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Functional Context Theory (Sticht)

Summary: Functional Context Theory is a cognitive learning theory that was developed specifically for educating adults in businesses and the military. Originator: Thomas Sticht Keywords: Job task analysis, knowledge base, literacy, learning strategies, instructional strategies Functional Context Theory (Sticht) There are various styles of learning requiring educators to learn about their students so that they can choose the most appropriate learning theory upon which to develop their instructional strategies. The functional context theory is considered a cognitive learning theory. The theory...

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Gestalt Theory (von Ehrenfels)

Summary: The Gestalt theory of learning originated in Germany, being put forth by three German theorists who were inspired by the works and ideas of the man who gave the learning theory its name. Graf Christian von Ehrenfels was a learning theorist who took the holistic approach to learning by putting forth the idea that learning takes place as students were able to comprehend a concept in its entirety, rather than broken up into parts. Key Terms: holistic, mechanical response, phenomenology, Isomorphism, factor of closure, factor of proximity, trace factor, factor of similarity, figure...

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Grit (Duckworth, Matthews, Kelly, Peterson)

Summary: Grit is a quality that learners have that enables them to persevere while facing struggles and obstacles. This can help the learners attain success because they don’t give up until they reach their goals. Originators & proponents: Angela Duckworth (University of Pennsylvania); Michael D. Matthews (USMA, West Point); Dennis R. Kelly (USMA, West Point); Christopher Peterson (University of Michigan) Keywords: achievement, grit, growth mindset, motivation, non-cognitive factors, performance, perseverence, persistence, personality, resilience, success Grit (Duckworth, Matthews,...

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Flow (Csíkszentmihályi)

Summary: Flow is an optimal psychological state that people experience when engaged in an activity that is both appropriately challenging to one’s skill level, often resulting in immersion and concentrated focus on a task. This can result in deep learning and high levels of personal and work satisfaction. Originators & proponents: Mihály Csíkszentmihályi Keywords: anxiety/stress, challenge level, creativity, engagement, expertise, happiness, immersion, flow, focus, learning, motivation, satisfaction, self-regulation, skill level Flow (Csíkszentmihályi) Flow is one of eight mental states...

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Situated Cognition (Brown, Collins, & Duguid)

Summary: Situated cognition is the theory that people’s knowledge is embedded in the activity, context, and culture in which it was learned. It is also referred to as “situated learning.” Originators & proponents: John Seely Brown, Allan Collins, Paul Duguid Keywords: activity, authentic domain activity, authentic learning, cognitive apprenticeship, content-specific learning, context, culture, everyday learning, knowledge, legitimate peripheral participation, socio-cultural learning, social construction of knowledge, social interaction, teaching methods Situated cognition...

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21st Century Skills (P21 and others)

Summary: Skills necessary for students to master in order for them to experience school and life success in an increasingly digital and connected age; includes digital literacy, traditional literacy, content knowledge, media literacy, and learning/innovation skills. Originators & Proponents: Groups – United States Department of Education, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, MacArthur Foundation; Individuals – Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, John Seely Brown Keywords: collaboration, digital literacy, innovation, technology, work-life skills, readiness, interdisciplinary learning,...

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