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Learning Theories Part 1By:Leah Dreisbach

Behaviorism Cognitivism Constructivism

Behaviroism is believed to be in the most simple form a learning that is defined as gaining knowledge through study, teaching, intruction, and expericnes through the world. (Clark 2018)

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John Watson is known as a major theorist for Behaviorism. He was an American psychologist

"This notion of detailed observation and measurements became central to the work of behaviorists" -Clark


Role of Memory:Classical Conditioning includes: Lecturing, recalling facts, defining conepts, and applying explanations.

The theory of cognitivism emphasizes the role of mental activities in the learning process and includes actions. (Clark 2018). Actions with regard to learning allows for better understanding of concepts.

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Here you see the brain making mental notes and reasoning of tasks

Swiss Psychologist Jean Piaget is known as an influential theorist for Cognitivism. He developed the 4 stages : sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operations

Characterstics include:ThinkingRemeberingPerceiving Interpretingreasoning


  • Explanations
  • Discussion
  • Problem-Solving
  • Repetition

Learning motivation, cooperativity, peer interaction, peer engagement, and a smart classroom environment all had a direct positive impact on students’ critical thinking and creativity; their critical thinking and creativity had a direct positive impact on their problem-solving and academic performance; and their problem solving had a direct positive impact on their academic performance. (Mohammed 2023)

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Students contruct information not just learn. It is a puzzle they put together in the brain.

‘The most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows”-Ausubel

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) is considered the father of the constructivist view of learning. Understanding the idea of how mental knowledge works with behaviors.


How does learning take place?Activities in class to stimulate the brain. Students must be asked questions that have them problem solve. Or bring to real world experiences.

Scholarly Resources

Clark, K. R. (2018). Learning Theories: Behaviorism. Radiologic Technology, 90(2), 172–175. Clark, K. R. (2018). Learning Theories: Cognitivism. Radiologic Technology, 90(2), 176–179. Mohammed Abdullatif Almulla. (2023). Constructivism learning theory: A paradigm for students’ critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving to affect academic performance in higher education. Cogent Education, 10(1). https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/2331186X.2023.2172929