Learning theories for the digital age

Learning with 'e's

I pointed out recently that many of the older theories of pedagogy were formulated in a pre-digital age. I blogged about some of the new theories that seem appropriate as explanatory frameworks for learning in a digital age. Is it now time for these new theories to replace the old ones? Are the old theories still adequate to describe the kinds of learning that we witness today in our hyper-connected world? Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s

Experiential learning

Learning with 'e's

This is number 7 in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. In the last post we examined the work of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi on Flow Theory. In this post, we explore the work of John Dewey on experiential and interactive learning. He also placed greater emphasis on the social context of learning.

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Watch and learn

Learning with 'e's

This is the third in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. Yesterday we examined the work of Chris Argyris on double loop learning. Today, we explore the work of Albert Bandura on social learning theory. From his research Bandura formulated four principles of social learning.

From novice to expert

Learning with 'e's

This is number 24 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The last post highlighted issues around the andragogy theory of Malcolm Knowles. In this post, we review the situated learning theory of Jean Lave. The notion of legitimate peripheral participation could be easily applied to online learning.

Video for assessment

Learning with 'e's

However, assessment of learning is not as important as assessment for learning. Formative forms of assessment are therefore more important in the process of learning. As I have previously argued, I believe summative assessment methods are only useful to mark an end to a specific period of learning, a gateway into the next stage of the learning journey (and I''m not convinced we should even be doing this in many cases).

Many pathways

Learning with 'e's

This is number 12 in my series of short posts on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In my most recent post I examined Leon Festinger''s cognitive dissonance theory and its applications to education. In this post, we explore the work of Howard Gardner, known universally as Multiple Intelligences Theory.

Learning as dialogue

Learning with 'e's

Many of the earlier learning theories place the learner in splendid isolation. From the neo-behaviourist theories of Thorndike, Watson and Skinner, we were led to believe that learners respond to stimuli and make associations between the two, and that these links represent learning. This prompted new approaches in schools that included discovery learning and progressive curricula that neatly reflected Piaget''s stages of cognitive development model.

Deeper learning

Learning with 'e's

This is number 5 in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. This is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the original works. It has also influenced other recently proposed cognitive processing theories including spreading activation theory and neural network theory.

Activity learning

Learning with 'e's

This is number 8 in my series on learning theories. My intention is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In the last post we examined the various educational theories of John Dewey including experiential learning. In this post, we explore the work of Yrjö Engeström on Activity Theory. Learning occurs within these contexts, and usually through specific activities.

Who's in charge?

Learning with 'e's

This is number 35 in my ongoing series on learning theories. In this series I have been providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. The most recent post in this series featured spreading activation theory - a theory adapted from a hierarchical model of memory proposed by Ross Quillian and Allan Collins. In this post, I present a brief overview of Julian Rotter's locus of control theory. Bruner Scaffolding Theory 5.

Lightbulb moments

Learning with 'e's

We reach number 21 in this series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In my last post I featured Gestalt theory - and the work of Kurt Koffka. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3.

Joining the dots

Learning with 'e's

This is number 20 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, we will explore the Gestalt theory of Kurt Koffka. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3.

Better together

Learning with 'e's

Photo by US Dept of Agriculture on Flickr Social learning is one of the vital components of contemporary learning and development. None of us lives in a vacuum, and we are better, stronger and wiser when we learn and work together. Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1978) argued that we learn best when we are immersed in a socially rich, culturally relevant environment. It is also a poor method of learning. Social learning is strongly relational.

Self fulfilling prophecies

Learning with 'e's

This is number 36 in my continuing series of blog posts about learning theories. Psychology has contributed much to our understanding of how people learn, and listed alphabetically below are all of the previous theories I have featured in this series. My most recent post featured locus of control theory, and today's post is about the Pygmalion Effect in education. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3. Bandura Social Learning Theory 4.

Behave yourself

Learning with 'e's

This is number 19 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In my last post I featured the work of Carl Jung and his theories of synchronicity and archetypes. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. The theory What is normal?

The point of no return

Learning with 'e's

This is number 27 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, I will examine Jack Merizow''s Transformative Learning theory. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3.

Drive through learning

Learning with 'e's

This is number 16 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In my most recent post I featured the theory of Heutagogy by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon and its applications to education. In this post, we will explore Clark Hull''s drive reduction theory of motivation. The Conflicting Psychologies of Learning: A Way Out.

Making the future of education

Learning with 'e's

Some advocate the flipped learning approach and to a certain extent, the transfer of content delivery from the classroom to the home (or elsewhere) makes a lot of sense. Alternatively referred to as hackerspaces or hacklabs, makerspaces are based on the principles of peer learning and knowledge sharing. You have probably noticed at this point just how similar this approach to learning is to work based learning practices. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

I'm blogging this

Learning with 'e's

As you might expect, I encourage my students to blog regularly to support their learning. These are just a few of the many reasons why blogging can be a powerful method of learning. So I would like to present a selection of my students' recent work below, under the heading of learning theories and pedagogy , with the question 'What is Learning?' Emily Brannigan What is Learning? Jody Day: What is Learning?

Opening up #learning: Forms and formats

Learning with 'e's

Following on from my previous post , I was asked what was the difference between new forms of learning and new formats of learning. But it was still consumption of content, and had advanced learning very little from the time where only text books were available. Multi-media also brought with it the earliest forms of interaction with content beyond the multiple choice questions and remedial loops of computer assisted learning.

Our mutual friends

Learning with 'e's

This is number 28 in my series on learning theories. I''m gradually working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. My most recent post explored Jack Merizow''s Transformative Learning theory. As usual, this is a simplified and concise interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature.

Like a sponge

Learning with 'e's

I did an interview for Sponge UK last week, talking about my views on technology in learning, and speculating on the future (as you do). It covers a wide range of concepts such as games-based learning and future technology along with a serious critique of the current learning and education system, and how it can be improved. I call this digital praxis which is the sweet spot where theory and practice merge to optimise learning.

Learning, making and powerful ideas

Learning with 'e's

This is number 31 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, the work of Seymour Papert will feature, especially his work on learning through making, also known as constructionism. The Theory Not to be confused with constructivism, constructionism is a cognitive theory that relates to learning by making things.

Ideas 56

Help yourself

Learning with 'e's

This is number 15 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, we take a look at an emerging theory of learning proposed by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon, known as Heutagogy. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature.

Help 49

Botanical metaphors and learning

Learning with 'e's

I''m sure it hasn''t escaped your attention that botanical metaphors are being increasingly used to describe a variety of aspects of education, and especially digital learning. Ideas are propagated , learning should be rooted in pedagogy, students are encouraged to blossom , and there is a learning ecosystem. Independent, self determined learning has also been framed using botanical metaphors. That is an excellent way to describe autonomous, student centred learning.

In the flow

Learning with 'e's

This is number 6 in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. In the last post we examined the work of Craik and Lockhart on Levels of Processing theory. In this post, we explore the work of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi on Flow Theory. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

Active learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

Recently I wrote about collaborative learning spaces , and argued that we are entering unfamiliar territory. It appears that it no longer matters where learning occurs, as long as it is meaningful. Some might argue that learning that is situated is the most powerful. It is also important that learning is made to be active and engaging. If any of these components is missing, then clearly learning has not been optimised.

Blogging: Five of the best

Learning with 'e's

Photo by Florian Klauer on unsplash I have been privileged over the past few years to have garnered a good audience for my writing. That is one of the key reasons I believe blogging is a powerful method of professional engagement, and as Lawrence Lessig argues: "Blogging, a bit like forums, are spaces where people can congregate to share ideas, engage in dialogue over particular issues, and learn a great deal. Ten Characteristics Of Authentic Learning (>34,000 views) 7.

Design for life

Learning with 'e's

This is number 30 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. This should not so much be considered as a theory, but is a useful perspective on design and human perception. As usual, this is a simplified and concise interpretation, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Koffka Gestalt theory 21.

Stage by stage

Learning with 'e's

This is number 33 in my series on learning theories. Psychologists and cognitive scientists have offered a number of useful theories that aid our understanding of learning. In this series I''m providing a brief overview of the theories, and how each can be applied in education. My last post explored the work of Allan Paivio and his theory of dual coding. The Theory Jean Piaget was interested in how children develop their thinking.

Strictly for adults?

Learning with 'e's

This is number 23 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The last post featured David Kolb and his cyclical model of experiential learning. In this post, we review the andragogy theory of Malcolm Knowles. Clearly, andragogy is a theory that is best located in the adult education sector. Koffka Gestalt theory 21.

In two minds

Learning with 'e's

This is number 32 in my series on learning theories. Psychologists and cognitive scientists have offered a number of useful theories that aid our understanding of learning. In this series I''m providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. My last post explored the work of Seymour Papert and his theory of learning by making , also known as constructionism. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3.

Knowledge, practice and community

Learning with 'e's

After a break from blogging during the summer break, I''m back, and here is the continuation of my series on theories of learning, with number 25. You may recall that I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post highlighted issues around the situated learning theory of Jean Lave. Argyris Double Loop Learning 3.

The kids are all right

Learning with 'e's

Too often we gather to discuss education, to expound on learning theories and to congratulate ourselves for our pedagogical prowess, and yet we miss the crucial element, the context which should be central to everything we do. Where is the learner voice at learning conferences? It''s important to qualify these comments in the context of this year''s EDEN Conference , the title of which is: '' The Joy of Learning: Enhancing Learning Experience, Improving Learning Quality.''

Going the extra mile

Learning with 'e's

This is number 26 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post highlighted issues around the theory of Communities of Practice, from the work of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. In this post, I''m revisiting a well known and heavily used motivational theory - Maslow''s Hierarchy of Human Needs.

A steep learning curve

Learning with 'e's

This is number 9 in my series on learning theories. My intention is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In the last post we examined Yrjö Engeström''s Second Generation Activity Theory and its applications to education. In this post, we explore the work of Hermann Ebbinghaus on memory and learning. We often hear people say they are ''on a steep learning curve''.

Conflict resolution

Learning with 'e's

This is number 11 in my series of short posts on learning theories. My intention is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, we continue to explore Festinger''s work, this time focusing on his theory of cognitive dissonance. This is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature.

Shocking behaviour

Learning with 'e's

This is number 29 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. Another of Milgram''s experiments led to a theory of compliance, more generally referred to as obedience to authority. As usual, this is a simplified and concise interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature.

The shape of minds to come

Learning with 'e's

This is number 17 in my series on learning theories. I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In my most recent post I featured Hull''s Drive Reduction theory and its applications to education. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature.

The games we play

Learning with 'e's

What is it about games that make them so popular, and such a powerful learning method? Thirdly, many online games have very rich social dimensions, which lead gamers to extend their learning further through discussion, collaboration and competition. Many scholars have researched the effects of games on learning, but perhaps one of the most prolific and profound games theorists is James Paul Gee. Gamers can make mistakes and learn from them.

Games 47