Learning is defined as a process in which change occurs in the knowledge, skills and perspective of the human being while learning theory is defined as a theory which demonstrates that how humans learn different things. Learning theories have great importance in teaching and learning process.
Importance of learning theories:
• Learning theory is important because it defines the purpose of teaching and learning.
• With the help of learning theories, a teacher can get a better understanding of student’s needs.
• It helps teachers in the organization and effective use of resources.
• Learning theories help in finding the solution of teaching problems faced by the teachers.
• It also provides a guideline about how to achieve objectives by using different methods of teaching.
• Learning theories helps a teacher in designing the learning environment for his students.
Q No 2: What is the difference between “classical conditioning and operant conditioning”?
Classical conditioning Operant conditioning
1- classical conditioning was proposed by Ivan Pavlov Operant conditioning was proposed by B.F Skinner
2- Classical conditioning is a type of conditioning in which the neutral stimulus is affiliated with the unconditional stimulus which generates an unconditioned response and after practicing this many times we are able to generate the same response with a neutral stimulus.
Operant conditioning is a type of conditioning in which the behaviour of the person is modified by reinforcement and punishment.
3- In classical conditioning association occurs between two stimuli. In operant conditioning punishment, incentives or reinforcement is used.
4- In classical conditioning the responses are spontaneous and involuntary in nature. In operant conditioning the responses are voluntary in nature.
5- In classical conditioning the response occurs in the result of stimulus In operant conditioning reward or punishment is given on the basis of behaviour
6- In classical conditioning the role of the learner is passive in nature because in classical conditioning involuntary Responses are generated In operant conditioning the role of the learner is active in nature.
7- Example of classical conditioning is when a child sees an injection he starts crying because he associated the injection with pain. Example of operant conditioning is when a child cleans his room he got an incentive.
Q No 3: Write down any two activities that a teacher can use in the classroom at the concrete operational stage of the development of a child?
Concrete operational stage:
According to Piaget, the third stage of cognitive development in children is concrete operational. The concrete operational stage starts from 7 years to 11 years. At this stage the thinking of a child is more rule-regulated. He is able to reason and classify objects according to various features.
Activities used by teacher in classroom:
There are many activities that are used by teachers in classroom where students are in concrete operational stage.
The teacher can engage students in measurement activities which is useful for conservation concept. For example teacher can ask students to measure the length and width of their book, table or blackboard. Teacher can also teach students how to measure liquids.
The teacher can engage students in activities which involves classification. For example, in the class the teacher can ask students to classify objects on the basis of their colour or size. In science class the teacher can ask students to classify object and put them in solid, liquid and gas categories.
Activities which include reversibility:
The teacher may engage students in activities which involves reversibility concept. For example the teacher may ask the student that when we add 6 into 5 the answer is 11 now if we subtract 6 from 11 what will be the answer. The answer is 5.
Q No 4: In your opinion, what are the weaknesses in the Theory of Cognitive Development presented by Piaget? Write down any two weaknesses.
Jean Piaget proposed the theory of cognitive development. According to Piaget, there are 4 stages of cognitive development and a child passes through these four stages to reach the level of maturity. The four stages are
• Concrete operational
• Formal operational
Where there are many strengths of Piaget theory there are also some shortcomings in his theory.
• The first weakness of Piaget theory is that he underestimates the abilities of the children because sometimes children know much more skills as compared to the skills defined in the particular stages.
• The second weakness of Piaget theory is that all of his work was based on the observations and he didn’t use any scientific method.
• The third weakness in Piaget theory is that he draws a sharp line between the different stages of the development by defining the specific age levels and ignoring the individual differences.
• The fourth weakness is that he ignores the impact of culture and social environment on the development of children.