Learning Theories An Educational Perspective

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-01-05
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Written to inform students of the main principles, concepts, and research findings of key theories of learning#x13;especially as they relate to education#x13;and to provide applications of principles and concepts in settings where teaching and learning occur, this revised text blends theory, research, and applications throughout, providing its readers with a coherent and unified perspective on learning in educational settings. The primary emphasis is placed on cognitive theories that stress learners#x19; constructions of beliefs, skills, strategies, and knowledge, but behavioral theories are also discussed in detail. Chapters have numerous applications of learning principles to applied settings including vignettes at the start of each chapter illustrating some of the principles discussed in the chapter, examples and applications throughout the chapters, and separate sections on instructional applications at the end of each chapter. #xA0; Key features of this revised text include: a new chapter on Self-Regulation (Chapter 9); core chapters on the neuroscience of learning (Chapter 2), constructivism (Chapter 6), cognitive learning processes (Chapter 7),#xA0; motivation (Chapter 8), and development (Chapter 10) all related to teaching and learning; updated sections on learning from technology and electronic media and how these advancements effectively promote learning in students (Chapters 7 & 10); detailed information on content-area learning and models of instruction to form coherence and connection between teaching and learning in different content areas, learning principles, and processes (Chapters 2-10); and over 140 new references on the latest theoretical ideas, research findings, and applications in the field. An essential resource for understanding key learning theoretical principles, concepts, and research findings#x13;especially as they relate to education#x13;this proven text blends theory, research, and applications throughout, providing its readers with a coherent and unified perspective on learning in educational settings.

Author Biography

Dale H. Schunk is Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University, a M.Ed. from Boston University, and a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He has held faculty positions at Purdue University (where he served as Head of the Department of Educational Studies), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where he also was Chair of the Academic Affairs Institutional Review Board), and the University of Houston.

Dale has edited six books, is co-author of Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications (Prentice Hall, 2008) and has authored over 80 articles and book chapters. He has served as President of Division 15-Educational Psychology for the American Psychological Association and as Secretary of Division C-Learning and Instruction for the American Educational Research Association. He is presently a member of the editorial boards of three professional journals.

Dale's teaching and research interests include learning, motivation, and self-regulation. He has received the Early Career Contributions Award in Educational Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Albert J. Harris Research Award from the International Reading Association, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Purdue University School of Education

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 — Introduction to the Study of Learning

Learning Defined

Precursors of Modern Learning Theories

            Learning theory and philosophy

            Beginnings of the psychological study of learning

            Structuralism and functionalism

Learning Theory and Research

            Functions of theory

            Conducting research

Assessment of Learning

            Direct observations

            Written responses

            Oral responses

            Ratings by others


Relation of Learning and Instruction

            Historical perspective

            Instructional commonalities

            Integration of theory and practice

Critical Issues for Learning Theories

            How does learning occur?

            What is the role of memory?

            What is the role of motivation?

            How does transfer occur?

            Which processes are involved in self-regulation?

            What are the implications for instruction?

Three Learning Scenarios

            Kathy Stone’s third-grade class

            Jim Marshall’s U. S. History class

            Gina Brown’s educational psychology class


Further Reading

Chapter 2 — Neuroscience of Learning

Organization and Structures

            Neural organization

            Brain structures

            Localization and interconnections

            Brain research methods

Neurophysiology of Learning

            Information processing system

            Memory networks

            Language learning

Brain Development

            Influential factors

            Phases of development

            Critical periods

            Language development

Motivation and Emotions



Instructional Applications

            Relevance of brain research

            Educational issues

            Brain-based educational practices


Further Reading

Chapter 3 — Behaviorism


            Trial-and-error learning

            Laws of exercise and effect

            Other principles

            Revisions to Thorndike’s theory

            Instructional applications

Classical Conditioning

            Basic processes

            Informational variables

            Biological influences

            Conditioned emotional reactions

Contiguous Conditioning

            Acts and movements

            Associative strength

            Rewards and punishments

            Habit formation and change

Operant Conditioning

            Conceptual framework

            Basic processes

            Behavioral change

            Behavior modification


Instructional Applications

            Behavioral objectives

            Learning time

            Mastery learning         

Programmed instruction

            Contingency contracts


Further Reading

Chapter 4 — Social Cognitive Theory

Conceptual Framework for Learning

Reciprocal interactions

Enactive and vicarious learning

Learning and performance


Modeling Processes

            Theories of imitation

            Functions of modeling

            Cognitive skill learning

            Motor skill learning

Influences on Learning and Performance

            Developmental status of learners

            Model prestige and competence

            Vicarious consequences to models

Motivational Processes


            Outcome expectations



            Conceptual overview

            Self-efficacy in achievement situations

            Models and self-efficacy

            Motor skills

            Instructional self-efficacy

            Health and therapeutic activities

Instructional Applications



            Worked examples

            Tutoring and mentoring


Further Reading

Chapter 5 — Information Processing Theory

Information Processing System


Two-store (dual-memory) model

Alternatives to the two-store model


            Theories of attention

            Attention and learning

            Attention and reading


            Gestalt theory

            Sensory registers

            LTM comparisons

Two-Store Memory Model

            Verbal learning

            Short-term (working) memory

            Long-term memory

            Influences on encoding

Long-Term Memory: Storage


            Storage of knowledge

            Production systems and connectionist models

Long-Term Memory: Retrieval and Forgetting


            Language comprehension


Mental Imagery

            Representation of spatial information

            Imagery in LTM

            Individual differences

Instructional Applications

            Advance organizers

            Conditions of learning

            Cognitive load


Further Reading

Chapter 6 — Constructivism

Constructivism: Assumptions and Perspectives



            Situated cognition

            Contributions and applications

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

            Developmental processes

            Implications for instruction

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory


            Basic principles

            Zone of Proximal Development



Private Speech and Socially-Mediated Learning

            Private speech

            Verbalization and achievement

            Socially mediated learning



            Contextual factors

            Implicit theories

            Teachers’ expectations

Constructivist Learning Environments

            Key features

            APA Learner-Centered Principles

Instructional Applications

            Discovery learning

            Inquiry teaching

            Peer-assisted learning

            Discussions and debates      

            Reflective teaching


Further Reading

Chapter 7 — Cognitive Learning Processes

Skill Acquisition

            General and specific skills

            Novice-to-expert research methodology

            Expert-novice differences in science

Conditional Knowledge and Metacognition

            Conditional knowledge

            Metacognition and learning

            Variables influencing metacognition

            Metacognition and behavior

            Metacognition and reading

Concept Learning

            The nature of concepts

            Concept attainment

            Teaching of concepts

            Motivational processes

Problem Solving

            Historical influences


            Problem-solving strategies

            Problem solving and learning

            Experts and novices


            Implications for instruction


            Historical views

            Activation of knowledge in memory

            Types of transfer

            Strategy transfer

            Teaching for transfer

Technology and Instruction

            Computer-based learning environments

            Distance learning

            Future directions

Instructional Applications

            Worked examples




Further Reading

Chapter 8 — Motivation

Historical Perspectives

            Drive theory

            Conditioning theory

            Cognitive consistency theory

            Humanistic theory

Model of Motivated Learning


            During task


Achievement Motivation

            Expectancy-value theory

            Familial influences

            Contemporary model of achievement motivation

            Self-worth theory

            Task and ego involvement

Attribution Theory

            Locus of control

            Naïve analysis of action

            Attribution theory of achievement

Social Cognitive Theory

            Goals and expectations

            Social comparison

Goal Theory

            Goal orientations

            Conceptions of ability

Perceptions of Control

            Control beliefs

            Learned helplessness

            Students with learning problems


            Dimensions and development

            Self-concept and learning

Intrinsic motivation

            Theoretical perspectives

            Overjustification and reward

Instructional Applications

            Achievement motivation training

            Attribution change programs

            Goal orientations


Further Reading

Chapter 9 — Self-Regulation

Behavioral Theory




Social Cognitive Theory

            Conceptual framework

            Social cognitive processes

            Cyclical nature of self-regulation

            Social and self influences

Information Processing Theory

            Model of self-regulation

            Learning strategies

Constructivist Theory

            Socilcultural influences

            Implicit theories

Motivation and Self-Regulation




            Help seeking

Instructional Applications

            Academic studying




Further Reading

Chapter 10 — Development

Beginnings of the Scientific Study of Development

            Historical foundations

            Philosophical foundations

            The Child Study Movement

Perspectives on Human Development

            Issues relevant to learning

            Types of developmental theories

            Structural theories

Bruner’s Theory of Cognitive Growth

            Cognitive growth and knowledge representation

            Spiral curriculum

Contemporary Developmental Themes

            Developmental changes

            Developmentally appropriate instruction

            Transitions in schooling

Family Influences

            Socioeconomic status

            Home environment

            Parental involvement

            Electronic media

Motivation and Development

            Developmental changes


Instructional Applications

            Learning styles

            Case’s instructional model

            Teacher-student interactions


Further Reading



Author Index

Subject Index

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