Introduction to Module 4
Module 4, Learning Theory and Practice, is divided into three broad areas:
- Learning sciences
- Teaching and Learning Models of Instruction
- Learning Theories
Learning Sciences will briefly explore how people develop behaviourally and intellectually and the impact of this development on learning. Understandings of how the brain works and how humans develop will be investigated with reference to learner-centred and teacher-centred approaches. Finally, students will reflect on personal experience, and reference what they have learned in this section to begin development of their own philosophy of education.
Teaching and Learning Models of Instruction have been described and categorized in different ways by various theorists, but can generally be described as ‘Orientations to Learning’. This section will focus primarily on Behaviourist, Contructivist, and Humanist models of instruction. Students will become familiar with the models by reviewing research and situational application, and will analyze the role and value of the models in education based on personal experience and classroom practice.
Learning Theories will examine three areas of research that have had an impact on education: ‘The Domains of Learning’ (especially the Cognitive Domain), Multiple Intelligences, and Learning Styles.
- The cognitive, psychomotor, and affective Domains of Learning will be applied to the context of instructional planning practice, in particular as related to the writing of Learning outcomes.
- Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) describes eight primary “intelligences” that suggests that people are intelligent in different ways. Students will critically examine this theory through self-analysis and research. The practical application of MI theory in the classroom will be explored through individual and group activities in the context of creating a learning environment that recognizes diversity of talent among learners.
- An examination of Learning Styles will provide a perspective on a number of ways to understand how learners learn from and interact with the world around them. An understanding of learner preferences related to learning can help to identify what instructional strategies best apply. While the application of learning styles is not without controversy, this topic encourages a critical journey into learning and thinking theories as they apply personally, and to the practice of teaching.