Posts filed under: Learning Theories & Models

Educational Robotics and Constructionism (Papert)

Summary: Constructionism as a learning theory emphasizes student-centered discovery learning, and educators are currently expanding its reach to the field of educational robotics in order to engage students. Originators and Key Contributors: Seymour Papert took Piaget’s theory of constructivism and...
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Psychological Behaviorism (Staats)

Summary: Psychological behaviorism (PB) holds that a person’s psychology can be explained through observable behavior. Originators and Key Contributors: Watson first developed behaviorism, the umbrella theory that includes psychological behaviorism, in 1912. Skinner further extended the theory with his formulation...
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Dopamine, Games, and Motivation

Summary: Dopamine plays a role in motivation, and this role is important to understand in the context of game design. Understanding how dopamine motivates can help game designers produce games that are interesting, effective, and ethical. Originators and Key Contributors:...
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Montessori Method (Montessori)

Montessori Method is an approach to education which emphasizes individuality and independence in learning; children are seen as inherently curious and learning driven. ...
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Uses and Gratification Theory

Summary: Uses and gratification theory (UGT) is an audience-centered approach that focuses on what people do with media, as opposed to what media does to people. Originators and Key Contributors: Uses and gratification theory builds off of a history of...
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Gamification in Education

Summary: Gamification describes the process of applying game-related principles — particularly those relating to user experience and engagement — to non-game contexts such as education. Originators and Key Contributors: In 1980, Thomas Malone published the study “What Makes Things to Learn:...
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Attachment Theory (Bowlby)

Summary: Attachment theory emphasizes the importance of a secure and trusting mother-infant bond on development and well-being. Originator and key contributors: John Bowlby (1907-1990) British child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known for his theory on attachment Mary Ainsworth (1913-1999), American psychoanalyst...
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Positive Psychology / PERMA Theory (Seligman)

Summary: Positive psychology is the study of happiness, flourishing, and what makes life worth living.  Seligman points to five factors as leading to well-being  — positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment. Originators and key contributors: Martin Seligman...
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Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger)

Summary: Cognitive dissonance is the negative feeling that results from conflicting beliefs and behaviors. Originator: Leon Festinger (1919-1989), American social psychologist Keywords: social psychology, forced compliance, decision-making, error justification...
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Expertise Theory (Ericsson, Gladwell)

Expertise theory specifies how talent develops across specified fields or domains, focusing on cognitive task analysis (to map the domain), instruction and practice, and clearly specified learning outcomes against which one can objectively measure the development of expertise....
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