Customized Learning Theory Analysis

1085 Words 5 Pages
Customized Learning Theory
How humans gain understanding, process new information, and retain knowledge have been studied across the globe. For decades, researchers have studied the processes of learning and stages of cognitive development. Research has led to learning theories that attempt to describe how cognition develops, how learning occurs, and how knowledge is retained. Effective teaching develops from an understanding of learning theory and how theory impacts classroom instruction and management. In conjunction, effective educators use their knowledge to develop a personal learning theory that guides their instruction and classroom management. Education is at a critical point in America. Educators are expected to implement new rigorous
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Effective teaching develops from that understanding of learning theory and how theory impacts instruction and classroom management. Developed from extensive research, learning theories detail child development and the role cognitive development plays in understanding how humans gain understanding, process new information, and retain knowledge. Learning theories can by categorized in three groups: behaviorism, cognitive constructivism, and social constructivism. Behaviorist, such as B. F. Skinner, propose that behavior is impacted by immediate consequences. The work of Skinner supports the theory that when educators use reinforcers, either positive or negative, student behavior can be changed (Slavin, 2015, p.103). One example of a positive reinforcer in education is the use of prizes or reward parties to celebrate reading milestones, such as earning a certain number of Accelerated Reading points. Behaviorist theorize that the use of a positive reinforcer will encourage students to read more. Behaviorist theories support the belief that a student who receives praise for an appropriate behavior or correct answer will learn the behavior or master the desired content more effectively. Behaviorists theories are most often implemented into instruction with methods such as mathematic skill drills, question and answer frameworks that progress …show more content…
The research developed his influential stages of cognitive development theory. The theory states that development occurs in four distinct stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal operational. Piaget’s theory asserts that children actively construct knowledge and understanding through assimilation and accommodation as they pass through the four stages. (Slavin, 2015, p. 32). Piaget theorized that the educator’s expectations should fall within the students’ stage of development, or maturity level. His stages of cognitive development theory still impacts education. Piaget’s theory also created an educational approach that focused on the idea that effective instruction occurs when students construct connections between their background knowledge, or schema, and a new experience or information (Slavin, 2015, p.130). His theory is implemented into the classroom when planning instruction to meet the stage of development of the student. For example, children in the concrete operational stage of development have not yet grasped abstract thought. Instruction for this age group should include hands-on, concrete activities that will serve as the building blocks a more complex skill that is to be introduced. In contrast to Piaget’s theory, social constructivists theorize that “learning involves the acquisition of signs by means of

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