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Educational Psychology deals with the behavior of learners in learning environment. To know the learner and to bring out desirable changes in his behavior are the two

important aspects of Education. There is a close relationship between learning and the inherent ability and nature of behavior of the learner. Educational Psychology helps in developing effective learning environment and selecting appropriate subject matter for the learner. Educational Psychology reveals the true nature of individual learning and individual difference through observation and helps the teacher to develop more effective learning process Educational Psychology tries to measure scientifically the intelligence, aptitude, and inclinations and abilities of learners and also to develop methods of scientific evaluation to assess the progress of the learner by the education given by the school. Educational Psychology determines the appropriate teaching methods in relevance with wider social environment and guides the teacher to follow these methods.

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Learning is commonly defined as a process that brings together cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing, or making changes in one's knowledge, skills, values, and world views

A learning theory is an attempt to describe how people and animals learn. There are three main categories under which learning theories fall are Behaviorism Cognitivism Constructivism.

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Behaviorism Behaviorism as a theory was primarily developed by B. F. Skinner. It loosely encompasses the work of people like Thorndike, Tolman, Guthrie, and Hull. Behaviorists describe conditioning as the only way of learning. Basic assumptions: learning is manifested by a change in behavior. the environment shapes behavior. the principles of contiguity (how close in time two events must be for a bond to be formed) and reinforcement (any means of increasing the likelihood that an event will be repeated) are central to explaining the learning process

By 1904, Pavlov was discussing the importance of the signals which stand in place of the unconditioned stimulus in the reflex. His method paved way to an objective way of studying behavior.

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Food = salivation Food + Stimulus = Salivation ( CS ) Bell alone produces salivation ( CR ) This illustration illustrates operant conditioning. The mouse pushes the lever and receives a food reward. Therefore, he will push the lever repeatedly in order to get the treat. Page | 5

Thorndikes Theory of learning: - The theory of learning propounded by Thorndike is called connectionism

Thorndike's theory consists of three primary laws: (1) law of effect (2) law of readiness (3) law of exercise

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Thorndikes Principles: 1. Learning requires both practice and rewards (laws of effect /exercise) 2. A series of S-R connections can be chained together if they belong to the same action sequence (law of readiness). 3. Transfer of learning occurs because of previously encountered situations. 4. Intelligence is a function of the number of connections learned.

His advice to the teacher was not limited to the application of his major laws. The active role of the learner, who comes to the learning situation was also recognized by Thorndike and he listed five aids to improvement in learning: 1. Interest in the work 2. Interest in improvement in performance 3. Significance of the lesson for some goal of the student 4. Problem attitude in which the student is made aware of a need which will be satisfied by learning the lesson 5. Attentiveness to the work

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Basic assumption of behavioral theories is that maladaptive behaviors are learned and can be unlearned, and that new, more adaptive behaviors can be learned.

Behavior modification is a method of eliciting better classroom performance from reluctant students

One example of a desired outcome is, increased student participation in class discussions.

Development of a positive, nurturing environment . A student receives an intrinsic reinforcer by correctly answering in the presence of peers, thus increasing self-esteem and confidence.

Evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness of the approach based on teacher expectations and student results.

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COGNITIVISM Gestalt Psychologists are of the opinion that it is insight which helps the children to learn. They posed the first challenge to the Behaviorists. According to this theory, in order to solve a problem we have to consider the whole form or structure of the problems, not its individual parts. Gestalt views of learning have been incorporated into what have come to be labeled cognitive theories. Two key assumptions underlie this cognitive approach: (1) that the memory system is an active organized processor of information and (2) that prior knowledge plays an important role in learning. Cognitive theories look beyond behavior to explain brain-based learning. The students solve the problem by following Gestalt theory of Insight. This theory lays emphasis on two mental processes Discrimination and Generalization.

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Over the past 20 years, the cognitive and behavioral theories have become more interconnected, emphasizing both behavior and thinking Albert Bandura came up with the social learning theory that children learn by observation and imitation.


Becomes selective about what they imitate


Kurt Lewin transferred the Gestalt Model to everyday situations He proposed that human behavior is a function of both the person and the environment in which the behavior takes place, including the social parameters (social cognivitism). Recent Theories According to Constructivism "learning involves constructing one's own knowledge from one's own experiences. Learning is a personal endeavor, whereby internalized concepts, rules, and general principles may consequently be applied in a practical real-world context.

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Constructivist theory follows in the path of Dewey, Piaget and Vigotsky

Learning is an active process Learning consists both of constructing meaning and constructing systems of meaning Learning is a social activity Learning is contextual Motivation is a key component in learning According to Vigotsky language and learning are inextricably intertwined.


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Connectivism is a recent theory of networked learning which focuses on learning as making connections Multimedia learning theory focuses on principles for the effective use of multimedia in learning. Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. The recent theory that asserts learning is a process you do, not a process that is done to you is what is followed by the modern educationists

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