Education Psychology Learning Theories

Education Psychology Learning Theories

Education Psychology Learning Theories
For the past decades, many people have been trying to comprehend learning process. Learning theorists have conducted their research on how people learn and what foster learning development. The issue of learning has been contentious as many emerge to explain their different views of how people learn and the main purpose of learning. To a substantial extent, many theorists believe that learning is a process that cannot be underestimated by human beings. The aspect of learning starts from the time of birth to death. The purpose of this paper is to discuss two educational psychology learning theories, which are Piaget and Classical Conditioning.
Piaget Jean (1896-1980) left a remarkable legacy in the field of psychology. He was the first to argue that learning is usually a developmental cognitive process where students create knowledge instead of receiving knowledge. In his research, Piaget believed that students acquire knowledge based on their life experiences, physical, biological, and mental stage of development (Hamat & Embi, 2005). Piaget affirmed that the process of learning happens into four stages. The first stage is sensorimotor that occur from birth to 2 years, the preoperational that occur from the age of 2 to 7 years, concrete operation stage that occur between the age of 2-14 years, the formal operation that begin from the age 11 to 15 years and later extending into adulthood. The central component of Piaget’s theory of learning is that it obliges the participation of the learner. The theory suggests that knowledge is not transferred verbally by reconstructed and constructed by the learner. The learner or the student must be active to acquire knowledge.
In his research, John Watson proposed the theory of classical conditioning based on the observation made by Pavlov’s on human psychology. In brief, the theory of classical conditioning explains how an individual learns a new behaviour through association process. In explaining his assumption on learning, Watson believed that there are 3 stages that explore the theory of classical conditioning (White & Sivitanides, 2005). These stages are before conditioning, during conditioning, and after conditioning. In the first stage, the behaviour is usually not produced in the environment. In other words it is a natural response that is not taught. In the second stage, trials may occur for learning to be strengthened. For instance, a child may learn to pronounce the word father after making several trials and errors. During the third stage, learning takes place after being associated with unconditioned stimulus to augment new responses.
For the past years, different researchers have been conducted to support how it is impossible to use the two theories in a virtual setting. A research conducted by Hamat & Embi, (2005) claims that, Piaget theory may not be applicable or appropriate in the 21st century. Piaget believed that students learn through experiences and books. However, it is difficult to use books in the classroom especially in this era where technology has advanced at a high peak. Additionally, the theory of classical conditioning may not be applicable in the virtual setting. In the 21st century, it may be difficult for a lecturer or teacher to spend a lot of time teaching the same lesson.
Despite the two theories being difficult to use in the virtual setting, I believe that they are still useful in understanding how learning take place. In my opinion, the two theories lay a strong ground to understand that learning is a process that requires time and experience.

Hamat, A., & Embi, M. A. (2005). The application of learning theories to the design of course management systems.International Journal of Pedagogies & Learning, 1(2), 57-64. Retrieved from
White, G., & Sivitanides, M. (2005). Cognitive differences between procedural programming and object oriented programming. Information Technology and Management, 6(4), 333-350. doi: