How Does Learning Occur?

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In ensuring that genuine learning transpires in the classroom, there are various issues that educators must concern their selves with. Understanding and responding to these issues require extensive knowledge of various theories in education as well as in the application of such theories. One such issue which is the focus of this paper is that on how learning occurs. Student learning is the primary goal of any academic institution, and leading students to achieve learning is the purpose of every educator. However in order for teachers to be able to lead students to learn, it is only logical to consider that teachers must know how learning actually transpires. Towards the goal of helping teachers develop a strong understanding of the different theories that attempt to explain how learning occurs in an educational setting, Marlowe and Canestrari (2006) present excerpts from the writings of different educators and education researchers which explain the dynamics behind being able to learn. These include the work of B.F. Skinner on behaviorism, of Bandura, Ross, and Ross on imitation of aggression models, of David Willingham on cognition and memory, and of Witte-Townsend and Hill on relational consciousness. The importance of these theories on how learning occurs is expounded on by Sontag (2009) in her discussion of learning theories that are applicable to students in the 21st century. According to Sontag (2009) being able to explain how students learn take teachers is a critical step that an educator must make in order to be able to help students learn. By understanding the mechanism involved in the transfer of information from the lesson to the student, teachers would be able to modify the learning environment and their own teaching ...

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...al psychology in context: readings for future teachers. Sage Publications, 44.

Sontag, M. (2009). A Learning Theory for 21st-Century Students. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 5(4): 23-29.

Willingham, D. (2006). Students Remember… What They Think About. in Marlowe, B., and Canestrari, A. Educational psychology in context: readings for future teachers. Sage Publications, 58-66.

Witte-Townsend, D., and Hill, A. (2006a). Toward a Pedagogy of Depth in Everyday Classrooms: Exploring Relational Consciousness Among Teachers and Young Children. in Marlowe, B., and Canestrari, A. Educational psychology in context: readings for future teachers. Sage Publications, 69-78.

Witte-Townsend, D., and Hill (2006b). Light-Ness of Being in the Primary Classroom: Inviting Conversations of Depth Across Educational Communities. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38 (3):373–389
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