Introduction To Learning Theories Essay

The behaviourist approach to learning centres around the belief that appropriate behaviour can be taught through constant repetition of a task combined with feedback from the facilitator.Positive feedback encourages and reinforces success while negative feedback and immediate correction discourages the repetition of a mistake or undesirable behaviour.

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It is this idea that underpins the theory later developed by B. A positive reinforcer is anything that strengthens the desired response.Later he stopped feeding them in this way, but the dogs continued to salivate when they heard the bell.In other words, the learned behaviour was a result of a sequence of events experienced, rather than a conscious thought process.To Dewey, the purpose of thought is attaining a state of equilibrium, enabling an individual to solve problems and to prepare them for further inquiry.Often associated with 'progressive education', Dewey rejected traditional forms of education based on the reinforcement of information where the student has a passive role, suggesting that this type of learning was superficial.The work of two well-known classical cognitive theorists is summarised below: Dewey (1938) believes learning involves 'learning to think'.He says the process of learning is more than doing a task or activity; it also requires reflection and learning from this.Gagne says that learning at one level is only possible if learning at a previous level has already taken place.Gagné’s eight types of learning are: The social learning theory is a development of early behaviourism theory.This approach to learning is based on the idea that learners respond to stimuli in their environment.The role of the learning facilitator, therefore, is to provide relevant and useful stimuli so that the learner responds to and gains the required knowledge or experience.


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