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EDU 528, WEEK 4, PART 1: Theories of Teaching

Slide # Topics Narration


Slide 1 Introduction Welcome to Methods of Teaching in Adult Education. In
this lesson, we will discuss Theories of Teaching.

Next slide.
Slide 2 Topics The following topics will be covered in this lesson:

Principles of teaching from theories of learning;

Teaching concepts derived from learning theories about
animals and children;

Concepts of teaching derived from theories of teaching;

Teaching through inquiry;

Teaching through modeling;

Perspective transformation / critical reflectivity; and

Change theory.

Next slide.
Slide 3 Principles of
Teaching from
Theories of Learning
According to Gage, theories of learning and theories of
teaching are different- theories of learning deal with the
way people learn, while theories of teaching deal with
ways in which one person influences other people to learn.
Learning theory subscribed to by a teacher informs his
teaching theory.

Hilgard identified twenty principles of learning derived
from three different learning theories namely, Stimulus-
Response theory, cognitive theory, and motivation and
personality theory. He made an assumption these
principles would be acceptable to all learning theorists.
Here, we will look at a few examples of principles that are
emphasized in each theory.

Principles emphasized in S-R Theory include:

A learner should be an active participant rather than a
passive listener or observer;
Repeating as many times as possible is important in
acquiring skills and for retention through overlearning;
Reinforcement is important and correct responses should
be rewarded; and
Conflicts and frustrations that result in the process of
learning difficult discriminations must be accommodated
or resolved.

Principles emphasized in Cognitive Theory include:

Teachers should organize knowledge so that the direction
is from simple to complex and is not from arbitrary,
meaningless parts to meaningful wholes, but instead from
simplified wholes to complex wholes.;
Culture has an influence of the way people learn; and
Goal-setting by the learner is important because
motivation for learning and personal success and failures
determine how individuals set future goals.

Principles emphasized in motivation and personality
theory are the learners abilities are important and
motivation and provisions have to be made for slower and
more rapid learner. The same applies to those with
specialized abilities. Culture affects learning. Learners
should understand in terms of influences that have shaped
her development.

Next slide.
Slide 4 Learning Theories
about Animals and
Children
There a number of theories about the nature of teaching
and the role of the teacher. Here, we will look at a few of
them. These include Thorndike, Guthrie, Skinner, Hull,
Tolman, and Gagne.

Thorndike saw teaching as the control of learning by the
management of rewards. Among other things, this
teaching needs a learner that is interested, problem-
oriented, and attentive. The teacher must manipulate the
situation so that the learner accepts the problem posed
because of the rewards involved. The rewards are the ones
that strengthen the desired responses.

Guthrie offers two suggestions for teaching. In order to
encourage a certain behavior and discourage the other, it is
important to know the cues leading to the behavior. There
must be skillful use of rewards and punishments. Use as
many stimulus supports for desired behavior as possible.
The presence of more stimulus associated with the desired
behavior decreases the chances of distracting stimuli and
competing behavior upsetting the desired behavior.

Skinner looks at teaching as the arrangement of
contingencies of reinforcement. Skinner indicates that it is
the responsibility of institutions of learning to impart an
accumulation of skills, knowledge, and social and ethical
practices to its new members.

Hulls work was mainly concerned with the development
of a systematic behavior theory that would improve the
laboratory study of learning. However, Kingsley and
Garry have concluded that a class modeled after Hulls
theory would be characterized by systematic order and
arrangement. The development of habits and skills would
proceed from simple to complex.

Tolman was primarily concerned with the laboratory
study of learning. He incorporated the concepts of Gestalt
psychology in his work. The Gestalt psychologists see the
role of a teacher as that of providing stimulating
situations. This can be done through a number of teaching
activities such as verbal explanations, showing pictures or
presenting reading matter.

Gagne argues that learning cannot be explained by
simple theories. Gagne believes that there are eight types
of learning, each with its own set of required conditions.
These types of learning are:

Signal learning;
Stimulus-Response;
Chaining;
Verbal Association;
Multiple Discrimination;
Concept Learning;
Principle Learning; and
Principle Solving.

Each form of learning is distinguished from another by its
prerequisites, because the types of learning are in
hierarchical order. Gagne has also described eight
functions of the ways in which the learners environment
acts on the individual. The teacher has to manage these
functions. Some of these functions are:

Presenting the stimulus;
Every learning requires a stimulus outside the learner
directing attention and other learner activities;
Components in the environment can act on the learner by
directing attention of a learner to certain stimuli;
Inducing transfer of knowledge; and
Transferring learned concepts and principles to unfamiliar
situations

Next slide.
Slide 5 Concepts of Teaching
Derived from
Theories of Teaching
John Dewey put forward a system of ideas about effective
teaching that have had the greatest impact in education
during the first part of the twentieth century.

There are a number of differences between Deweys
principles and the principles of traditional education.
While students in traditional education learn from texts
and teachers, Dewey advocates learning from experience;
traditional education promotes the acquisition of isolated
skills and techniques by drill, Dewey looks at the
acquisition of isolated skills and techniques as a means
of attaining ends which make a direct vital appeal.

The central concept in Deweys system is experience.
According to Dewey, every educational process begins
with experience. He argues that the challenge of education
is to select the kind of experiences that live successfully
and creatively with succeeding experiences.

The second key concept of the Deweys system is
democracy. Deweys believes that democratic social
arrangements promote a better quality of human
experience, one which is more widely accessible and
enjoyable.

Continuity is another key concept of Deweys system.
Continuity means that every experience both takes up
something from the previous experience and modify it
with the other experiences that come after. Physical,
intellectual, and moral growth are examples of continuity.
Educators must be aware of the environments that are
conducive to having experiences that lead to growth.

The other key concept of Deweys system is interaction.
There are two factors of experience- objective and internal
conditions. Dewey argues that any experience is an
interplay of objective and internal conditions. The
educator is responsible for knowledge of individuals and
for knowledge of subject matter. This enables the selection
of activities in which all participate. It is important to note
that development of experience comes through interaction.
According to Dewey, education is a social process. A
teacher is no longer an external boss but a leader of group
activities.

Next slide.
Slide 6 Teaching Through
Inquiry
A combination of Deweys ideas about teaching and those
from cognitive theorists have produced a set of concepts
about teaching, commonly referred to as the discovery
method, the inquiry method, self-directed learning, and
problem solving learning. Jerome Bruner is probably the
best known proponent of inquiry teaching.

Bruner has proposed four criteria that a theory of
instruction or inquiry teaching must meet. They are as
follows:

Predisposition to learn: Specify the experiences that most
effectively move the learner towards the desire to learn;
Structure of knowledge: Specify the ways in which
knowledge should be structured so that it can mostly
easily be grasped by the learner;
Effective sequencing: Specify the most effective
sequences in which to present the material to the learner;
and
Rewards and punishment: Specify the nature of rewards
and punishment in the process of learning and teaching.

Bruner bases his system on the will to learn, a trait he
believes exists in all people. The will to learn is a problem
in schools where the curriculum confines students and
keeps their path is fixed.

Postman and Weingartner have listed behaviors that
are observable in teachers using inquiry method. Some of
those behaviors include the following

The teacher rarely tells the students what he thinks they
ought to know;
The teacher uses questioning with more emphasis on
divergent questions rather than convergent questions;
The teacher encourages student to student interaction as
opposed to student to teacher interaction; and
The teacher does not accept single statement answers.

Next slide.
Slide 7 Teaching Through
Modeling
Albert Bandura has developed has established a system
of thought called social learninga system of thought on
imitation, identification, or modeling as concepts of
teaching. Here, we will discuss what teaching by modeling
entails.

Teaching by modeling involves the teacher behaving in
ways that he or she wants the learner to imitate. Here the
teacher is seen as the role model. There are three types of
effects from exposing a learner to the a model:

-Modeling effect: A learner acquires new kinds of
response patterns.
-Inhibitory or disinhibitory effect: The learner increases or
decreases the frequency, latency, or intensity of previously
acquired responses.
-Eliciting effect: A learner receives from the model a cue
for releasing a response that is neither new nor inhibited.

Among the many teaching techniques teachers use,
modeling is probably the one that all teachers use, whether
consciously or unconsciously. There are a number of
characteristics that influence the teachers
effectiveness s as a model. These include age, sex, social
economic status, social power, intellectual and vocational
status.

Social learning has been used mainly to achieve behavior
change through external management of reinforcement
contingencies. However, in recent years the focus has
moved to what is called self-control process in which
individuals regulate their own behavior by arranging
appropriate contingences by themselves. There are a
number of strategies for self-control process. Bandura
notes that the selection of objectives, both immediate and
ultimate, is the important aspect of any self-directed
program of change. Furthermore, it is important that the
goals that the individuals choose by themselves are
specified in sufficiently detailed behavioral terms to
provide adequate guidance for the actions that must be
taken daily to attain desired outcomes.

Next slide.
Slide 8 Perspective
Transformation /
Critical Reflectivity
New theories about the purpose of teaching/learning
suggest that it is not enough for adult education programs
to satisfy the identified needs of individuals,
organizations, and society. Mezirow suggests that what is
important is to help learners change their way of thinking
about themselves and their world. This can be achieved by
what Brookfield calls critical reflectivity.

Under critical reflectivity, significant personal learning
will be the learning in which adults reflect on their self-
images, self-concepts, question their previously
internalized behavioral and moral norms. The learners are
able to interpret their present and past behaviors from a
different perspective. Facilitators have a role of prompting
learners to think about alternative perspectives on their
personal political, work, and social lives.

In the process of facilitation, the learners previously held
beliefs, behaviors, and values will be put to a test against
new ones, which they may not want to consider.
Confronting peoples beliefs, values or behaviors may be
discomforting to some people. However, it should be
made known to the students that this is a normal
component of learning.

Next slide.
Slide 9 Change Theory Change theory is another system of thought whose
concepts and strategies are drawn from field theory,
systems theory, organizational development and
consultation theories, and ecological psychology. This
theory deals with influencing the educative quality
environments. Knowles has interpretation of some of the
applications of change theory for human development.
Here, we will explore these applications.

Organizations must be seen also as social systems
because they have a human purpose. Though
organizations need to get things done, their other function
is to act as an instrumentality that helps people to meet
their human needs and achieve human goals. Using adult
education, organizations can advance both purposes.
Organizations can use adult education to ensure that their
personnel obtain the competencies needed to advance the
goals of the organizations. On the human purpose,
organizations will use adult education to help their
personnel develop competencies that will enable them to
meet their needs and achieve their goals.

Organizations provide an environment for adult learning.
This environment can either facilitate or inhibit learning.
Modern adult education theorists call for the need to
increase the emphasis on the importance of building
educative environments. Educative environments have
certain characteristics such as:

Respect of personality;
Participation in decision making;
Freedom of expression and availability of information;
and
Mutuality of responsibility in defining goals, planning,
and conducting activities, and evaluating.

In a democratic culture, an educative environment
practices a democratic philosophy. In adult education,
democratic philosophy among other things implies that
learning activities will be based on the needs and interests
of the participants, and a group that is representative of all
participants is responsible for determining the policies.

Next slide.
Slide 10 Check Your
Understanding

Slide 11 Summary We have reached the end of this lesson. Lets take a look
at what weve covered.

We started our discussion by examining theories of
teaching. Here, we learnt that there is a difference
between theories of learning and theories of teaching. We
examined Hilgards twenty principles of learning derived
from three different learning theories namely, stimulus,
response theory, cognitive theory, and motivation and
personality theory. He made an assumption these
principles would be acceptable to all learning theorists.

We then examined teaching concepts derived from
learning theories about animals and children. Here, we
learnt about number of theories about the nature of
teaching and the role of the teacher. These theories include
those of Thorndike, Guthrie, Skinner, Hull, Tolman, and
Gagne. Thorndike saw teaching as the control of learning
by the management of rewards. Guthrie offers two
suggestions for teaching. In order to encourage a certain
behavior and discourage the other, it is important to know
the cues leading to the behavior and use as many stimulus
supports for desired behavior as possible. Skinner looks at
teaching as the arrangement of contingencies of
reinforcement. Hulls work was mainly concerned with the
development of a systematic behavior theory that would
improve the laboratory study of learning. Tolman was
primarily concerned with the laboratory study of learning.
He incorporated the concepts of Gestalt psychology in his
work. Gagne argues that learning cannot be explained by
simple theories. He believes that there are eight types of
learning, each with its own set of required conditions.

Next, we examined concepts of teaching derived from
theories of teaching. Here, we learned about John Deweys
system of ideas about effective teaching. We observed that
there are a number of differences between Deweys
principles and the principles of traditional education, such
as while students in traditional education learn from texts
and teachers, Dewey advocates learning from experience.
We also learned that there are a number of key concepts to
Deweys principles, such as experience, democracy,
continuity, and interaction.

We then discussed teaching through inquiry. Here, we
learned that according to Bruner, there are four criteria
that a theory of instruction or inquiry must meet. These
are:

Predisposition to learn;
Structure of knowledge;
Effective sequencing; and
Rewards and punishment.

Next, we examined teaching through modeling. Here, we
learned that teaching by modeling involves the teacher
behaving in ways that he or she wants the learner to
imitate. We also learned that there are three types of
effects from exposing the learner to a model:

Modeling effect;
Inhibitory or disinhibitory effect; and
Eliciting effect.

Next, we examined perspective transformation /critical
reflection. Here we learned that the new theories about the
purpose of teaching suggest apart from satisfying the
identified needs of individuals, organizations, and society;
adult education programs should help learners change
their way of thinking about themselves and their world.
This can be achieved by what Brookfield calls critical
reflectivity. Facilitators have a role of prompting learners
to think about alternative perspectives on their personal
political, work, and social lives.

Finally, we examined Change theory. We learned that
Change theory is another system of thought whose
concepts and strategies are drawn from field theory,
systems theory, organizational development and
consultation theories, and ecological psychology. This
theory deals with influencing the educative quality
environments. Using Knowles interpretation of some of
the applications of change theory for human development,
we learnt that organizations serve two purposes, the work
purpose and the human purpose.

This completes this lesson.