I’ve been reading and watching videos about learning theories with great interest. As luck would have it, I’ve also recently been writing a book chapter about learning theories, so the information is really, really timely and helpful for me. I have to say, though, that in my own readings in this area, I’m finding the literature a confusing mess. While I think I generally understand the theories individually, I would love to better understand how they are related to each other: how they are interconnected, how they are different, what level of theory they represent, and so forth. In short, I need a diagram! Well, a flow chart would also work, or maybe a taxonomy. But I haven’t yet found a good one.
In trying to sort them out for myself, I’ve come to think of three primary psychological theories, that suggest that learning is a change that happens in the mind of an individual; these theories are behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. I also think I’m seeing a grouping of more interdisciplinary or contextual theories, which rather than looking at learning as a change that happens within an individual, the change/learning is a larger/broader change that is socially shared with others and possibly (likely?) involves technological artifacts. I think connectivism probably falls into this camp (could be wrong on this, but seems to me at any rate), as well as some other theories that consider learning as something that is beyond a single individual, such as situated learning. tis in my mind at least a different kind of theory than the individual/psychological ones.
But then I wonder where do others fit? Where would instructivism be situated in a diagram, or a flow chart, or a taxonomy of learning theories? What about andragogy? What about humanism? They just seem to be a little bit different than some of the other theories, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on how.
I really could use that diagram.