Learning Theories and Implications for Educational Technology

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Learning Theories and Implications for Educational Technology


The theories of Vygotsky, Gardner, and Gagne present vary different models of learning. Vygotsky and Gardner see culture as an important factor in how a child learns, and see growth and development and individual thing. Gagne, however, focuses on a formal model of instruction, with the method used depending upon the content being taught. All three theories have a role to play in educational technology.

Learning Theories and Implications for Educational Technology

There are a variety of learning theories that have been presented over the past several decades, each proposing different thoughts on how and where learning takes place and how instruction should be designed. The theories of Lev Vygotsky, Howard Gardner, and Robert Gagne propose different models of learning and instruction. Thought they are quite different, they each do have a role in instruction in an educational technology setting.

Lev Vygotsky

The social cognition learning model is based on the notion that the way an individual thinks, learns and reasons is primarily is a result of the culture that they are surrounded by. To Vygotsky, intelligence is “much more specific to the culture in which a child was reared.” (Vasta, R., Haith, M.M., Miller, S.A. 1995 as quoted by Kristinsdóttir 2001). According to Kristinsdóttir (2001), “Vygotsky viewed cognitive developments as a result of a dialectic process where the child learns through shared problem solving experiences with someone else.” Parents, teachers, friends, and siblings all aid the development process as they talk and work with a child through task and or problems. Early on in the process the adult or other person who is leading...

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Kristinsdóttir, S. (2001) Lev Vygotsky Retrieved October 29, 2004 from

Multiple Intelligences (H. Gardner) (n.d.) Retrieved October 30, 2004, from the Theories Into Practice website:

Robert Gagne (n.d.) retrieved October 29, 2004 from

Robert Gagne (n.d.) retrieved October 30, 2004, from the Instructional Development Timeline website:

Shutz, Ricardo (2002) Vygotsky & Language Acquisition retrieved October 30, 2004 from

Smith, M.K. (2002) ‘Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences’, the encyclopedia of informal education, retrieved November 4, 2004 from
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