Social Learning Theory, theorized by Albert Bandura, posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation.
Metacognition is defined in simplest terms as “thinking about your own thinking." The root “meta" means “beyond," so the term refers to “beyond thinking." Specifically, this means that it encompasses the processes of planning, tracking, and assessing your own understanding or performance.
The phrase was termed by American developmental psychologist John H. Flavell in 1979, and the theory developed throughout the 1980s among researchers working with young children in early cognitive stages.
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 (Brown, Collins, & Duguid)
Situated cognition is a theory which emphasizes that people’s knowledge is constructed within and linked to the activity, context, and culture in which it was learned.
Learning is social and not isolated, as people learn while interacting with each other through shared activities and through language, as they discuss, share knowledge, and problem-solve during these tasks.
For example, while language learners can study a dictionary to increase their vocabulary, this often solitary work only teaches basic parts of learning a language; when language learners talk with someone who is a native speaker of the language, they will learn important aspects of how these words are used in the native speaker’s home culture and how the words are used in everyday social interactions.
In 2014, Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura was ranked number one atop a list of the Top 100 Eminent Psychologists of the Modern Era, published in the Archives of Scientific Psychology.  . Former president of the American Psychological Association, winner of numerous awards and more than sixteen honorary degrees and widely held as one of the most influential psychologists alive today, Albert Bandura is among the most prolific psychologists in history.
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.
Anders Ericsson, a professor at Florida State University, is the leading figure in the field of expertise theory. However, many others are associated with it as well: Robert Sternberg (Cornell University), Richard Clark (University of Southern California), Benjamin Bloom (late of the University of Chicago), Herbert Simon (late of Carnegie Mellon University), and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Claremont Graduate University). Another notable figure is Malcolm Gladwell, whose work has served to popularize the theory.
Keywords: expertise, practice, instruction, cognitive task analysis
Summary: There exist five kinds of understanding (or cognitive tools) that individuals usually master in a particular order during the course of their development; these have important educational implications.
Originator: Kieran Egan, a Professor at Simon Fraser University, proposed his theory of cognitive tools as part of a sustained program of writing and research on the role of imagination in learning, teaching, and curriculum.
Keywords: Cognitive, Stages, Imagination, Ironic, Literacy, Memes
Theory of Mind, Empathy, Mindblindness
Summary: Theory of mind refers to the ability to perceive the unique perspective of others and its influence on their behavior – that is, other people have unique thoughts, plans, and points of view that are different than yours.
Originators and key contributors:
- Jean Piaget (1896- 1980), a Swiss psychologist, described the inability of young children to perceive others’ points of view due to ‘egocentrism.’
- David Premack and Guy Woodruff developed the term Theory of Mind (1978) as applied to their studies on chimpanzees.
- Josef Perner and Heinz Wimmer (1983) extended Theory of Mind to the study of child development.
Keywords: Social cognition, child development, false-belief, Autism spectrum disorders, mindblindness
Summary: A cognitive theory of multimedia learning based on three main assumptions: there are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information; there is limited channel capacity; and that learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information.
Originator: Richard Mayer (1947-)
Key terms: dual-channel, limited capacity, sensory, working, long-term memory