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There are 3 main perspectives on learning; Behaviourism, cognitive and humanist.

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Introduction

There are 3 main perspectives on learning; Behaviourism, cognitive and humanist. Behaviourism's main idea is that we learn by consequences of our behaviour. They see learning as an observable event. The theory is all about overt behaviour (behaviour that can be seen) rather than the actual cognitive thinking part. They say that we feel something because of a stimulus such as feeling pleased for getting a good mark. In learning the key elements are the stimulus, the response and the association between the two. The main idea is how the association between the stimulus and response is made, strengthened, and maintained. An example of behaviour modification is an experiment done my Skinner. ...read more.

Middle

After a while this would stop. This taught the rat not to pull the leaver. This can be applied to learning by giving punishments such as reinforcement. The rat had a constant electric current on the floor. When the lever was pulled the current stops for a short amount of time. The rat would then press the lever as a detentions thus discouraging bad behaviour. Lastly Skinner taught the rat negative relief from the electric current. This can be applied to learning by letting students out early if they work hard. The cognitive approach is that behaviour/learning is an active mental process. They believe the human mind is a rational information-processor and it is therefore necessary to know how processes as thinking, knowing, remembering and problem-solving are working Learning is shown by a change in knowledge that leads to a change in behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

The real focus of the cognitive approach is on changing the learner by encouraging him/her to use appropriate learning strategies. Bruner's theory is based on the theme that learners build new ideas or concepts based upon existing knowledge. He came up with 4 main concepts; 1. Personalized: instruction should relate to learners' styles, and assist interest toward learning, 2. Content Structure: content should be structured so it can be most easily grasped by the learner 3. Sequencing: sequencing is an important aspect for presentation of material 4. Reinforcement: rewards and punishment should be selected and given appropriately. The humanist approach is an anti-scientific approach in the way it investigates and considers human beings. They believe that all individuals are unique and there is no general explanation to our behaviour. Within each perspective are many different applications. ...read more.

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