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Faculty Resources

Learning Theory & Theorists

Important Learning Theorists and Theories

  • Attachment Theory (John Bowlby)
  • Bloom's Taxonomy (Benjamin Bloom)
  • Classical Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov)
  • Cognitive Load Theory of Multimedia Learning (John Sweller)
  • Communities of Practice (Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger)
  • Connectivism (George Siemens & Stephen Downes)
  • Critical Pedagogy (Paulo Freire)
  • Cultural Context (Lev Vygotsky)
  • Digital Citizenship (Mossberger, Tolbert, McNeal)
  • Discovery Learning (Jerome S. Bruner)
  • Distributed Cognition (Edwin Hutchins)
  • Flow (Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi)
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham H. Maslow)
  • Metacognition (John H. Flavell)
  • Montessori Method (Maria Montessori)
  • Multimodality (Gunther Kress)
  • Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner)
  • Object Relations Theory (Melanie Klein)
  • Operant Conditioning (B.F. Skinner)
  • Separation-Individuation Theory of Child Development (Margaret S. Mahler)
  • Situated Learning Theory (Jean Lave)
  • Social Development Theory, Activity Theory (Lev Vygotsky)
  • Social Learning (Albert Bandura)
  • Socially distributed cognition (Edwin Hutchins)
  • Stage Theory of Cognitive Development (Jean Piaget)
  • Stages of Development (Erik Erikson)
  • Transformative Learning (Jack Mezirow)
Categories of Learning Theories
  • Behaviourist Theories: Behaviorism is a theory in which learning and behavior are described and explained in terms of stimulus-response relationships.
  • Child Development Theories: How children develop as individuals in sociocultural worlds.
  • Cognitivist Theories: Cognitive psychology focuses on the mental processes underlying learning and behavior.
  • Constructivist, Social and Situational Theories: A theoretical perspective that learners actively construct knowledge from their experiences.
  • Descriptive and Meta Theories: Identifying appropriate goals and objectives for what students should learn and be able to do.
  • Design Theories & Models: Design-based research methods (DBR) aim to uncover the relationships between educational theory, designed artifact, and practice.
  • Identity Theories: Identity is a self-constructed definition of who one is and what things are important to accomplish in life.
  • Media and Technology Theories: Instruction and learning that occur within the context of digital technologies.
  • Mental Models: Derive from the way humans perceive the world around them.
  • Motivation & Humanist Theories: The study of the self, motivation, and one's goals



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