Nina's Notes

for Effective Teaching and Meaningful Learning

Learning Theories in 3C model

Sometimes it is hard to recognize the underlying ideals in all the great resources that can be found in the internet. What has been helpful for me, is to think first what is the view of the knowledge and the learner in any given resource, and then either use it as it is or tweak it so that it better fits to my philosophy. The picture below shows an overly simplistic model of my thinking about why behaviorism shouldn't be the only learning theory used in the classroom, or while doing instructional design.

The learner-centered and learning-centered education belongs to the humanist-constructivist worldview and approach to education, deriving from cognitivist and humanist educational psychology. 

The teaching paradigm for engaging in learner-centered instruction is usually a combination of constructivist, cognitivist and humanist practices.  The main emphasis is in supporting the individual learning process and the teacher is seen as a learning facilitator instead of the source of information.

When the scientific model used in a resource only refers to the hypotetico-deductive model of reasoning, and omits all other types of inference, I know the mechanist worldview is emphasized over socio-cognitivist humanism. Examples of this are references to formulating hypotheses or following the "traditional" scientific method that is familiar from positivist or objectivist  view of reality (knowledge is measurable, objective and value free). Constructivist or subjective view of knowledge emphasizes situationality and contextuality of learning.

When education focuses on learning, the emphasis is not in arriving to the only one objectively correct learning outcome that has been defined during the instructional design phase, but in supporting students' reasoning skills and their ability to infer and support their claims with suitable references.

I think it is appropriate to note here that I am a qualitative researcher and strongly believe that qualitative and quantitative research must be conducted hand in hand in order to both create theories and test them. Students in 21st century MUST be taught both approaches, and we as educators have much work to do in getting there.