EDUC 8845

EDUC 8845

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

“Learning Theory” and “Cognitivism”

“To –ism or not to –ism, that is the question!”
Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, Humanism, and now…Connectivism?? “I AM SO CONFUSED!"
Many of us have probably repeated these words during a class in "Psychology of Learning." By determining a definition for learning, essentially the first step becomes determining connections among learning theories. Is there one correct answer? If so, why are there so many theories to consider? According to Driscoll (2005) “a learning theory is a set of constructs linking inputs, means, and results,” (p. 1). It appears relatively straightforward, so why do still have so many interruptations? “If one person is right, does that automatically mean everyone else is wrong?”
In a not-so-recent blog, Kerr (2007) compared learning theories to politics. Both have viewpoints which might serve to deliver radical reforms, they can be dangerous, although they are still needed.
 Howard Gardner, (as cited in Smith, 2002/2008) stated one must first consider the theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner believed that humans possess multitude of intelligences. The intelligences come with their own strengths and constraints although each is entirely independent of the other. Does this serve to prove if the human has different ways to acquire knowledge, then there must be different theories to receive this accomplishment?
Furthermore, according to Kapp (2007), -ism(s) do not stand alone. Each -ism is useful as we develop this journey toward “How people learn.” No one –ism is 100%, but each becomes extremely useful in reflecting and expanding the theories of learning. As an educator, the key question remains, “Which theories will best serve the needs of my diverse classroom to reach the multiple intelligences of all my learners to ensure that all acquire knowledge?”
It goes to show, “One size does NOT fit all.”
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson
Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and about: Discussion on educational schools of thought [Web log
Kerr, B. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker [Web log post]. Retrieved from
Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008) 'Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences', the encyclopedia of informal education,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Metaphors of Educators"

 According to Siemen (2008), an educator has approached a passing along their journey that requires a pressing need of transformation. The industrialized convention the nation has become accustomed have transferred from the classroom and teacher to various electronic information sharing tools such as blogs, wikis, Google scholar, various open sources and social sites. Previously the need for an individual to access information began through physical interaction among peers. According to Egan (as cited in Siemen, 2008) the role and structure of instruction has continued to build a considerable amount of pressure for change on the educator over a century (p. 15). Dewey (1938/1997) expresses that the classroom educator has a precarious responsibility to develop experiences for the learner to become successful during later experiences of a deeper and more substantial level. Dewey continues to uphold the student is expected to incorporate knowledge in prescribed doses from without. If the student did not utilize the offered knowledge, he or she was to be held at fault as to be occupied in physical or mental truancy. No question was asked as to whether the trouble began with the subject-matter or the method of delivery (p. 46).
This old way of direct instruction is becoming a thing of the past. Siemen (2008) classifies the new role of educators as four metaphors for educators: educator as a master artist; educator as a network administrator; educator as concierge; and finally the educator as curator (p. 15). As an educator among the 21st century, I see myself as becoming a “concierge.” There becomes the need to prepare oneself with the required knowledge and resources to support the learning opportunities my students may not be aware of existing. I want to continue to assist in their learning experiences permitting them to explore options. I need to provide an avenue for my students to reach their academic goal. Often along this path, they will stumble. Their educational journey will require assistance to provide the necessary resource in picking themselves up and brushing themselves off to continue down their path. My supervision as concierge will guide and motivate, as they continue on (without rendering defeat) toward the academic goal.
Works Cited
Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience & Education. New York, NY: Touchstone.
Siemens, G. (2008, January 27). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. Paper presented to ITFORUM. Retrieved from