LEARNING ASSESSMENT 1
Learning involvesthe acquisition of knowledge or skill. Again, learning may involve achange in behavior or attitude. Children for example, learn torecognize objects at a very early age. Teenagers learn how to improvetheir study habits, and adults would learn how to solve problematicsituations. In this regard, learning theory deals with a body ofadvocated principles from psychologists to explain how individualsacquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Learning theory is branchedto include branches with formal training programs aimed ataccelerating and improving the learning process. Over the years, alot of theories have tried to explain the manner in which peopleteach (Leonard, 2002). Therefore, the paper will examine three chosenlearning theories (behaviorism, cognitivists, and constructivism),and how each one of them contribute to my understanding of how I wasable to learn or understand the challenges faced during the wholeprocess of learning.
My learningexperience came after many weeks of reading books and taking classesthat discussed about lift, wind speed, peddles, brakes, gravity,thrust, body shapes, how the steering wheel controlled the directionof a vehicle, fuel capacity, driving patterns, and other things thatinvolved learning to drive. But now, it was about time I put myknowledge into use through a learning process. Mel, my drivinginstructor, walked me through all important sections of the vehicle,checking the fuel and oil level, adjusting the side mirrors, checkingthe tires for air pressure, and wiping the front and wind screen toensure I was ready to drive for the first time.
After buckling in, I started the engine and took control of thesteering wheel. Suddenly, everything that I had learnt seemed todisappear from my memory. I became nervous and my determined attitudeand behavior changed. But I took control and accelerated the car. Thecar was finally moving! All the fine details I had learnt started tomake sense and I started to remember. Here, my learning goal was tofinally know how to navigate the steering wheels, control the brakes,accelerate the car, steering on the right side of the road, check forthe oncoming vehicles, and be able to stop the car. However, mylearning experience was marred by changes in behavior. During thelearning process, my actual behavior changes into a potential changein the run. This is because my short term changes were as a result ofexcitement, fear for the unknown, and fatigue due to long hours oflearning.
Before the learning event, my behavior patterns revolved around fearof the unknown, uncertainties, and a sense of excitement at theprospect of trying out something new. Based in behaviorism theory, Iwas not attending to my underlying behavior patterns, clamping downto the experience, while trying to complete an activity cycle ofyearning to learn (Merriam & Bierema, 2013). According to thetheory, my behavior patter was also in an obsessive-compulsivecomplex, which the prospective experience soothed my sense ofemptiness in trying to fill the void by trying to learn. After mylearning experience, based on constructivism theory of observing andlearning, I developed my own knowledge and understanding of theenvironment around the driving process. After that, my behaviorpatterns revolved around a positivism approach and the belief toexperiment with my experience. These patterns applied the cognitivistapproach, which changed my mental function (Turner, 2007). Mybehavior changed from that of fear and uncertain one to that ofcourage and confidence. Cognitivist approach understood innermechanism, which was a characteristic of my thoughts and processes ofconquering what is new.
Looking at the three learning theories, in regard to my learningexperience, behaviorism theory explained my learning progress interms of change in my external behavior, which reinforced shape in myinternal behavior. The theory explains desired behavior that Iachieved after my learning experience by cautioning on punishingundesired behavior before the experience (Leonard, 2002). Behaviorismcontributed to my learning through positive reinforcement provided myMel, my instructor during my driving lessons.
Cognitivist theory on the other hand, also contributed to my learningprogress through instilling positive thoughts and inner mechanismsfrom my instincts to approach the action with necessary knowledge andskills (Merriam & Bierema, 2013). The theory is characterizedwith strengthen a person’s mental structures to be in a betterposition to deal with new experience. It explains my mental conditionthroughout the experience. Cognitivist theory also explains myability to remember what I had learnt into putting it into practice(Leonard, 2002). At the time, the role of my memory was to encodeduring the learning, store, and retrieve it during the executing it.
Finally, constructivism theory reflects on observation aimed atlearning. Mel, my instructor, took me through the learning process ofdriving, but the theory gives an explanation of how I was able todrive. This is because it gives a clear understanding and skills, byobservation, experimentation, and reflection of the learningexperiences (Turner, 2007). After I was given a chance to drive forthe first time, it was a reflection of constructivism theory, whichreconcile with my skills I had learnt, and change my behavior, whilediscarding my old believe to be irrelevant. From the theories, Ihave learnt new insights. These insights ranged from reconcilingprevious understanding of knowledge and skills from the ideas andexperiences. These insights have changed what we believe, and can beused every time we are faced by a problem to solve.
Sam understands the rules of the game but he has to learn thestrategy required in the game. Through application of the theoriesabove, Sam should approach the game with a clear mind, which is acharacteristic of behaviorism theory (Merriam & Bierema, 2013).He will do this by applying stimulus and response in the game. Thiswill help him in encoding and retrieval of rules learnt during thepractice. Secondly, Sam should adapt to the patterns of play duringthe game, which is a characteristic of constructivism theory. Thiswill help him representing his current state, while building fromprior knowledge, which he will remix with his current patterns ofplay.
Leonard, D. C.(2002). Learning theories, A to Z. Westport, Conn: Oryx Press.
Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2013). Adult Learning:Linking Theory and Practice. Hoboken: Wiley.
Turner, S. (2007).Learning theories. Chandni Chowk, Delhi: Global Media.