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The present paper describes learning theories, teaching strategies and assessment methods implemented in my class. Analysis and conclusion are based upon the theories related to education, pedagogy and psychology.

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The Learning Theories and their Implications in Human Educational Development



The theory of cognitive development and intelligence is one of the most interesting theories of the contemporary sociological studies since it explains how children learn to become equal members of the society that they were born into. The present paper discusses different approaches to the cognitive development theory and forms of cognitive knowledge, namely those of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, and explains their importance and educational application as well as the differences between the approaches. To know further, it is essential to know what is meant by “Cognitive Development Theory” that has mostly been the theory of human development focused upon by the philosophers mentioned herein.  Cognitive development theory belongs to the theory of stage development – one of the basic sociological theories. Stage development theory asserts that children must pass through several stages or take specific steps on their road to becoming adults. For most people, there are four or five such stages of growth where they learn certain things: infancy (birth to age two), early childhood (ages 3 to 8 years), later childhood (ages 9 to 12) and adolescence (ages 13 to 18). Persons 18 and over are considered adults in our society. Of course, there are some who will try to act older than their years. But, for the most part, most everybody grows in this same pattern. Therefore, the stage of 12-18 years becomes the last decisive step before a person becomes an adult. Developmental stages address various domains, including the cognitive (Piaget, 1964, 16), conceptual ego (Loevinger, 1976, 32), interpersonal development and values or morals (Kohlberg, 1984, 14). Although all of these developmental theories address different domains, they are all interrelated. Each of the developmental theories move from the concrete to the abstract, and each of them follow the same characteristics of stages described by Kohlberg (1976). These characteristics include: distinct or qualitative differences in structures that perform the same function at various points in development, different structures that form an invariant sequence in individual development, different and sequential modes of thought that form a structural whole, and hierarchically integrated stages. (Slavin, 2006, 19)


Statement of the Developmental Theories

My class, analyzed in present paper follows general educational and nurturant goals, put by curriculum and state requirements. The school education is aimed at providing students with all required knowledge and at preparing them to further education and work. The learning process is organized as to ensure that the process of teaching and learning is performed effectively and successfully.


Learning theories implemented in my class

The education process at present school is based upon a combination of learning theories that originate from cognitive psychology. These are Information Processing and Cognitive Load theories. It is known that cognitive theories focus upon brain-oriented model of learning, beyond behavior. One of the basic education platforms is memory, which is used to promote the process of learning. Cognitive load theory is related to the load put on the working memory while solving the problems, reasoning, including language or perception, and thinking in general. Information processing theory regards the cognition process as closed to computation, dividing this process into parallel or sequential. Each of these types is separately divided into decentralized or centralized. (Meyers and Jones)

The educational process at my class is organized so as to make it as effective as possible. Time-based models basing upon Information processing and special tasks, regulating the load on working memory to increase the productivity of long term memory are used in the classrooms. Combination of these two approaches produces a strong educational effect. The students demonstrate better results in understanding and memorizing the knowledge related to a variety of subjects. The schedule is organized so as to spread the load equally and not to exceed optimum.

As defined by Dunn, “Learning Style is the way in which each learner begins to concentrate on, process, and retain new and difficult information.” According to the work of Tomlinson, “Teachers utilize (a) a variety of ways for students to explore curriculum content, (b) a variety of sense-making activities or processes through which students can come to understand and ‘own’ information and ideas, and (c) a variety of options through which students can demonstrate or exhibit what they have learned” (p. 1). Dunn offers two teaching style theories: Cognitive Style theory, which is based on the concept, that the individual’s percept information depending upon their inherent or learned traits. The second, Brain Lateralization Theory represents the concepts that right and left brain hemispheres are responsible for distinct functions: for emotions-spatial holistic processing and verbal-sequential abilities respectively. Both these theories incorporate the idea that there are individual preferences that should be taken into consideration in education process.

Dunn states that any individual can learn but different people demand different styles to make the process of getting knowledge effective. Tomlison describes four strategies that teachers can be used to give teaching and learning process a diversified nature: (1) “Instruction is concept focused and principle driven.” (2) “On-going assessment of student readiness and growth are built into the curriculum.” (3) “Flexible grouping is consistently used.” (4) “Students are active explorers,” and “teachers guide the exploration.” (p. 1)

As far as my class is concerned, different instructional strategies were used in learning environment as to promote understanding and learning. The content of curriculum was represented and thus reinforced with the help of intermediate instruments, like PC, videos, films etc. Sense-promoting activities were performed in a form of laboratory exercise. Thus students were given a lot of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, which they obtained in the classroom, and to prove their deep understanding of all necessary information in full measure.


Teaching strategies

The teaching process in the classrooms is based upon combination of teaching strategies, such as active learning, cooperative learning, discussions, case method, integrating technology, graphic tools, thinking skills etc, and is correlated to Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. It is customary to treat Bloom’s model as an excellent scheme for planning, assessing and estimating learning activity. According to Bloom, cognitive domain should include the following elements:

1.      Knowledge in a form of previously learned information.

2.      Comprehension, which means grasping the main idea.

3.      Application, which means the ability to apply learned material.

4.      Analysis, which includes structuring and reasoning of the learned information.

5.      Synthesis, which means the ability to organize and systematize knowledge.

6.      Evaluation or estimating an object using a definite set of criteria.

All the teaching strategies applied in my class are worked out effectively in accordance with Bloom’s taxonomy. Active learning, as defined by Meyers and Jones, means providing the student with an environment “to talk and listen, read, write, and reflect as they approach course content through problem-solving exercises, informal small groups, simulations, case studies, role playing, and other activities — all of which require students to apply what they are learning”(p.35). According to various studies, the most effective educational process involves active participation of the students in learning process. The same refers to such strategies as discussions and development of students’ thinking skills.

Case method allows students apply their knowledge in a real situation, which correlates with Bloom’s Application element. This method can reveal certain practical issues or dilemmas that require careful consideration or discussion. Cooperative learning, or ‘Collaborative Learning’, as it may also be defined, is often used as a synonym for cooperative learning when, in fact, it is a separate strategy that encompasses a broader range of group interactions such as developing learning communities, stimulating student/faculty discussions, and encouraging electronic exchanges (Meyers and Jones).

Studying the learning process in the my class demonstrates that a combination of different strategies is more effective than any of these strategies, applied separately. Combining or changing methods allows teachers in the classrooms produce a universal approach, which is effective for any student, as long as various strategies can be referred to various individual demands and needs.

Assessment strategies

Diversification of learning and teaching process produces the necessity in various forms of assessment. It is evident that various assessment forms give a wider perspective and allow making more profound analysis and lead to more accurate results. There are following assessment strategies applied: 1. Graphic Organizers (various charts and diagrams). 2. Interviews, including questioning projects, problem resolving interview or think alk models. 3. Observation, including individual or group checklists and notes. 4. Performance task in various forms, depending upon specific subject. 5. Exhibitions and performances, like using elements of drama or dancing or music in presentation. 6. Tests in various forms. 7. Individual reports or conferences.

The diversification of assessment forms, described above, demonstrates that it was worked out in direct coordination with active teaching strategies. Whereas teaching strategies are applied in such a way as to provide diversity and give-and-take activities, aiming at making the learning process effective for each individual, the assessment system should be flexible enough to evaluate the results depending upon individual traits of students. Besides, variety of teaching strategies provides for reaching all necessary elements, offered by Bloom, so assessment system should involve different tasks as to evaluate students’ level with due consideration of all the elements. Accordingly, a variety of assessment tasks encourages teachers to diversify teaching process as to involve various kinds of activities and stimulates students’ efforts as to achieve successful results in all kinds of tasks.

Observation and analysis of school teaching and learning background allows making the following conclusion: learning theories implemented by the school are combined to provide the most effective performing of school curriculum. Teaching strategies cover all the variety of tasks necessary to give students active knowledge. School assessment strategies are enough to give a full evaluation of students’ knowledge and skills.


Education and the Theories

Education indeed is a very important aspect in an individual’s life. In a personal quest for enhancing and developing oneself in general so as his or her innate talents will actually determine the possibilities of the future of the said individual whereas it will actually reflect whether that individual will indeed be successful or fail in his or her own path in life. The education that is said to be relevant is the one where the individual will actually gain experience, basic and practical knowledge and will train and develop the innate qualities and characteristics of an individual’s personality.

The basic elements and characteristics of the concept of education in the society is the one wherein the whole process is governed and being guided by a certain individual tasked to be the teacher. Since the whole process itself of education is very complicated and intricate in its nature of guiding the one learning, the teacher’s actions and personal concept on the matter is very much relevant to the whole concept. From this, the possibilities of the outcome of the educational process will be generally based on the actions and perception of the teacher and how he or she will facilitates the whole learning environment.

The very basic methodology of the teacher that is being applied in the learning process is very much significant to the attainment of positive results mainly on the part of the students. Through the questioning procedures being applied by the teacher, he or she can actually encourage the student’s interest on the learning process thus, also engaging the student’s thinking and logical abilities on the activity. In addition, the application of effective questioning methodology can also encourage the students in a reasoning debate with their teachers and fellow students in their class thus developing their sense of reasoning and probing their own opinion. Involve in this concept also is the positive development of personal characteristics and perspective of the students by comparing their own thinking to the others thus evolving their convincing and descriptive skills and also their listening and correlating abilities. Thus, the use of effective questioning methodology of the teacher can create a harmonious classroom environment where students can share and acquire different opinions and ideas.

Through the employment of the concept of a good and harmonious educational environment, students can further develop and hasten their own personal characteristics while they themselves are involve in the learning process. Students will be able to develop their communication skills with their fellow students in exchanging and sharing their personal opinions. In addition, student enthusiasm and participation can be actively encouraged through developing good learning environment. Because of this concept, teacher’s application of his or her own effective questioning methodology is very much significant because this will actually promote the positive environment in the educational group and organization.

Another benefit of employing effective questioning in the learning process is its significance in the communication aspect on the part of the teacher and the student. Exchanging opinions and comments between the two parties is also relevant to the development of the teaching methodology on the part of the teacher and the inquisitions of the student regarding the education. By employing effective questioning methodology, teachers can promote an educational environment wherein students can also raise feedbacks and suggestions to the teaching style and methodology of the teacher thus improving the adequacy of the instructional methodology of the teacher.

Thus, employing an efficient and positive questioning methodology is indeed significant to the learning process of the student and the development of the teaching style and application on the part of the teacher. In addition, employing efficient questioning tactics and methodology can also promote development of a good and harmonious communication environment that can inspire exchange of ideas and opinions from among the students and between them and the teacher. With this, learning will significantly progress on the part of the students while evolving their own personal characteristics in correlating and communicating with others. Because of these reasons, indeed applying an effective questioning methodology is important in achieving positive results in the learning development of the students and their teacher.



Despite all earlier criticisms, cognitive development theory is nowadays widely used in education. The though development stages suggested and explained by Piaget have become the clear guidelines in the primary and secondary school development. Therefore, the elementary functions with numbers and multiplication table are learned at the age of 7-11 years; and operations that are more formal are taught in the secondary school. Discovering the nature of learning, or “the natural psychological reality in terms of which we must understand the development of knowledge” (Piaget 1964,  9), has been assumed to be the way to go to make education more effective. The education of children today is a matter of ensuring they make their minds most abundant by acquiring the fullest array of the cultural tools that can, through learning, be made into cognitive tools. Many pre-school and primary programs are modeled on Piaget’s theory, which, as stated previously, provides part of the foundation for constructivist learning. Discovery learning and supporting the developing interests of the child are two primary instructional techniques. It is recommended that parents and teachers challenge the child’s abilities, but NOT present material or information that is too far beyond the child’s level. It is also recommended that teachers use a wide variety of concrete experiences to help the child learn. The early childhood programs also reflect a strong Piagetian theory base. The justification for informal play-based programs clearly comes from Piaget’s theory. His theory supports the argument that programs for ordinary children have to be very different to educational programs for children who are more advanced in their thinking. Vygotsky’s approach has also found a broad range of application in education. The scientist asserted that since children learn much through interaction, curriculum of education system should be so designed as to increase the interaction between learners and learning tasks. He claimed that instruction giving the emphasis that scaffolding – where the adult continuously adjusts the level of his or her help in response to the child’s level of performance – is an effective form of teaching. As per the assessment methods, their level of actual development and what they can do with external help should be gauged. Two children might have the same level of actual development, but given the appropriate help from an adult, one might be able to solve many more problems than the other. Today, the majority of educational programs are designed in a highly interactive manner; and teachers continuously adjust their methods of teaching to the young audience. Assessments programs are also based on the Vygotsky’s theory, taking the level of actual development into consideration.









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Week One Lecture Note. Growing and Learning Theories. VTE-ED/571.

Week Two Lecture Notes. Growing and Learning Theories. VTE-ED/571.

Week 3 Lecture Notes. Chapter 13 – The Ecology of Development: The Child Within the Family.