Evolution of Learning Theory

3438 Words Aug 9th, 2010 14 Pages
The Evolution of Accepted Learning Theories

Micheal Irwin

Professor Harrop

College 100

31 July 2010

Education has traditionally been seen as a pedagogic relationship between the teacher and the learner. It was always the teacher who decided what the learner needed to know, and indeed, how the knowledge and skills should be taught. In the past thirty years or so there has been quite a revolution in education through research into how people learn, and resulting from that, further work on how teaching could and should be provided. While andragogy (Knowles, 1970) provided many useful approaches for improving educational methodology, and indeed has been accepted almost universally, it still has connotations of a teacher-learner
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The remainder of this paper explores the concepts mentioned in this introduction and their implications for vocational education and training, and education. top

Our educational systems have traditionally been based on assumptions which assume that the individual mind is a clean slate at birth, the world is a buzzing confusion, and that concepts and causal relations are inferred from associations of stimuli (Emery, 1974). In this paradigm learning has to be organized by others who make the appropriate associations and generalizations on behalf of the learner. Thus, random individual experiences are taken to be totally inadequate as sources of knowledge, the educational process needs disciplined students, and literacy is seen to precede knowledge acquisition. Success is based on attending to narrow stimuli presented by a teacher, an ability to remember that which is not understood, and repeated rehearsal (Emery, 1974, p.2).

An alternate view is proposed by Heider and assumes that people can make sense of the world and generalize from their particular perceptions, can conceptualize, and can perceive invariance (Emery, 1974). Thus, people have the potential to learn continuously and in real time by interacting with their environment, they learn through their lifespan, can be lead to ideas rather than be force fed the wisdom of others, and thereby they enhance their creativity, and re-learn how to learn.

Rogers (1969) suggests that people

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