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Learning Theories



The class in question was composed of children aged between 10 and14. When the teacher paused to ask questions, the number of boys whoraised their hands to provide answers exceeded the number of girls.In confirmation of Erikson’s claims, psychosexual traits play adetermining factor in the child learning process. In technical areas,boys tend to be more aggressive than girls. I remember an instancewhen the teacher instructed students to perform summation of numbersafter her. Initially, the teacher gave the results and the childrenrepeated in chorus. At some stage, the teacher only pointed to theresult section and the students gave out the answers partially.Through imitation, as postulated by Bandura, social learning isencouraged.

Having completed the chorus part of the answers, the teacher formedgroups of 3 and assigned them summation tasks to be completed in 10minutes. I identified that in one group, a young boy X constantlydisputed the correct answers provided by the group. He repeatedlyinsisted that the answers were wrong, though they were correct. Uponcritical examination, the group arranged the work horizontally whilethe teacher had done it vertically. His satisfaction level with theanswers, in the view of Maslow’s theory of self-actualization, wasnot realized until the teacher’s approach was followed (Gordon&amp Browne, 2016).

As a result of the active guidance provided by the teacher, thechildren were able to follow the addition process step by step. Theteacher applied Vygotsky’s idea that learning and development issignificantly determined by language, social context and adultsupport. Borrowing from the experience of boy X’s group, it wasevident that the teacher’s vertical approach was not used asinstructed by the teacher, but the answers were correct. Thisconfirmed Piaget’s theory that adults have an influence in childdevelopment but the child develops their own way of thinking. Uponcompletion of the group discussions, the answers were compared andthe groups that earned poor marks were positively mocked by the othergroups. This acted as a form of punishment to the members of thefailing group (Gordon &amp Browne, 2016).

When I later discussed with the teacher, I realized that there was nogroup that had not been laughed at before. It was a way of making thepupils improve on their learning process. In fact, the teacher statedthat the best group had been last in the previous week. Skinner’stheory supports punishment as an approach to molding behavior andexperience as a tool for conditioning child children. Throughpositive mockeries, the children seemed to be motivated to workharder in the next classes. The whole learning process, according tothe teacher, incorporated all the learning theories but not directly.

From the observations in this class, I noted that learning anddevelopment in children follows situational, environmental,psychosexual and methodical techniques surrounding them. In future, Iwill refer to theoretical claims and observe students appropriatelyto realize the best out of the knowledge that I will impact on them.I believe that the class that I observed was a masterpiece of what anideal learning process should be like. In reality, I look forward totaking all the theories carefully in relation to different children’sbehavior and attitudes towards the concepts taught in class. Acombination of all the theories leads to full acquisition ofknowledge and development as indicated in the star web below.

Punishment and Conditioning (Skinner)

Language and Adult Support (Vygotsky)

Child’s own thinking (Piaget)

Self-actualization (Maslow)

Psychosexual traits (Erikson)

Imitation and Social Learning (Bandura)

Child Learning and Development


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Gordon, A. M., &amp Browne, K. W.(2016).&nbspBeginnings &amp Beyond:Foundations in Early Childhood Education.