Learning Theory
Fall 2005

Modified: 2005-11-26; 15:00 CDST***

Text:

Hergenhahn, B. R. & Olson, M. H. (2005). An introduction to theories of learning. 7th ed. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.


This is a graduate seminar in learning theory taught for the SAU Graduate School. As we will discuss in the first class after reading Catherine R. Stimson's article, Reclaiming the Mission of Graduate Education in the June 18, 2004 Chronicle of Higher Education, graduate school is a special place. You should be a graduate student because "...you love learning." She also noted that recent reviews of graduate education have found many problems including not teaching graduate students how to teach and not enough emphasis on interdisciplinary training. Graduate school should be a community of scholars seeking new knowledge. Furthermore, graduate school should be a place true to the original virtues of the university and should not imitate the values and practices of business and industry.

In this class, we will cover the theories underlying learning. We realize at the outset that this is not a "how to" class because there are an infinity of situations where learning takes place and we cannot possibly predict or prepare for them ahead of time. Instead, our goal will be to develop a collection of principles about learning, a toolbox, that we can then apply to any situation. However, we also realize that those tools may not work in all situations.

Assignments:

Day:
Chapter-Presenters
Topic:
Test/Assigments

8/24

1-Kardas

Studying Learning

8/31

2-Kardas

Approaches to the Study of Learning

9/7

3-Kardas

Early Notions About Learning, Social Science Theories, Social Science Theories Notes

Test 1

9/14

4
  • Functionalist Theories
    • Thorndike--Ariana Walls

9/21

5
  • Skinner--Wendy Peterson

Paper Topics Due

9/28

6
  • Hull--Miesha Todd

Test 2

10/5

7
  • Associanistic Theories
    • Pavlov--Wendy Peterson

10/12

8
  • Guthrie--Angie Bryant

Paper Outline Due

Mid-Term 10/19

9
  • Estes--Ariana Walls

Test 3

Drop Day is 10/26 10/26

10
  • Cognitive Theories
    • Gestalt--Miesha Todd

11/2

11
  • Piaget--Wendy Peterson

Draft Paper Due

11/9

12
  • Tolman--Angie Bryant

11/16

13
  • Bandura--Miesha Todd

Test 4

Thanksgiving 11/24

  • No Class

11/30

14
  • Neurophysiological Theory
    • Hebb--Angie Bryant

12/7

15
  • Evolutionary Theory
    • Bolles and Evolutionary Psychology--Ariana Walls

12/14

Final Exams

FINAL

Final Exam/Paper Due


It is the policy of SAU to accommodate students with disabilities as provided by law. Students with disabilities should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. They should also contact the Office of Disability Support Services in Nelson 203, 235-4145.
Assessment: Competency 1 (C1)--Graduates from the Teacher Education program at Southern Arkansas University will demonstrate facilitative and leadership skills which encourage critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and use of technology in collaborative teams.

Students in this class will be assessed by a global qualitative analysis of the three main assignments in this course: a scholarly paper, leading three classroom presentations, and writing five take-home essay exams. Students who consistently perform a high level (B or above) in all three assignments will meet the assessment criterion.


Back to Courses