Adult Learning Theory- Definition
K. Cross consists of two classes of variables: personal characteristics and situational characteristics. Personal characteristics include: aging, life phases, and developmental stages. Situational characteristics consist of part-time versus full-time learning, and voluntary versus compulsory learning
Adult Learning Theory-Principles
1. Adult learning programs should capitalize on the experience of participants.
2. Adult learning programs should adapt to the aging limitations of the participants.
3. Adults should be challenged to move to increasingly advanced stages of personal development.
4. Adults should have as much choice as possible in the availability and organization of learning programs.
Andragogy- Definition
Malcolm Knowles Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning: (1) Adults need to know why they need to learn something (2) Adults need to learn experientially, (3) Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and (4) Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value.

In practical terms, andragogy means that instruction for adults needs to focus more on the process and less on the content being taught. Strategies such as case studies, role playing, simulations, and self-evaluation are most useful. Instructors adopt a role of facilitator or resource rather than lecturer or grader.

Andragogy- Principles
1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities.
3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life.
4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.
Experiential Learning Theory- Definition
Carl Rogers qualities of experiential learning: personal involvement, self-initiated, evaluated by learner, and pervasive effects on learner. experiential learning is equivalent to personal change and growth. Rogers feels that all human beings have a natural propensity to learn; the role of the teacher is to facilitate such learning. This includes: (1) setting a positive climate for learning, (2) clarifying the purposes of the learner(s), (3) organizing and making available learning resources, (4) balancing intellectual and emotional components of learning, and (5) sharing feelings and thoughts with learners but not dominating.
Experiential Learning Theory- Principles
1. Significant learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student
2. Learning which is threatening to the self (e.g., new attitudes or perspectives) are more easily assimilated when external threats are at a minimum
3. Learning proceeds faster when the threat to the self is low
4. Self-initiated learning is the most lasting and pervasive.
Information Processing Theory- Definition
G. Miller The first concept is “chunking” and the capacity of short term memory. presented the idea that short-term memory could only hold 5-9 chunks of information (seven plus or minus two) where a chunk is any meaningful unit. A chunk could refer to digits, words, chess positions, or people’s faces. The second concept is TOTE (Test-Operate-Test-Exit). In a TOTE unit, a goal is tested to see if it has been achieved and if not an operation is performed to achieve the goal; this cycle of test-operate is repeated until the goal is eventually achieved or abandoned.
Information Processing Theory- Principles
1. Short term memory (or attention span) is limited to seven chunks of information.
2. Planning (in the form of TOTE units) is a fundamental cognitive process.
3. Behavior is hierarchically organized (e.g., chunks, TOTE units).
Multiple Intelligences- Definition
Howard Gardner there are a number of distinct forms of intelligence that each individual possesses in varying degrees. Gardner proposes seven primary forms: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal (e.g., insight, metacognition) and interpersonal (e.g., social skills).
Multiple Intelligences- Principles
1. Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning.
2. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence.
3. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence.
Script Theory- Definition
Roger Schank
Script Theory- Principles
1. Conceptualization is defined as an act or doing something to an object in a direction.
2. All conceptualizations can be analyzed in terms of a small number of primative acts.
3. All memory is episodic and organized in terms of scripts.
4. Scripts allow individuals to make inferences and hence understand verbal/written discourse.
5. Higher level expectations are created by goals and plans.
Situated Learning- Definition
J. Lave Lave argues that learning as it normally occurs is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it occurs (i.e., it is situated). Social interaction is a critical component of situated learning — learners become involved in a “community of practice” which embodies certain beliefs and behaviors to be acquired. As the beginner or newcomer moves from the periphery of this community to its center, they become more active and engaged within the culture and hence assume the role of expert or old-timer. Furthermore, situated learning is usually unintentional rather than deliberate.
Situated Learning- Principles
1. Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context, i.e., settings and applications that would normally involve that knowledge.
2. Learning requires social interaction and collaboration.
Social Learning Theory- Definition
Albert Bandura The social learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. The component processes underlying observational learning are: (1) Attention, including modeled events (distinctiveness, affective valence, complexity, prevalence, functional value) and observer characteristics (sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement), (2) Retention, including symbolic coding, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal), (3) Motor Reproduction, including physical capabilities, self-observation of reproduction, accuracy of feedback, and (4) Motivation, including external, vicarious and self reinforcement.
Social Learning Theory- Principles
1. The highest level of observational learning is achieved by first organizing and rehearsing the modeled behavior symbolically and then enacting it overtly. Coding modeled behavior into words, labels or images results in better retention than simply observing.
2. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value.
3. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if the model is similar to the observer and has admired status and the behavior has functional value.
Attribution Theory- Definition
B. Weiner Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why people do what they do, i.e., attribute causes to behavior. A person seeking to understand why another person did something may attribute one or more causes to that behavior. A three-stage process underlies an attribution: (1) the person must perceive or observe the behavior, (2) then the person must believe that the behavior was intentionally performed, and (3) then the person must determine if they believe the other person was forced to perform the behavior (in which case the cause is attributed to the situation) or not (in which case the cause is attributed to the other person).
Attribution Theory- Principles
1. Attribution is a three stage process: behavior is observed, behavior is determined to be deliberate, and behavior is attributed to internal or external causes.
2. Achievement can be attributed to effort, ability, level of task difficulty, or luck.
3. Causal dimensions of behavior are locus of control, stability, and controllability.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory- Definition
Leon Festinger there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions). When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accommodate the behavior.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory- Principles
1. Dissonance results when an individual must choose between attitudes and behaviors that are contradictory.
2. Dissonance can be eliminated by reducing the importance of the conflicting beliefs, acquiring new beliefs that change the balance, or removing the conflicting attitude or behavior.
Constructivist Theory- Definition
Jerome Bruner learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to “go beyond the information given”. he task of the instructor is to translate information to be learned into a format appropriate to the learner’s current state of understanding. Curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner so that the student continually builds upon what they have already learned.
Constructivist Theory- Principles
1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).
2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization).
3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).
Transformational Theory- Definition
Jack Mezirow The theory has two basic kinds of learning: instrumental and communicative learning. Instrumental learning focuses on learning through task-oriented problem solving and determination of cause and effect relationships. Communicative learning involves how individuals communicate their feelings, needs and desires
Transformational Theory- Principles
1. Adult exhibit two kinds of learning: instrumental (e.g., cause/effect) and communicative (e.g., feelings)
2. Learning involves change to meaning structures (perspectives and schemes).
3. Change to meaning structures occurs through reflection about content, process or premises.
4. Learning can involve: refining/elaborating meaning schemes, learning new schemes, transforming schemes, or transforming perspectives.
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