An Overview Of Learning Three Theoretical Perspectives Education Essay

There are countless positions on the acquisition procedure, understanding the mechanisms of and our apprehension of larning as theory and the practical application of methodological analysis has evolved well over clip. Each theory contributes to our apprehension of how scholars integrate information and experiences from their environment. This has deductions for single growing and besides for institutional policy and pattern.

In this paper I will reexamine three theoretical positions on acquisition, viz. the Constructivist/Cognitivist position, the Phenomenographic position, and the Socio-cultural position, I will depict the salient characteristics and features of each theory, and compare the similarities and differences across positions. This will include a treatment of how learners entree information, make sense of that information, and act on it in deliberate and purposeful ways as a agency of prosecuting with the universe.

From there I will look into what these larning theories emphasize or give relevancy to the constructs of context, significance, and experience. The assorted positions each have something to state about the relationship between context, significance, and experience as they relate to acquisition, nevertheless the importance of these nucleus constructs differs in how each theory conceptualizes acquisition, and the importance of the function of context, significance, and experience.

Finally, I will reason with illustrations that bring these positions to life in my mundane experience, and I will adhere these theories together within a cohesive apprehension of acquisition and instruction as it relates to the interrelatedness of the constructs of intrinsic motive, fluctuation, and transportation.

Three theoretical positions on larning

There are legion theories of acquisition, each stressing a peculiar characteristic of the learning experience. Assorted theories of larning besides depict larning in different ways depending on the point of view of the perceiver. Each theory emphasizes thoughts related to context, significance, and experience in different ways as they relate to acquisition, both from the position of the scholar and from the instructor/teacher/coach/mentor.

Constructivist/Cognitivist Perspective

“ Objectivity is the psychotic belief that observations could be

made without an perceiver ” ( von Foerster, 1995, pg. 5 )

The Constructivist theoretical orientation holds that cognition is acquired experientially, is mediated by our anterior apprehension, and is based on the belief that we learn by making instead than detecting, and that cognition is built upon old acquisition. “ The indispensable nucleus of constructivism is that scholars actively construct their ain cognition and intending from their experiences ( Doolittle, pg 1 )

Piaget was chiefly concerned with cognitive buildings that occurred as a consequence of interactions with…

Constructivism emerged from early surveies of acquisition, behavior, and depth psychology, and the behavioral point of views of Watson, along with Kohler and Koffka ‘s Gestalt psychological science. ( Tools pg. 7 ) Constructivism as theoretical apprehension exists along a continuum from “ weak ” to “ strong ” signifiers constructivism This is an adaptative procedure whereby behaviors evolve to run into the altering demands of the environment, and knowledge serves to makes sense of subjective experience. ( Doolittle, 1999, 1 )

Constructivism emerged from schools of behaviorism and objectivism, which held that there was a cognizable nonsubjective world that existed independent of the person. Constructivism takes the position that meaningful personal experience is the footing of cognition and acquisition. Persons construct intending within a context of personal experience that is rooted in linguistic communication, civilization, and the societal experiences of each person. There can be no objectively verifiable truth or cognition within constructivism, as each single brings a alone position grounded in their ain old cognizing. Much of this cognition is silent and resides in the inexplicit memory of the scholar, but it exerts its influence and acts as a filter through which the person “ sees ” new information and relates it to their apprehension of the universe. Knowledge and therefore acquisition is constructed within the head of the person.

Constructivism rejects the impression of an nonsubjective and cognizable world independent of the perceiver, and holds that cognition of the universe is constructed through the active cognitizing on the portion of persons. Constructivism rejects the impression of an oberver-independent universe in favor of cognition reflecting the subjective worlds of the perceiver. ( Glaserfeld, 1989, p. 3 ) Knowledge is non a representation of world, but alternatively a “ aggregation of conceptual constructions that turn out to be adapted or, as I would manner, feasible within the cognizing topic ‘s scope of experience. ( Glaserfeld, 1989, p. 4 )

Within Cognitive constructivism ( account of strategy theory, accomodation, assimilation ) . Cognitive constructivism adheres to theoretical accounts of cognition building that consider the function of memory, cognitive concepts, and scheme without sing to the full the subjective nature of cognition as occupant within the head of the topic. Knowledge in this sense implies an internal representation that accurately reflects an observer-independent external world. ( Doolittle, 1999, 2 )

Extremist constructivism differs from cognitive constructivism by progressing the thought that larning is an adaptative procedure, and that it is observer-dependent and resides in a fluid and dynamic knowledge that considers the subjective experience of cognition building. Extremist constructivism, like societal constructivism, besides accepts societal interactions as informing cognition building.

Social constructivism takes the position that societal interactions contribute to cognize, and views the societal and cultural context as grounding cognition “ to a specific clip and topographic point. ( doolittle pg 4 )

These assorted positions exist on a continuum, nevertheless the most cardinal apprehensions are shared.

We all hold memories of old experiences ; those collected memories and experiences, both tacit and explicit, go the lens through which we view our current unfolding world. Emerging grounds within the kingdom of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology may foretell farther homogenisation of constructivist doctrine and apprehension. Interpersonal neurobiology views the encephalon as a societal organ built through experience. This insight displacements Cognitive Constructivism farther along the continuum in the way of extremist and societal constructivism by imparting back uping grounds to the two staying epistemic dogmas, viz. that “ knowledge organizes and makes sense of one ‘s experience, and that “ knowing has roots in both biological/neurological building, and societal, cultural, and language-based interactions. ” ( Doolittle, 1999 ) Learning is transactional, with experience act uponing cognitive building and the fictile cognitive buildings act uponing our experience in a dichotomy of experience and subjective world. As Carr provinces, “ … the turning organic structure of grounds makes clear that the memory inside our caputs is the merchandise of an inordinately complex natural procedure that is, at every blink of an eye, finely tuned to the alone environment in which each of us lives and the alone forms of experiences that each of us goes through. ” ( Carr, 2010, P. ? ? )

Carr recounts some of the current research on memory and experience, and expands on the thought that our encephalon construction continuously changes with experience ; encephalon malleability, the turning and pruning of synaptic connexions over clip, changes our very memories and our remembrances of experience based on new experiences. ( Carr, 2010, p. 190 ) Researcher Kobi Rosenblum farther describes how memory, which in a sense is our recalled experience, can be a fictile and traveling mark. As he explains, “ ..the human encephalon continues to treat information long after it is received, and the quality of memories depends on how the information is processed. ” ( Carr, 2010, p. 191 )

Meaning within Cognitivist/Constructivist Perspective

Meaning as significance for each position, but it is built-in to an apprehension of constructivism. Meaning is cardinal to the intentionality of scholars ; relevancy and significance enhance a scholar ‘s ability to associate with their universe. It besides relates to constructs of motive as it relates to a scholars sense of bureau and battle with their experience, ad it highlights the importance of civilization and linguistic communication as societal go-betweens of larning? ? ? ? “ The importance of these memory mechanisms to the development of cognitive psychological science is that, one time understood, they make it really clear that a individual ‘s ability to retrieve points is improved if the points are meaningfully related to each other or to the individual ‘s bing cognition. The cardinal word here is meaningful. “ Wynn pg.4 “ What is meaningful to people is determined by what they can retrieve of what they have already learned ” . Wynn pg 4

Opportunities for larning within a constructivist model occur most readily when what is being learned has relevancy or high emotional valency for the scholar ; in other words when information or experiences are meaningful. In order for larning to be meaningful it should be relatable to old cognition and experience. This building-block theoretical account of cognition and experience is wholly consistent with a scholar as meaning-maker.

The deductions for learning and educational teaching method are that undertakings that have significance and relevancy tend to be of greater intrinsic involvement to scholars. Research on the experience of larning speaks to the importance of significance as it relates to knowledge building, and speaks of the importance of liberty, bureau, pick, and coaction in driving our instrinsic motivational desires to prosecute in meaningful undertakings, retrieve and remember information, self-organize, and be funny. A larning context rich in significance is important.

Context within Cognitivist/Constructivist Positions

Learning occurs most successfully at the intersection of a scholar ‘s old cognition of the universe and the experience of socially mediated interactions with others, and is influenced by all accumulated societal and cultural experiences. ( Bodrova & A ; Leong, 2007, p. 9 ) The context for larning resides within the experience and imaginativeness of the scholar, and is rooted in anterior experience and is mediated by teachers/facilitators and the ecological scene or context.

Within this larning context, Feuerstein describes the function of mediation. “ The go-between creates in a individual an attack, a signifier of mention, a desire to understand phenomena, a demand to happen order in them, to understand the order that is revealed, and to make it for oneself. ” ( Feuerstein, Feuerstein, & A ; Falik, 2010, p. 37 ) Mediators can take many signifiers, but they portion in common an ability to potentiate a scholar ‘s ability to profit from larning experiences. In the absence of a go-between, even in instances where persons get cognition, they may non “ understand its significance. ” ( Feuerstein et al. , 2010, p. 37 )

Experience within Cognitivist/Constructivist Positions

As scholars construct their ain experiential world within a societal and cultural context, the dyadic interactions that unfold connote a grade of coaction and battle with acquisition that is per se motivated by a meaningful context within which larning occurs/unfolds. Collaborative acquisition is by its nature socially constructed acquisition, where the involvement of scholars is cardinal, meaningful, and contextual. Decontextualized acquisition by contrast deficiencies a sense of connexion to the experience of acquisition. Prior experiences of larning are diminished when there is no meaningful context, and reliable experiential acquisition suffers. When pick around construction and content is collaboratively negotiated, scholars are granted a degree of liberty around how and what they learn, and experiences that are meaningful topographic point larning within a context more suited to the acquisition manner, ends, and precedences of the scholar.

Kohn emphasizes these conditions of coaction, content, and pick, as making the conditions necessary for reliable and per se motivated larning to emerge. ( Kohn, ? ? ? )

Phenomenograpy/Variation Theory

“ There is no larning without understanding. And there is no

understanding without fluctuation. ” ( Marton, Trigwell, 2000 )

The theory of phenomenography is connected with the survey of human experience, peculiarly as it relates to educational research. Phenomenography examines believing and larning within the context of educational research, and seeks apprehension of “ the different ways in which people experience, interpret, understand, perceive, or gestate a phenomenon, or certain facet of world. ” ( Orgill, ? ? ? ? ) Marton defines phenomenography as “ a qualitative research methodological analysis, within the interpretivist paradigm, that investigates the qualitatively different ways in which people experience something or believe about something ” ( Marton, 1986 ) . One of the cardinal epistemic dogmas? ? ? related to Phenomenographic theory relates to constructs of fluctuation, understanding, and transportation.

Marton postulates that in order for larning to happen, “ … at that place must needfully be a form of fluctuation nowadays to see, and this form must be experienced ” . ( Marton, fluctuation, pg.1 ) . In order for larning to happen, scholars must see a broad scope of fluctuation in experience, with sameness or similarity lending small to our apprehension of experience. Variation and difference create a broader context for understanding experience, and besides spread out our repertory when meeting fresh state of affairss or fortunes. This transportation of acquisition is built-in to variation theory and a cardinal underpinning of phenomenography. Experiencing difference or fluctuation may be likened to experiences of cognitive disagreement within constructivist theoretical accounts of acquisition, where an single experiences disagreement and a disturbance and must set their construct of this new information within their existing paradigm. How we categorize, makes sense of, or place with that difference relates to our understanding accomplishments. Discernment allows a topic to see or feel an experience “ against the background of his or her old experiences of something more or less different. ” ( Marton, pg.386 ) . In kernel, as topics experience greater fluctuation they become more attuned to progressively subtle differences between the “ physical, cultural, symbolic, or animal universe ” that they inhabit. ( Marton, pg 386 ) Every phenomenon that is experienced merely in contrast to jump experiences of the same phenomenon ( marton, pg 387 )

The deductions for teaching method centre on the use of the objects of fluctuation in order for scholars to see fluctuation, go expert at discerning, and reassign larning across state of affairss. “ Excellence in instruction has really much to make with what facets of the object of larning are subjected to fluctuation, and what facets of the object are capable to fluctuation at the same time. ” ( Marton, pg. 391 ) Subjects learn to pull off freshness as a consequence of holding experienced freshness through fluctuation. ( Marton, pg. 394 ) . Transportation is concerned with how “ what is learned in one state of affairs affects or influences what the scholar is capable of making in another situation. “ ( Marton, pg. 499 )

Meaning within Phenomenographic/Variation Theory Perspective

Context within Phenomenographic/Variation Theory Perspective

A construct that illuminates thoughts of context within the phenomenographic position relates to constructs of located acquisition. Situated in this case “ refers to what surrounds the learning event ; that is, to the socially constructed life-world in which a peculiar case of larning occurs. ” ( Sameness in transportation, pg. 511 )

Sameness and difference in larning and experience are acknowledged, nevertheless “ … the extent to which we can do usage of something we have learned in one state of affairs to manage another state of affairs is a mom


Learning is non merely geting new information and hive awaying it on top of the information we already have. It involves run intoing something unexpected ( what? ? ? might depict as a disturbance ) , something that can non be easy explained by those theories or apprehensions we have already developed. To decide that struggle we have to alter what we antecedently believed ( kohn, pg 187? ? ) This account is the tie that binds constructivism, fluctuation, theory and strategy theory to societal acquisition, along with thoughts of motive and personal bureau.