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Essay about Humanism, Cognitivism and Behaviourism

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In this assignment I shall be exploring three theories of teaching and learning. They are Humanism, Cognitivism and Behaviourism. I shall be explaining the main factors of the three theories and then explaining how they can support effective teaching and learning in general and for myself personally in my teaching role. The first theory I shall explore is Humanism.

‘Humanism stresses [a learner’s] interests, individuality and creativity – in short the [learner’s] freedom to develop naturally and from teacher domination’ (Lunenburg p.467).

When teaching a lesson a teacher is more of a facilitator when planning and delivering a lesson. An effective humanistic approach is not one of teacher control (behaviourism) nor does it
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This is an active type of learning and more intrinsically motivating but there are risks involved in delivering a lesson or task in this way. A tutor can confuse the class with inaccurate explanations and a lack of knowledge on the tutor’s part. The second sequence of learning is less intrinsically motivating but can be better controlled by the tutor.

This second sequence of learning is known as deductive learning. This is preferred by the theorist Ausabel.

Meaningful learning, according to Ausabel, ‘entails acquiring new knowledge that links existing knowledge and which can be easily retained and applied.’ (Gould p. 48)

Ausabel, in contrast to Bruner, believes that students need a structured set of instructions and when that builds on existing learning it can contribute greatly to student understanding. Ausabel also encourages the use of an ‘advanced organiser’. This can be applied at the beginning of the lesson so the learner knows what to expect and the logical order in which they will receive information. As mentioned before this a less risky way of learning but some may see it as ‘mollycoddling’. I personally believe a mix of the two contributes to an effective lesson. To have an advanced organiser at the beginning of the lesson, then being given the tasks in the logical order but with the learner discovering the answers for themselves with the tutors help can
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