Five Theories of Learning

  1. Objectivism_the truth outside the human mind
  2. Behaviourism_(1920’s) stems from an objectivist epistemological position that states that certain aspects of human behaviour are capable of direct observation and measurement and can become associated in a mechanistic and invariant way with specific stimuli. its influence is strong in corporate or military training [remember B.F.Skinner 1954)
  3. Cognitivism_(Bloom et al 1956) taxonomies of learning objectives related to different kinds of learning skills: cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling), psycho-motor (doing). Learners need to progress through each of the levels from remembering to understanding, to applying, to analyzing, to evaluating and finally to creating.
  4. Constructivism_emphasizes on the importance of conciousness, free will and social influences, knowledge is subjective in nature, constructed from our perceptions and it works best through social interaction. Each individual is unique, behaviour is not deterministic and learning is a social process requiring communication.
  5. Connectivism_(Downes & Siemens) it is the collective connections between all the nodes in a network that result in new forms of knowledge, knowledge is constantly shifting and changing. It is chaotic and not controlled. The main purpose of a teacher appears to be to provide the initial learning environment and context that brings learners together, and to help learners construct their own personal learning environments that enable them to connect to ‘successful’ networks, with the assumption that learning will automatically occur as a result, through exposure to the flow of information and the individual’s autonomous reflection on its meaning.

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning – See more at:

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