Learner-Centered Teaching

• Learning Communities
• Lecture Strategies
• Problem-Based Learning
• Service Learning
• Social Networking Tools
• Team Teaching
• Writing Assignments

1. Have students lead conferences with each other and with
you. When students take the lead, their interest and
confidence rises.
2. When you are delivering instruction, pause frequently and
have students write a summary of what you have said in
the previous 3-5 minutes.
3. Brainstorm ideas.
4. Allow students opportunities to independently read
selections of their own choosing.
5. Ask the entire class an interesting general question that
relates to the topic under study.

6.Have students participate in small group Round Robin activities.
7. Have students make flashcards and use them to study together.
8. Ask students to model the right way to do something or answer
a question.
9. If your subject matter lends itself, have students role play in
brief sketches.
10. Offer students opportunities to learn their vocabulary words
and other facts in puzzles of various types.
11. Have students sit in a circle.