Learning Theories Used In The Classroom

2321 words - 10 pages

The Case Study of “The Solar System”

Introduction
            The case study that I chose was the case of “The Solar System”.  Out of all the three lesson plans, I found Mr. Johnson’s lesson plan to be the most interesting and elaborate. It also included innovative ways to touch on multiple learning styles using both text and visuals.

Learning Theories Used In The Classroom
Behaviorism
            According to Moreno (2010) , the term “learning”, can be defined as a “relatively permanent change in our thoughts, feelings, or behavior that results from experience “ (p.150)
However, there are many theories psychologists have created that describe how people learn from infancy to adulthood. For example, Piaget believed that people learned in stages in which they ultimately would reach a certain milestones and then advance to the next stage based on their age. However, many people would argue that learning is different for everyone.
            In the following case, I matched up Mr. Johnson’s lesson plans to different theories in which I found that were suitable to describing his teaching style.  First and foremost, Mr. Johnson runs his classroom in what could be called a “token economy”. This is a concept that falls under the behaviorist theory of learning called “behaviorism” The term behaviorism was coined by John. B Watson who believed that psychology should be concerned with the study of the human behavior rather than mind. However, the behaviorist theory is said to be biased because it says that if two students observe something at the same time both students should be able to learn, know what is happening, and how to do it. The behaviorist theory only takes account of a student’s past conditioning, reinforcement, and punishment and does not consider understanding new learning. Rein forcers are consequences that are used to increase a certain type of behavior. Reinforcements is the process of applying rein forcers to increase a certain type of behavior. 
Mr. Johnson uses ‘Johnson Bucks’ as a positive reinforcement for his students as a source of motivation for his students to participate in the classroom. Reinforcements are said to improve academic performance in variety of subject domains. According to Skinner, teachers like Mr. Johnson are behavior engineers who knows about the different types of levels and schedules of reinforcement in the classroom.
Cognitive Information Processing
            Another type of learning theory Mr. Johnson uses is the ‘Cognitive Information Processing’ theory, which  focuses on the idea that learning is done by the mental process and underlying of processing of new information, such as paying attention in class to an explanation, interpreting a graph or relating concepts to prior knowledge. In cognitive learning theory, ‘learning’ is thought as a change in mental structures that occur as the result of the interaction with the environment. In contrast to the behaviorist theory, the...

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