Teaching Theories

There are three main categories into which learning theories fall:

Behaviorist Theories | Cognitivist Theories | Constructivist Theories

In addition to these main theories, there are other theories that address how people learn. These are listed below after a list of general resources addressing all major theories for teaching and learning.

General Learning Theory Resources

Educational Psychology Interactive: Readings in Educational Psychology - extensive list of online materials relating to learning theories compiled by William G. Huitt.

Educational Theory - Educational Theory is published by the Social Science Information Gateway. The general purposes is to foster the continuing development of educational theory and to encourage wide and effective discussion of theoretical problems within the educational profession.

Learning & Instruction: The TIP Database summarizes 48 major theories of learning and instruction by name, learning domains and concepts.

Apple Education - This site provides guidance to schools engaged in technological and pedagogy restructuring. Includes links to resources for information relating to technology planning, pedagogy, curriculum design (including specific subject matter guides), and other related topics.

Mobile Learning Theory - The paradigm shift in education from a "supply" theory to a "demand" theory.

Meaningful, Engaged Learning - In recent years, a strong consensus has been forming from research on the importance of engaged, meaningful learning and on what constitutes engaged learning in schools and classrooms. Jones, et al. (1994), at NCREL, developed a list indicators of engaged learning presented at this site.

Multiple Intelligences - Summary of the often criticized multiple intelligences theory by Howard Gardner

Multiple Intelligences Flaws - Keith McGuinness points out the inherent flaws with the commonly accepted multiple intelligences theory by Howard Gardner (specifically addressing the issue of lack of evidence to support Gardner's claims).

Perspectives on Instruction: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism - theories are used in the field of Instructional Design as guidelines for understanding how to develop instruction that will be most effective for the learner.

Teaching and Learning Methods and Strategies - explanation of various theories of how we learn created by the University of Arizona.

Teaching and Learning Process Model - This model has been developed to categorize the variables that have been studied in an attempt to answer the question: "Why do some students learn more than other students in classroom and school settings?"

Technology and Learning Theory - The use of instructional technology provides some new possibilities for learning theories. It is important to address how various technologies can impact how we teach, learn, and think. Through applied and basic research, as well as theoretical and conceptual inquiry we are attempting to guide the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a new generation of learning environments.

Theoretical Sources. Very extensive collection of resources compiled by Martin Ryder at the School of Education, University of Colorado at Denver.


Contemporary Philosophy, Critical Theory and Postmodern Thought - extensive collection of links to online resources, corollary sites, readings, and people within the discipline compiled by Martin Ryder

Dear Habermas, A Journal of Postmodern Thought - forum for students and their faculty provides sociological and philosophical discussions of law, gender, the privileging of subjectivity, forgiveness in the interest of good faith public discourse, intertextuality and our role in the creation of texts, and narrative.

A Post-Modern Mandate for Educators - article by Written by Mary L. McNabb published by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

Postmodern Culture - journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press with support from the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities


Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

The Conditions for Effective Collaborative Learning Article by Pierre Dillenbourg and Daniel Schneider. This paper reviews the empirical work concerning the conditions under which collaborative learning is efficient. The authors also review the mechanisms that have been proposed to explain the cognitive effects of collaboration. They stress the fact that these findings have been obtained in situations where two or more individuals have to solve a problem together.
Supporting Collaborative Learning during Information Searching - Article by Michael B. Twidale, David M. Nichols, Gareth Smith and Jonathan Trevor. This paper considers the role of collaborative learning during information searching. The authors report on observations of situated collaboration in a physical library, which informed the development of the system, Ariadne.

Situated Learning - Lave argues that learning as it normally occurs is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it occurs (i.e., it is situated).

Experiential Education

Changing Schools through Experiential Education. ERIC Digest. Authors: Stevens, Peggy Walker; Richards, Anthony. In its efforts to restructure schools, the education community has begun to address the challenge of designing a curriculum that young people find significant. This Digest describes how experiential education can help provide such a curriculum and the impact it can have on students, teachers, administrators, and school organizational structures. It also describes ways experiential education can help educators make the transition from a traditional program to an activity-based program requiring the collaboration of teachers and students.

Experiential Education Resources on the Internet AEE Guide to Experiential Education Resources on the Internet.

National Society for Experiential Education. The National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) is a membership association and national resource center that promotes experienced-based approaches to teaching and learning.


Learning Materials

Interesting examples of visuals for learning: http://www.onlineschools.org


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Instructional Technology

Learning Theories