Fitting the Pieces Together

April 18, 2010 tinkisamy

As I have looked into learning theories and learning styles I expanded my knowledge and understanding. I had a basic foundation about both learning theories and styles from previous classes and studies, but I was able to dig deeper into the differences and characteristics.

I have learned that my learning style has changed over the years and that I need to push myself as an adult learner to try different styles to see what works best for what I need to learn at the time. This places into Knowles’ research and term, “andragogy”. I have a hand in my own learning and education. I know what motivates me and I have the need to collaborate, share, and learn from others.

I know the learning theory of B.F Skinner, behaviorism, is not how I learn, but is a way many teachers predominantly use. This theory in my opinion is best when incorporated with other theories. I agree with the theories that incorporate the social aspect of learning. These include both connectivism and constructivism.

Connectivism involves the integration of cognition and emotions in meaning-making.  There needs to be a nurturing and maintaining of connections to facilitate learning. The making of connection has a greater return and outcome then just simply seeking to understand a single concept. Learning occurs in many different ways through many different means.

Constructivism brings in the idea that we learn by reflecting on our own experiences. Learning is done because the learner constructs their own meaning. I like that it is expressed that the learner doesn’t just memorize the right answers or believe what others just tell them. It is important to make connections between facts and new understanding.

These theories have many useful aspects and in combination with the other theories can help educators and designers foster learning.

Technology plays a big role in my learning. As an adult, wife, mother, and learner I am busy and tend to be spread very thin. The use of technology makes even simple tasks easier and less stressful.  I can get on my computer and search the web for anything that I need. I can get on my class discussion board and gain new knowledge and understanding as well as ideas to reflect on.

I can use simple programs like word to write my ideas down, and then can post them where I need them. This could be to a discussion, my blog site, or even a spread sheet to organize my time and tasks. I now know about different mapping sites, which can help me organize my thoughts and activities.

Resources:

http://www.connectivism.ca/about.html

http://www.funderstanding.com/content/constructivism

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