This report will analyse some of the theories, principles and models in education and training. I will report on how these can be applied, and how they can enable inclusive learning, through exploring my own research. The report will also show how learners preferences should be taken into account as per of inclusive teaching and learning.
A – Analyse theories, principles and models of learning and models of learning preferences Wilson, L (2014) has shown that there are three main schools of theory:
The Behaviourist School
The Cognitivist School
The Humanist School
The Table below shows the schools, their theories and key individual theorists
Individuals respond to stimuli, things seen and done around them. Repetitively being shown a subject in order to learn about it Pavlov (1849 – 1936) stimulus – response theory used on animals, a bell was rang before eat feed, the animals salivated, showing a recognition. The issue with this is problem solving – how could a behaviourist think logically, when they follow responses. Open to stereotyping
Learning is acquiring knowledge through thought, senses, and experience. Individuals follow mental processes – they think, remember and process information. J Bruner (b.1915) – To instruct someone… is not a matter of getting him to commit results to mind. Rather, it is to teach him to participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting. Knowing is a process not a product. (1966: 72) – The Process of Education: Towards a theory of instruction (1966) The issues here could be that some learners may not have the knowledge to start with. Is this to say they should not be given the opportunity to learn?
Individuals should search for meanings in order to develop. Development is in stages , cited by Abraham Maslow ( hierarchy of needs) A Maslow (1908 – 1970) – Individuals needs to have basic needs met before they can move onto the next stages of learning, This theory may come into problems if the learner has personal issues in the middle of their learning. Does the tutor go back to the beginning, therefore losing their ‘flow’ as they deal with individuals personal issues on a regular basis?
B – Explain ways in which theories, principles and models of learning can be applied to teaching, learning and assessment Wallace, s (2011 pg. 92) states that ‘to some extent, learning theory is about whether it is the learner or the learning that is important; whether learning is to be valued as a means to an end, or as an end in itself and which is the most value’. The variety of different learning theories could be used in lessons. Within my own teaching of the unemployed, I use aspects of the behaviourist school, as they play role play interviews, asking the same or similar questions to build up a confident answer and a natural flow to questions asked.
I use the cognitivist school with learners to ensure that we utilise their past experiences and knowledge of receiving and giving good customer service, so that they show a knowledge of customer expectations. The humanist school is applied at the beginning of the course, when I ensure that the learners have their bus passes, their interview clothes, and their knowledge of their next sign on date with their job centre advisor. By making sure that these are covered at the beginning of the course, the learners feel more comfortable. Throughout the course I use formative assessments in the shape of recaps, quizzes, presentations, learning mats, and the workbooks that must be completed in order to gain the qualification.
There are a number of workbooks that are marked by me as part of the summative assessments, and feedback is given during and after the course. ILP’s (independent learning plans) are designed to cover a number of the learning theories, with formative and summative assessments throughout. The learning plans starts with identifying the student’s needs, determining what adjustments need to be made, completing and implementing any changes, and monitoring and evaluating the learning throughout. C – Explain how identifying and taking account of learner’s individual preferences enables inclusive teaching, learning and assessment All learners have different learning styles.
Using materials at the initial stage of the learning process can highlight preferred styles. Honey and Mumford show four learning styles – activists, theorists, reflectors and pragmatists, while VAK highlights visual, auditory and kinaesthetic preferences. By identifying these learning styles a tutor can ensure that the lesson plan become holistic by using a range of resources such as flipcharts, presentations, hand-outs, research activities and giving continuous praise and encouragement to all learners. Wilson, L (2014 Page 80) reports on gardeners multiple intelligence (1983, 1993). This states that understanding intelligence and categorising it will develop learning.
The categories are shown in the diagram below:
A more recent learning preference has been introduced by the QCA – (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) and is used predominantly within the apprenticeship framework. These are known as personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and comprise of six sections, these are:
1) Independent Enquirers
2) Creative Thinkers
3) Reflective Learners
4) Team Workers
6) Effective Participators
For each group of skills, a focus statement sums up the range of skills. This is accompanied by a set of outcome Statements, that are indicative of the skills, behaviours and personal qualities associated with each group. Each group is distinctive and coherent. The groups are also interconnected. Young people are likely to encounter Skills from several groups in any one learning experience. For example, independent enquirers set goals for their Research with clear success criteria (reflective learners) and organise and manage their time and resources effectively to achieve these goals (self-managers).
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