Learning Theories Reflection

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Constructivism

            As I furthered my knowledge on the way people learn, I found the Constructivist theory to be surprisingly different then what I originally remember it to be.  In college I can remember studying Constructivism, but I do not recall going into this much depth.  I knew it involved independent learning and development through experiences.  I did not realize that the fact that “learners create their own learning” (Gredler, Ormrod, & Schunk, 2008).  I thought the teacher was still an important part of their learning.  I believed the teacher taught learners and then the learners developed a better understand of the context they learned through their experiences.  In the reading I learned that the teachers are to facilitate learning and use instructional scaffolding to provide support and challenge learners Gredler, Ormrod, & Schunk, 2008).  The teacher needs to give the learners a task that they can accomplish with only a little support.  If no support is needed, then the task was too easy.  If support is given and learners still cannot accomplish the task, then it is too difficult.  The teacher needs to find the place where the task is challenging and can be solved with some support.  The involvement of the teacher is lower than I remember learning.  My view of Constructivist theory has much more depth and understanding.

A Deeper Understanding of My Learning Process

            Taking the time to think about they way we learn and discussing that with the classmates’ varying learning processes was beneficial to see and think about.  We all know how to learn, and we know what works best, but do we ever sit down and think about how we learn?  In the week one discussion we had to write about our learning process, and it was difficult to get started.  When I first thought about the way I learned, I assumed most people learned this way, and that is was the most effective way to learn.  Once I got to read other classmates responses and see how they learned similarly or differently, it really opened my mind to the different capabilities learning has.  I was able to look at how other people learned effectively and try to incorporate parts of their response I felt would help me learn.

I also have a deeper understanding in for the reasons why I struggle with motivation.  I am usually extrinsically motivated to do well in classes.  As I grew up I was always motivated to do well so I could show my mother my grades, and get some kind of reward.  When I was little in might have been a toy, and baseball cards, but even in High School I used to get money for good grades.  Once I got to college I began taking some classes that were interesting to me, and I found it much easier to learn and do well in those classes.  The majority of the time though, I did well to see the reward of a good grade at the end of the semester.  Extrinsic motivation can promote learning, but I would learn more effectively and be more engaged when I am intrinsically motivated (Gredler, Ormrod, & Schunk, 2008).

Learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation

Looking back at the different learning theories and strategies, it is important to notice that each learning style is works efficiently with a different learning style.  Auditory learners would perform better with a Behaviorist perspective.  Auditory learners do well listening to instruction and relating the experience to a prior learning experience.  Visual learners would perform well in a Cognitivist perspective.  Visual learners are more selective and they pay attention to the important things (Ormrod, 2006).  Kinesthetic learners would relate best with more of a Constructivist perspective.  They are more hands-on learners, and they learn best by doing and learning from experiences on their own.  All of these styles would also work with the other learning theories, but these are the most effective connections.  In order for any of these to work effectively, the learners need to be motivated.  It would not matter what learning style or learning theory would work best together if students were unmotivated.  Technology brings all of the different learning styles together and develops the learner’s weaker styles.   “There’s an easy way to address that in any computer-based learning environment—actually, in any in-class learning environment—is that you have both the verbal and the visual simultaneously, and everybody’s happy” (Ormrod, n.d.).

My Career in the Instructional Design Field

In this course I learned about the importance of the different learning theories, styles, and strategies.  Not everyone thinks the same, and the way you learn may not be the most effective way.  It is important to remember to not favor your own learning theory, style, or strategy.  As a teacher, I need to keep all of the different perspectives that a student could possible have, and try to teach in as many different perspectives as possible.  Some of the learning strategies I use should be taught to the students, but some may not be beneficial at all.  As I further my career as a teacher I would like to meet the learning needs of all of my students and give them the best learning experience I can give.

References

Ormrod, J. (2006). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. Supper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education INC.

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.

Ormrod, J. (n.d.). Learning Styles and Strategies. (Video Program). Laureate Education, Inc.

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Comments
  1. Hi Jordan,

    Just wanted to let you know I am following your blog.

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