WR2 Learning Theories:  Pedagogy vs. Andragogy


Objective -  By the end of the lesson given instructions and Web sites, scholars will:

Learning Theories

Assignment Description

Theories on how people learn abound.  Some support content specific learning.  For example Problem-Based Learning (PBL) suggests that critical thinking can be taught using real life scenarios.  Others support domain specific learning.  For example taxonomists suggest that problem-solving is based on a domain preference.  i.e. an information processing in cognitive domain (Bloom, 1956) refers to thinking.  A perceptual approach in the psychomotor domain (Simpson, 1972) refers to a trial and error approach.  Relying on ones personality is the affective domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, Masia, 1973) in which problem solving decision are made based on emotion and feelings.  Some educational theories are well suited to adult learners, while others may be better applied to adolescents. 

The links above lead to learning theory categories.  Within those categories are definitions of accepted learning theories in specific.  Each as a "View details of this theory" link which provides a short discussion of the theory.  Read each of the definitions in the 11 categories above and follow the "View details" link of those that appeal to you.  As you research these theories keep in mind how adults and adolescents learn differently and how each theory is adaptable to your submit matter.  Select one theory you believe is relevant to teaching adolescents and one theory you believe is relevant to teaching adults.  (Do not simply pick the first two you see).  As your assess the readings and activities some questions to consider include but are not limited to:

Why is the theory better suited to adolescents or adult?
How do adolescents learn differently than adults?
Is the theory more effective for your classroom because of the subject matter, age of the students, or both?
How practical is the implementation in real-time classrooms? 
Are some theories more effective than others?
Which are best and describe why? 
Which, if any, of these concepts are in practice in your classrooms in total or in part? 
Can you improve the effectiveness of your class by implementing additional concepts from these articles.  (Site the article and specific theory.)
How you would apply the concept and what is the expected outcome?
How has educational history and reform impacted CTE in today's classroom?

Begin your report with an introductory paragraph that briefly identifies the demographics of the class you teach.  Include the age (adolescent or adult), the diversity, and the type of institution or business in which you teach.  Then compare and contrast the two learning theories.  Be sure to address each of the questions listed in the objectives.  Be specific; give examples; provide your rationale based on how adolescents and adults learn differently; cite the relevant articles and/or theorist; and provide supportive evidence.  I suggest you list each question in your report as a heading then write your response below the heading.  Then provide a conclusion that discusses how you will or already apply the theory selected for the demographics of your class.  Again, be specific and provide examples; support, and how it will or already improves teaching and learning in your classroom.

To earn an "A" on the assignment you must participate in the on-line class discussion via e-mail.  Use the distribution list provided by the instructor to send your report to the class-at-large.  Reports are due on the date indicated in the syllabus.  The discussion will take place in the week following the due date before the next assignment is due.  Think of this like a traditional in-class discussion except you are writing your comments and questions instead of speaking them.  You will read more than you will reply.  When you wish to comment or ask a question use the "reply to all" feature of your mail manager to send your message to the class-at-large.  The instructor will participate actively, and her comments will provide examples of what is expected of you.


Grading Criteria

Remember to apply the report guideline for quality writing and to write at a scholarly, collegiate level.  Use your spell/grammar check.  Poor writing with spelling and grammar errors will not be accepted.  It will be returned to you upgraded for remediation.  Demonstrate critical thinking.

This assignment is worth 10% of your grade. 

Reports meeting the following criteria will receive 9 points (1 point each)

Participation in the on-line discussion via e-mail 1 point


Big Dog's Little Dog's Performance Juxtaposition.  (2009).  Bloom's taxonomy of learning:  The three types of learning.  Retrieved November 28, 2009, from, http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2012, April). at Learning-Theories.com. Retrieved April 5th, 2012 from http://www.learning-theories.com/

Lieb, S. (1991).  Principles of adult learning.  Vision.  Fall issue.  Retrieved January 3, 2012, from, http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/adults-2.htm

University of Delaware.  (2009).  Problem-based learning.  Retrieved November 28, 2009, from, http://www.udel.edu/pbl/