Learning theory (education)In education and psychology, learning theories help us understand the process of learning. There are basically two perspectives in learning theories.
One takes the learning process as a personal endeavour, where we learn internalising concepts, rules and general principles. After we have internalised a specific knowledge then it is supposed that we will be able to apply it in different contexts. This does not want to say that the context will not give some shape to the concepts learned before, but the basic content of it will not change. This generally held as the cognitivist theory of education.
The other perspective takes the context as generative of what can be learned. In this sense we learn when we get involved in the activities of a community (something that has been called Communities of Practice) and then develop an identity in the specific community. This the behaviorist theory of education, grounded on the seminal works of B.-F.-Skinner and Ivan Pavlov, both scientists are well known for their studies in animal behavior. It can be said that the behaviorist theory of education is by far the most commonly practiced because the behaviors of the learners can be easily viewed and therefore measured, a basic premise in the scientific method.
About accelerating the learning process:
- mnemonic techniques: mind mapping, peg lists, loci
- formulating knowledge for learning
- spaced repetition
- incremental reading
- neural networks in the brain (see also: neural networks)
- hippocampus vs. neocortex
- sleep and learning
- memory consolidation
- short-term memory vs. working memory
- long-term memory
- declarative memory vs. procedural memory
- molecular mechanisms of memory