Is There Value in Studying Teaching and Learning Theories? Essay

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Is there value in studying teaching and learning theories? Amanda Estes PSY 2012-76 Throughout the semester we have discussed and evaluated many learning theories and methods in order to determine whether any of them or a combination of them in the classroom helps us understand how students learn most effectively. Learning occurs in a variety of ways and individuals learn in their own way as a result of their experiences, personalities and challenges they face throughout the learning process. In order to determine whether there is value in studying learning theories we have to fully understand the different theories, where they originated, and test them through instruction. Some theories are based on behaviorism and some on neuroscience and development of the brain, while others are just based on experimentation by theorists and their observations. Teaching theories and the implications from instruction are interwoven with learning theories. Learning theories shape teaching theories because you will most logically teach what you believe or what has been proven through testing to help students learn most effectively and successfully. Their implications address organization, presentation, usage, activities, evaluation, assessment, and other methods utilized in order to instruct in the best method that fosters learning. Conditioning theories are those that explain learning due to the environment that exists around learners. Operant conditioning (B.F. Skinner) is a behavioral theory that examines the basic processes of reinforcement and punishment. Teachers use positive and negative reinforces all the time in the classroom in order to motivate students to achieve their best performance. Behavior modification can also be used in order to adapt learners’ negative habits into positive ones that contribute more successfully to their learning. The most basic operant

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