Writing Assignment 1: Learning Theory Systems
Liberty University Theological Seminary
A paper Presented to
Dr. Jim Zabloski
In partial fulfillment for the course:
Ministry of Teaching
October 25, 2012
Yount Learning Theory Systems.
To fully grasp and appreciate the learning theories suggested by William Yount, it is imperative that we discuss some of the key issues he highlights. The four theories are, traditional behavioral learning, social behavioral learning, cognitive I & II learning and humanistic learning theories. Although the materials covering those theories are enormous, this paper will only offer brief understanding of the said ...view middle of the document...
The responses are voluntary and emitted by people or animals. These voluntary, emitted responses are called operants.” The essential concepts in operant conditioning have revolutionized the educational thinking in a number of ways. First, the strengthening of good behavior through reinforcement became possible. Second, the use of positive and negative reinforcement “increases the probability of the desired (positive) behavior.” Third, weakening bad behavior through punishment discourages improper behavior from occurring. The only shortcoming with Skinner’s method lies in the fact that teachers are hardly trained on how to effectively employ operant principles.
The second learning theory is called Social Behavioral Learning, promoted by Albert Bandura. His learning theory abandoned the traditional behaviorism in three ways namely, direct reinforcement of the observer is not necessary for learning to occur, social learning theory integrates cognitive process into its behavioral view and he sees behavioral learning as an interaction between learners and environment. The key components in Bandura’s theory lie in the concept of modeling and imitation which occurs when people are together. It is in such places that people observe one another. So whenever people “assemble together in church meeting, at a party, or formal dinner, observational principles are at work.” In the age of social media where people “meet” online, the power of observation is limited. And although Bandura sees teachers as effective models in teaching, the revolution of online classes will greatly hamper the influence the teacher has on students. I have seen just how distracted people are whenever they are assembled together in meetings thanks to great innovation that has made information available on a click of any smartphone or tablet.
Cognitive Learning I&II is the fourth theory that concerns itself with the “explanations for learning that focus on internal mental processes people use in their effort to make sense of the world.” It is Jerome Bruner who revolutionized the whole concept of behaviorism with his insights into cognitive theory. He saw no need of relying on animals as the object of understanding behavior and would rather focus his energies on children in a classroom setting. His key concepts in discovery learning namely, structure, presentation, economy, power and motivation are still valid today.
Cognitive Learning II deals specifically with the idea of information processing. Understand information processing can assist teachers in conducting effective instruction. Some of the implication for planning that has been suggested are; attract attention, maintain attention, engage students’ thinking about their learning, encourage student self-attention, emphasize clear organization in presentations, give feedbacks to students, the quality of their thinking, use elaboration to increase meaningfulness of the material and help student develop mnemonic devices...