Ruth DeVries‎ > ‎

Learning Theory

Knowledge is the first step in blooms taxonomy of thinking skills, where the learner must first recall information. This information or knowledge is the easiest form of learning, it involves observation and recalling information by answering the simplest questions of who, what, when and where. Comprehension is the next step where the student is able to grasp the main idea of a selection of learning; and can tell what it means in their own words and can associate it to other learning. Application is where the student uses their knowledge to complete a task doing something concrete and further understanding what it is used for and why you would use it. Analysis is when the learner can break down parts and see how they work together.  Ask students to draw a diagram and show the key features or arrange objects into different groupings in order to see and explain differences. Synthesis is when the learner puts together elements or parts to form a whole - where a student has an idea and creates new ideas by combining the old with new, giving the student a more complete understanding. The final step of bloom's taxonomy is, Evaluation here the learner makes judgments about the value of the material or methods, like what did you learn from the material studied? Did it help you in anyway? What are your conclusions and are they valid? Will the information help you in the future to make decisions?  Blooms taxonomy moves the learner from low level thinking to higher levels of thinking and ultimatly to assessing the value of information and ideas.

Constructivest is all about the big picture.  Students learn through guided problem solving and challenging tasks.  Through their own cognitive process children will construct with the ability to change their ideas or plans and rebuild if necessary. Children also learn through self-talk, active listening and problem-solving dialogue. Teachers encourage students by asking higher level and open-ended questions, and may ask students to make predictions. Through constructivist principles students eventually self-regulate their learning and become independent thinkers. When a child makes a mistake the teacher will pose a question that leads them in the right direction. The main idea is to make learning interesting so that what they learn becomes meaningful to them.

Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence includes many kinds of smart.  Within the MI classroom children’s questions are the starting point for exploration and the driving force behind learning, the teacher supports children in their learning. The MI classroom is different from a traditional classroom, the curriculum is based on the topics that are relevant to the individual group of children and allow room for learning to shift gears. The MI classroom allows for these eight different styles of learning: verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, musical, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.   In the classroom students are given open-ended materials to work with allowing for exploration and problem solving. Teachers work with children and support their investigation and explorations and encourage interactions among one another.