Learning Theories

A ‘learning theory’ is a set of principles, usually developed from scientific studies, that proposes an explanation of how individuals learn new knowledge. There are numerous learning theories, each offering different explanations of how people obtain, process, retain, and recall knowledge. In order to better understand the various learning theories developed over the years, it is possible to group them into a small number of paradigms or worldviews. Within each of these paradigms, the contributing learning theories share very similar, or sometimes identical, basic principles. This entry begins with a general explanation of why paradigms are a useful way to group learning theories together and then discusses each paradigm individually. For each of the paradigms, specific examples of constituent learning theories and their application ...

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