Learning Theories

Many Learning Theories have been developed over a long period of time, though a majority of those now in use have arisen in the last century or so.

These theories apply to many different levels of educational learning.

Several theories and theorists stand out among this group, many for quite different reasons. Not all theories or theorists are covered on this page.

For information on Learning & Teaching Styles, related methods and further information, go to this page.

This page covers major theorists and their theories. Information includes biographies, information, further sources and an increasing number of videos.

A - H

Bandura, Albert

Bandura and his Social Cognitive Theory. The theory views people as active agents who both influence and are influenced by their environment. A major component of the theory is observational learning : the process of learning desirable and undesirable behaviours by observing others, then reproducing learned behaviours in order to maximise rewards.


Bloom’s Taxonomy

‘Bloom’s taxonomy is a set of three hierarchical models used to classify educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity. The three lists cover the learning objectives in cognitive, affective and sensory domains. The cognitive domain list has been the primary focus of most traditional education. The models were named after Benjamin Bloom, who chaired the committee of educators that devised the taxonomy’.

  • A Teacher’s Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy
    Innovative Teaching Ideas. ‘The purpose of this article is to develop a clear understanding of what Bloom’s Taxonomy is, and how you can apply it in your own teaching and learning. Towards the end of the article you will find some free Bloom’s resources and teaching resources which will help get you started’.
  • Benjamin Bloom
    The man and his works.
  • Bloomin’ Apps
    ‘This page gathers all of the Bloomin’ Apps in one place. Each image has clickable hotspots and includes suggestions to support each of the levels of Bloom’s revised taxonomy’.
  • Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy
    ‘In this post I will provide a background to Bloom’s Taxonomy and its subsequent revisions, list each of the categories in the hierarchy and suggest a technology that can be used at each level to support learning’.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    Centre for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. ‘Background Information; The Original Taxonomy; The Revised Taxonomy; Why Use Bloom’s Taxonomy ?; Further Information’.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    ‘History, The Cognitive Domain; The Affective Domain; The Psychomotor Domain; Definition of Knowledge; Criticism of the taxonomy; Implications; Connections across disciplines; References; Further Reading’. Wikipedia.
  • The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom
    Even though done some time ago, most are still functional and certainly useful. Extensive. Larry Ferlazzo.


Bronfenbrenner, Urie

‘Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory views child development as a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment, from immediate settings of family and school to broad cultural values, laws, and customs’ [Simply Psychology, 9 Nov. 2020]

  • Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Development [Bronfenbrenner]
    ‘Urie Bronfenbrenner was a Russian-American developmental psychologist whose bioecological model was integral to the formation of American Headstart pre-kindergarten programs. [1] He was influenced by fellow developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky. The model suggests the interactions between the individual and their environment, categorised into various systems, shape their development over time’.
  • Bronfenbrenner Child Development Theory Explained [HRF]
    ‘Urie Bronfenbrenner developed the ecological systems theory to describe child development. His approach suggests that everything within a child and everything in that child’s environment affects development and growth. The Bronfenbrenner child development theory suggests that there are four systems which influence the child as they grow and develop’.
  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory
    ‘Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory views child development as a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment, from immediate settings of family and school to broad cultural values, laws and customs. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory has implications for educational practice’.
  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory [Exploring your mind]
    ‘Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory on how the social environment affects human development has had a far-reaching impact on psychological research. His theory isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the best explanations we have on the subject’.
  • Child Development Theories : Urie Bronfenbrenner
    ‘Bronfenbrenner’s research and his new model of child development played a key part in altering the perspective of developmental psychology by calling attention to the many additional environmental and societal influences which impacted upon child development’.
  • The Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner
    ‘Formulated by famous psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner, this theory helps us understand why we may behave differently when we compare our behaviour in the presence of our family and our behaviour when we are in school or at work’.
  • What is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory ? [The Psychology Notes HQ]
    ‘According to Bronfenbrenner’s theory, children typically find themselves enmeshed in various ecosystems, from the most intimate home ecological system to the larger school system and then to the most expansive system which includes society and culture’.


Cognitive Load Theory

‘Dylan Wiliam has described cognitive load theory as the single most important thing for teachers to know. Grounded in a robust evidence base, cognitive load theory provides support for explicit models of instruction’ [Cognitive load theory : Research that teachers really need to understand Poster. Source, ]. Information about Emeritus Professor John Sweller, including a bibliography of works, is found here.

  • New !Cognitive Load Theory - an overview [ScienceDirect]
    ‘Cognitive load theory uses evolutionary theory to consider human cognitive architecture and uses that architecture to devise novel, instructional procedures’. Provides excerpts from a range of documents. Access to the full document may be available through education libraries.
  • New !Cognitive Load Theory [CLT]
    ‘This article describes the Cognitive Load Theory, developed by John Sweller in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful memory theory’.
  • New !Cognitive Load Theory [John Sweller]
    InstructionalDesign. Overview, Application, Examples [including short video], Principles and References.
  • New !Cognitive load theory : Research that teachers really need to understand
    CESE NSW. ‘This paper describes the research on cognitive load theory and what it means for more effective teaching practice. The first part of the paper explains how human brains learn according to cognitive load theory and outlines the evidence base for the theory. The second part of the paper examines the implications of cognitive load theory for teaching practice, and describes some recommendations that are directly transferable to the classroom’. A poster linked with this is noted in the introduction above.
  • New !John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory
    Exploring your mind. Overview, John Sweller’s cognitive load theory, Principles of Sweller’s cognitive load theory, Key points of the cognitive load theory, Knowledge and critical thinking, short Bibliography.


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‘An approach to learning that holds that people actively construct or make their own knowledge and that reality is determined by the experiences of the learner’ [Elliott et al., 2000, p.256]. See also sections on theorists such as Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky.

  • Constructivism 1 : Bruner and Scaffolding
    Note the Learning Objectives for this chapter as listed at the top of the page. Constructivism 1 and 2 on the right-hand menu cover Piaget and Vygotsky.
  • Constructivism and the Five E’s
    ‘The 5 E’s is an instructional model based on the constructivist approach to learning, which says that learners build or construct new ideas on top of their old ideas’.
  • Constructivism as a Theory for Teaching and Learning
    ‘What are the principles of constructivism ?; What are the three main types of constructivism ?; Constructivist approaches to teaching; Critical evaluation; References; Links to further information’.
  • Constructivism Learning Theory
    ‘Constructivism learning theory is a philosophy which enhances students’ logical and conceptual growth. The underlying concept within the constructivism learning theory is the role which experiences-or connections with the adjoining atmosphere-play in student education’. Links to Constructivism Learning Theory Categories and Constructivism Basics.
  • Constructivism [Philosophy of Education)
    History, Constructivist learning intervention; The role of the instructor; The selection, scope, and sequencing of the subject matter; Pedagogies based on constructivism; Criticism; Confusion between constructivist and maturationist views; Radical Constructivism; Relational Constructivism; Social Constructivism; Communal Constructivism; Influence on computer science and robotics; references; further reading; external links. Wikipedia
  • emTech
    Constructivism, Instructivism and Related Sites. Annotated links to multiple sites.
  • The Five E’s Model
    ‘The following sections contain a description of the five phases [5E’s] of this instructional model’.


De Bono, Edward

De Bono ‘originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools. is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill’.

  • Edward de Bono - Biography
  • Lateral Thinking Techniques
    ‘Lateral thinking is the mental process of generating ideas and solving problems by looking at a situation or problem from a unique perspective. It is the ability to think creatively or “outside the box”’.
  • The Creative Thinking Process
    ‘Many people think creativity starts with an idea, but the reality is most creative ideas do not just pop into your head. If you want to come up with creative ideas, you need to establish the circumstances for it to happen’.
  • The most undervalued skill ? Lateral Thinking
    ‘Edward de Bono, who developed the concept of lateral thinking, lays out 4 specific lateral thinking techniques : awareness, random stimulation, alternatives and alteration’.
  • Six Thinking Hats
    ‘Sometimes referred to as ‘6 hats’ or ‘the six hats of thinking’, these techniques focus on enhancing the structure of thinking so that group decision making and idea evaluation can be dramatically improved’.


Dewey, John

‘Educator John Dewey originated the experimentalism philosophy. A proponent of social change and education reform, he founded The New School for Social Research’

  • Centre for Dewey Studies
    Publications, papers, audio, reading list, more.
  • John Dewey
    ‘Life and works; Functional psychology; Pragmatism, instrumentalism, consequentialism; Logic and method; On education and teacher education; On humanism; Criticism; Academic awards; Publications; References; Further reading; External links’ and more. Wikipedia.
  • John Dewey [1859-1952]
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ‘Life and Works; Theory of Knowledge; Metaphysics; Ethical and Social Theory; Aesthetics; Critical Reception and Influence; References and Further Reading [Primary Sources, Secondary Sources]’.
  • John Dewey [LibriVox]
    Access recordings by John Dewey on a range of topics.
  • John Dewey Biography
    Life and work details 1859-1952.
  • John Dewey - Instrumentalism
    ‘Introduction & Quick Facts; Being, nature, and experience; Nature and the construction of ends; The precarious Histories; Ends and goods; Instrumentalism; and Democracy as a way of life’. Links to further articles.
  • Pragmatism Archive
    ‘Visit a Bibliography of Dewey’s writings, the Chicago School of Pragmatism, the Centre for Dewey Studies, and a chronology of Dewey’s life and works’.
  • What is the John Dewey Theory ?
    ‘This article provides a practical explanation of the John Dewey theory. After reading, you’ll understand the basics of this powerful change management tool’.


Direct Instruction

Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann, ‘Dr. Wesley Becker, and their colleagues believe, [and have proved,] that correctly applied DI can improve academic performance as well as certain affective behaviours. It is currently in use in thousands of schools across the nation [USA] as well as in Canada, the UK and Australia’.


  • Direct Instruction Training on Vimeo
    ‘GGSA Chairman Noel Pearson welcomes participants to Direct Instruction Training in Darwin’.
  • Intro to DI Video Series
    ‘This nine-part introduction is free and covers a range of topics addressing the fundamentals of Direct Instruction. Designed to provide information relevant to individuals new to DI’.
  • Siegfried [Zig] Engelmann on Instruction
    ‘In the following 5 video segments, you will hear Zig’s thoughts on everything from “Drill and Kill” to multi-sensory learning to teachers’ creativity in a DI classroom’.
  • Zig Biography
    ‘This sensitive, 23-minute [video] presentation by Jon Palferman documents the professional history of Zig Engelmann, from the early days at the University of Illinois’.

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Emilia, Reggio

An approach rather than an individual’s theory. Developed in the town of Reggio Emilia in the north of Italy after World War 2. It is based on learning concepts far different to those current at the time.


Erikson, Erik

‘He developed a psychosocial theory to understand how we each develop our individual identities. He believed people develop through 8 stages. At each stage, there is one important problem or issue to solve in order to develop a healthy sense of self’.
[Aussie Childcare Network]


Freire, Paulo

‘A Brazilian educator and philosopher who was a leading advocate of critical pedagogy. He is best known for his influential work Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is generally considered one of the foundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement’.


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Froebel, Friedrich

‘Friedrich Froebel changed the way we think about early childhood education. He designed balls, wooden blocks, tiles, sticks and rings to demonstrate that children learn by playing. Known around the world as the Froebel Gifts or Gaben, these objects were an important part of his Kindergarten’.


Gagné, Robert

Gagné is best known for his ‘Conditions of Learning’. He is also known for his work on the science of instruction during WWII. Further development centred around what he, among several theorists, believed to be the basis of good instruction. His influence on the area of instructional design has been significant.

  • Conditions of Learning - Gagné
    ‘This theory stipulates that there are several different types or levels of learning. The significance of these classifications is that each different type requires different types of instruction. Gagné identifies five major categories of learning. Different internal and external conditions are necessary for each type of learning’.
  • “Conversation on Instructional Design” by Robert M. Gagné and M. David Merrill
    ‘The conversation highlights the main points of Gagné and Merrill’s respective learning theories, and a comparison of the events of instruction, and Component Display Theory’.
  • Gagné Learning Theory
    Slideshare presentation [31 slides]. Text presentation in addition. Links to further material in this format are found on the right.
  • Gagné’s Nine Levels of Learning
    ‘Gagné’s Nine Levels of Learning provide a step-by-step approach that can help managers, trainers and facilitators structure their training so that their students or teams get the most from their learning opportunities’. Information and infographics.
  • Robert M. Gagné
    The website objectives provide a clear direction for this site. Learning Theories section covers the important aspects of his work. References are also listed.


Gardner, Howard

Gardner argues that there is more than one single type of intelligence, initially suggesting eight and later suggesting a possible ninth. Having strength in one area develops specific abilities in these [e.g. musical]. Individuals have an individual profile based on multiple factors. There are critics of the concept though the theory is reasonably well accepted among educators.


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Gestalt Theory

‘Gestalt theory emphasises that the whole of anything is greater than its parts. That is, the attributes of the whole are not deducible from analysis of the parts in isolation. The word Gestalt is used in modern German to mean the way a thing has been “placed”, or “put together”. Gestalt theory originated in Austria and Germany as a reaction against the associationist and structural schools’ atomistic orientation [an approach which fragmented experience into distinct and unrelated elements]’.
[Encyclopaedia Brittanica].


Gregorc, Anthony F.

Anthony F. Gregorc is best known for his theory of a Mind Styles Model and its associated Style Delineator. The model tries to match education to particular learning styles.

  • Anthony F. Gregorc, Ph.D.
    Biography, Publications, Audio, FAQs on Style, Professional Development options.
  • Anthony Gregorc
    ‘Career; Mind Styles Model and Gregorc Style Delineator; Major Works; References’. Wikipedia.
  • Gregorc Learning Styles
    Information on brain-hemisphere learning styles.
  • Gregorc Style Delineator
    ‘In order to identify an individual thinking and learning style, Gregorc created the Gregorc Style Delineator [GSD]. This test instrument is a tool used to identify and measure a person’s thinking and learning processes. It is designed to help individuals understand and recognise the ways which they most efficiently receive and process information’.
  • Gregorc’s Thinking Styles
    The Teacherist. Description, The Thinking Styles Test.


Hattie, John

‘John Hattie became known to a wider public with his two books Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers. Visible Learning is a synthesis of more than 800 meta-studies covering more than 80 million students. According to John Hattie, Visible Learning is the result of 15 years of research about what works best for learning in schools’.

  • Evidence Based Teachers Network
    ‘Open to anyone in the teaching profession interested in using evidence-based methods either in their classroom or as a strategy for improving learning in their school or college’. UK Based. Information, resources, more. Don’t miss the Myths and ineffective methods page.
  • Hattie’ s Index Of Teaching & Learning Strategies : 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order
    ‘John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning ?’.
  • Visible Learning
    News, videos [see below], glossary, interview, rankings, weblinks, more.
  • Visible Learningplus
    ‘A professional development program for teachers that explores how evidence can be used to create innovation in the learning environment. Our work is focused on John Hattie’s research and the principles of Visible Learning and visible teaching’.


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I - P

Knowles, Malcolm

‘Malcolm Shepherd Knowles was an American educator well known for the use of the term Andragogy as synonymous to adult education. According to him, andragogy is the art and science of adult learning, thus andragogy refers to any form of adult learning. The term andragogy can be supposedly equivalent to the term pedagogy. Andragogy in Greek means man-leading in comparison to pedagogy, which in Greek means child-leading’.
[Kearsley, 2010]

  • Adult Learning Theory [Andragogy]
    ‘An overview of the Adult Learning Theory and definition of Andragogy’. Includes video [see below], links and brief description.
  • Andragogy - Adult Learning Theory
    ‘The best known theory of adult learning is Knowles’ andragogy. As a teacher, writer, and leader in the field of adult education, Knowles was an innovator, responding to the needs of the field as he perceived them and, as such, he was a key figure in the growth and practice of adult education throughout the Western world’.
  • Andragogy II
    ‘Historical context; Theory description; Theory specifications; Principles; Media Description; Resources;’ more.
  • Andragogy Theory - Malcolm Knowles
    ‘Background on the concept and the educator; Knowles assumptions about adult learners; Desired outcomes of adult learning; Self-directed learning; Key Factors Found in Successful Adult Learning Programs’.
  • Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy
    ‘A champion of andragogy, self-direction in learning and informal adult education. We review his life and achievements, and assess his contribution’.
  • What is Andragogy ?
    ‘Alexander Kapp and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy developed theories around adult education, which were later popularised by Malcolm Knowles - a theorist in adult education. For Knowles, adult learning was premised on these characteristics’.


Kolb, David

‘The concept of experiential learning explores the cyclical pattern of all learning from Experience through Reflection and Conceptualising to Action and on to further Experience. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle now forms the heart of many training and learning events. David Kolb has extended his original work to explore the different ways in which we all learn’.
[Reviewing Skills Training]


Maslow, Abraham

‘Abraham Maslow is one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His biggest contributions to psychology were his contributions to humanistic psychology as well as his development of the hierarchy of needs’.


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Mezirow, Jack

‘Jack Mezirow is credited with developing the Transformative Learning theory. He indicated Transformative Learning is the process of using a prior interpretation to a construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action’. A core component was a ten phase transformation process. It was often linked to adult education.
[Mezirow, 1996:162]

  • Mezirow’s Ten Phases of Transformative Learning
    ‘Mezirow states that there are four ways to learn : Refining or elaborating our meaning schemes [existing frames of reference]; Learning new meaning schemes [new frames of reference]; Transforming meaning schemes [habits of mind]; and Transforming meaning perspectives [points of view]’. Further sections about Transformative Learning.
  • Transformative Learning
    Mezirow; Other Perspectives; learning in practice including various roles [listed]; References. Wikipedia.
  • Transformative Learning Theory
    ‘The posting gives a brief summary of transformative learning theory, an important educational development of the last decade’. Done as part of a preparation for an upcoming presentation.
  • Transformative Learning Theory, An Overview
    PDF download from the site, or read it online. You need to subscribe to access a ‘Plus’ package [article, summary paper, related articles] but this one is free.
  • What Is The Transformative Learning Theory ?
    ‘Transformative learning process definition, examples, and how it can be applied in the classroom’.


Montessori, Maria

‘Montessori is an approach to education based upon the principle that schooling should work with the nature of the child, instead of against it. Therefore, education should be based upon scientific study of the child and a resulting understanding of the processes of development and learning’.
[Montessori Institute]

  • American Montessori Consulting
    ‘Your one stop for complete Montessori information. Information, Montessori books, resources, links, discussion list, more’.
  • Maria Montessori
    Background; Career; The Montessori Method; References.
  • Montessori Method
    ‘History; Methods; Education practices; Montessori’s philosophy; Studies; References; Links; more. Wikipedia.
  • The Montessori Method
    ‘The Philosophy & Practice of the Montessori Method of Education - for children from birth to age twelve, in the home and at school’.
  • What is Montessori ? [Montessori Institute]
    ‘A Montessori program is different from other educational programs in a number of ways’. A video of the the same name is found here.


Papert, Seymour

‘Constructionism as a learning theory emphasises student-centred discovery learning, and educators are currently expanding its reach to the field of educational robotics in order to engage students. Seymour Papert took Piaget’s theory of constructivism and adapted it into his theory of constructionism’.

  • Constructionism
    ‘Constructionist learning is inspired by the constructivist theory that individual learners construct mental models in order to understand the world around them’. Instructional principles; Constructionism and technology; computer programming languages; References; Links, more. Wikipedia.
  • Educational Robotics and Constructionism [Papert]
    ‘Seymour Papert, a leading constructionism advocate and researcher, is for bringing technology into classrooms as much as possible. Constructionism can mostly be found being used as an educational tool in science and maths classrooms, though it is spreading to other subjects as well’.
  • Papert’s Ideas : Mainly from Mindstorms
    ‘In my view the central tenants of Papert’s thesis are educationally, socially and politically somewhat more radical. So, what is Papert really on about ?’ Read and discover.
  • Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism : What’s the difference ?
    Interesting article from Edith Ackermann.
  • Resources ? Seymour Papert & Constructionism
    ‘Books and papers by Seymour Papert and resources on constructionism’.
  • Seymour Papert
    ‘Early years and education; Career, Research; Personal Life; Awards, Honours and Legacy; References; External links’. Wikipedia.
  • The Daily Papert
    The words and wisdom of Dr Seymour Papert. ‘About Seymour Papert, Print Archives [multiple, downloadable articles, etc.]; Multimedia [multiple videos from the mid-1980s to approx. 2006]’.


  • Future of Education - Seymour Papert []
    Seymour Papert was one of a number of ‘Technology In Education Witnesses who testified on technological advances in education [1995]’.
  • Seymour Papert [6.3min.]
    ‘A wonderful clip made for television of Seymour Papert’s early work on using computers to spark childrens’ imaginations’.
  • Thinking About Thinking About Seymour [5hrs-10.5min.]
    ‘A day-long symposium at the MIT Media Lab on January 26, 2017, celebrated the ideas and research of Seymour Papert, pioneer of Constructionist learning, whose thinking and projects profoundly influenced and inspired generations of children, educators, and researchers around the world ’.

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Piaget, Jean

‘Jean Piaget was a philosopher and a natural scientist who was famous for the work he did studying cognitive development and learning theories encompassed in his view of “genetic epistemology”. Piaget’s theory of constructivism argues that people produce knowledge and form meaning based upon their experiences. Piaget’s theory covered learning theories, teaching methods, and education reform’.


Q - Z

Rogers, Carl

‘Carl Rogers, the creator of client-centred therapy and counselling, student-centred education and person-centred approaches to human relations and community building, is arguably the most influential American psychologist of the 20th century. From the speeches of presidents, . . ., to the work of parents and teachers who have learned to align with rather than stifle the child’s inborn capacity for healthful growth, Rogers’ simple, elegant and life-affirming values now permeate the culture’.

  • Carl Rogers
    Biography; Theory; Applications; Selected works; References; Sources; Further reading. Wikipedia.
  • Carl Rogers : Experiential Theory [Prezi]
    ‘An overview of Carl Rogers Experiential Theory with biography and main points’. Flash video.
  • Carl Rogers’ Humanist Psychology
    ‘Carl Rogers’ humanist psychology was so well-respected that people in his time called it the quiet revolution’.
  • Carl Rogers Website
    ‘The Carl Rogers website serves as a gateway to the intellectual work of Dr. Carl R. Rogers and the wide variety of disciplines he influenced. Carl Rogers, the creator of client-centred counseling, student-centred education, and person-centred approaches to human relations and community building’. Articles; Books; Video; Ausio; Other Media; Other Sites.
  • Experiential Learning
    Overview, a few links to related material. Also links to other theorists and theories.
  • Humanistic Approach
    ‘Humanistic, humanism and humanist are terms in psychology relating to an approach which studies the whole person and the uniqueness of each individual’.


Skinner, B.F.

‘B.F. Skinner [1904-1990] is one of the most famous and influential figures in twentieth century psychology. A best-selling author, inventor and social commentator, Skinner was both a renowned scientist and a public intellectual known for his controversial theories of human behaviour’.

  • Behaviourism - Behaviourist Approach
    Recent articles covering multiple aspects. Links to related information. Explanations of various components. Listed summary leads to further information.
  • B. F. Skinner Foundation
    Behavioural Science; archives; publications; videos; Quote of the Day; more.
  • B. F. Skinner
    Biography; information on the theory.
  • B.F. Skinner - Operant Conditioning
    Simply Psychology. Article with embedded videos. Be sure to check the Further Information section at the bottom.
  • BF Skinner and Superstition in the Pigeon
    BBC Radio 4 - Mind Changers. ‘Claudia Hammond explores the legacy of BF Skinner and behaviourism. One of the most famous psychologists of the 20th century, he remains one of the most controversial’ [28min.].
  • B.F. Skinner [Wikipedia]
    Biography; Contributions to Psychology [e;g Behaviourism, Operant behaviour]; Scientific Inventions; Influence on Teaching; Contributions to social theory; Criticism; bibliography; References; Links; more. Wikipedia.
  • Schedules of Reinforcement
    ‘Key Takeaways; Table of Contents; Sections linked to the previous; Mini-quiz; Further information’.
  • Walden Two - Skinner’s Utopian Novel
    Walden Two was Skinner’s first novel and contained a lot of his scientific knowledge and philosophy of life’.


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Spearman, Charles

‘Charles Edward Spearman was an influential psychologist who developed commonly used statistical measures and the statistical method known as factor analysis. His studies on the nature of human abilities led to his “two-factor” theory of intelligence’.

  • Charles Spearman
    Biography; Theory of Intelligence; Factor Analysis; References; Further reading; Links. Wikipedia.
  • Charles Spearman’s Theory of Intelligence Explained
    ‘Intelligence has always been an important component in the study of psychology. We have different types of intelligence that we recognise today, but it was Charles Spearman who brought science into the study of intelligence’.
  • Human Intelligence : Charles Spearman
    ‘Influences; Education; Career; Major Contributions; Definition of Intelligence; Ideas and Interests; Selected Publications; References’.
  • Spearman’s Theory of Intelligence
    ‘The g factor, where g stands for general intelligence, is a statistic used in psychometrics in an attempt to quantify the mental ability underlying results of various tests of cognitive ability. The existence of such an underlying g factor was postulated in 1904 by Charles Spearman’.
  • What Is General Intelligence [G Factor] ?
    What it is; Spearman’s role in this; The role of others, good explanation.


Steiner, Rudolf

‘Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian scientist, philosopher and artist who lived from 1861-1925. His interests were not only in education [Steiner/Waldorf Education] but also in a wide range of fields such as medicine, agriculture, nutrition, social renewal, the environment. The approach to education is based on Steiner’s educational insights, specifically those that relate to child development. These form one aspect of what Steiner called ‘anthroposophy’, literally, ‘human wisdom’ or ‘knowledge of the human being’’.
[Steiner Education Australia]

  • Rudolf Steiner
    Biography; Breadth of activity; Philosophical Ideas; Reception; Writings; See also ...; References; Further reading; Links. Wikipedia.
  • Rudolf Steiner Archive and eLib
    ‘There are 28 books, hundreds of articles and essays and over 6 700 lectures that Rudolf Steiner gave to the world’.
  • Rudolf Steiner Web
    Biography; Waldorf Education; Complete Works; Therapeutic Speech; Rudolf Steiner and Science; many more sections looking at aspects of his life and views [from Art to Anthroposophy].
  • Steiner Australia
    The Steiner Education page provides information about Steiner Education, Steiner Education in Australia, Rudolf Steiner and the growth of the Steiner/Waldorf Education Movement, FAQs and more.
  • Waldorf Answers
    ‘A private site, intending to provide answers about Waldorf education, in depth, that parents and prospective parents may have, and to clear up some of the misconceptions that may exist about Waldorf education. Our intention is to provide a straightforward presentation of the facts about Waldorf education’. Multiple sections including extensive range of links to further information.


Vygotsky, Lev

‘Social constructivism is a variety of cognitive constructivism that emphasises the collaborative nature of much learning. Social constructivism was developed by post-revolutionary Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky was a cognitivist, but rejected the assumption made by cognitivists such as Piaget and Perry that it was possible to separate learning from its social context. He argued that all cognitive functions originate in [and must therefore be explained as products of] social interactions and that learning did not simply comprise the assimilation and accommodation of new knowledge by learners’.
[GSI Teaching & Resource Centre, Berkeley]


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Wiliam, Dylan

Embedded Formative Assessment.

‘Dylan Wiliam stresses the importance of formative assessment as a key process for increasing teacher quality for the biggest impact on student outcomes’.


  • Assessment for Learning [6.5min.]
    ‘Five key strategies for effective formative assessment - Dylan Wiliam and Marnie Thompson’.
  • Dylan Wiliam : Tips for changing practice
    ACER. Video where ‘he sat down with Teacher editor Jo Earp and shared some tips for teachers and school leaders who wish to change their practice’.
  • Embedded Formative Assessment [6.5min.]
    ‘Dylan Wiliam stresses the importance of formative assessment as a key process for increasing teacher quality whilst having the biggest impact on student outcomes’.
  • The Classroom Experiment - Ep.1 [59min.]
    ‘In this two-part series, theory and practice meet head on as education expert Professor Dylan Wiliam sets up an experimental school classroom’. The Classroom Experiment - Ep.2 [58.6min.] is found here.
  • Unpacking Formative Assessment [3min.]
    ‘Dylan Wiliam unpacks formative assessment, discussing the five strategies that make up a smart formative assessment strategy: setting learning intentions, questioning, feedback, activating self and activating peers’.
  • What formative assessment is and isn’t [16.5min.]
    ‘This is the second of three talks with accompanying Powerpoint slides [available at] recorded originally for a school in Australia in which I discuss what formative assessment is, and, perhaps more importantly, what it is not. I also outline the five “key strategies” of formative assessment, together with some practical techniques that teachers can use to develop their formative assessment practice’.

Other Information

  • 5 000 Year Timeline of Learning Theories
    Vimeo. 13.35min. video.
  • 6 Adult Learning Theories : Put Theory into Practice
    ‘Adult learning theories provide a foundation to define and “marry” a learning need to its most appropriate solution’.
  • 6 Education Theorists All Teachers Should Know Infographic
    ‘The 6 Education Theorists All Teachers Should Know presents 6 people that did some of the major research in education’.
  • Educational Psychologists, Theorists, Researchers, and Authors
    From Active Learning to Social Cognition. Links for most to information.
  • Famous Psychologists - List, Biographies and Theories
    Select and use those associated with the educational sector from the list provided.
  • Intelligence : Definition, Theories & Testing
    ‘Psychologists have developed several contrasting theories of intelligence as well as individual tests that attempt to measure this very concept’.
  • Key Theorists - Behaviour Management
    ‘Following are some of the key theorist that have influenced the discipline of education’.
    ‘Knowledge base features learning theories that address how people learn. Useful for scholars of various fields such as educational psychology, instructional design, and human-computer interaction’.
  • Learning Theories
    Links to sites with research on learning.
  • Learning Theories [ALA]
    ‘We all learn in different ways. Learning theories explain how people learn and help us better understand complex processes. We will explore three major learning theories’. Includes video [3min.].
  • Learning Theories [EDLEA]
    Link collection. Each link briefly annotated.
  • Learning Theories -
    From ACT-R [John Anderson] to Transformational Learning [J. Mezirow].
  • Learning Theory [Education]
    Educational philosophy; Educational psychology; Educational neuroscience; Multiple intelligences; Multimedia learning; Other learning theories; Philosophical anthropology; Criticism; References; Further reading; External links. Wikipedia.
  • Simply Psychology - A-Z Index
    Extensive alphabetical listing that covers both theories, processes and theorists. Very well presented material on all aspects.
  • Teaching Methods and Strategies : The Complete Guide
    ‘Using these different teaching methods, which are rooted in theory of different teaching styles, will not only help teachers reach their full potential, but more importantly engage, motivate and reach the students in their classes, whether in person or online’.
  • Theories of Educational Technology
    ‘The various papers discuss how traditional learning theories have influenced educational technology, the theoretical positions that underlie current approaches to educational technology, and how perceptions of educational technology have been influenced by learning theories’.
  • The Second Principle
    ‘While traditional theories of learning encompass a huge array of topics, this particular site strand is devoted to discussions and information on newer innovations in education that optimise learning. Some of the innovations and views included in this site strand are : newer views of intelligence, holistic learning and teaching, brainbased education [aka educational neuroscience]’.

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