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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.

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

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

A - H

Bandura, Albert

Bandura and his Social Cognitive Theory.

  • Albert Bandura
    Text presentation on the man and his theories.
  • Albert Bandura, Biography
    Information, images. Links to concepts and topics.
  • Bandura Bobo Doll Experiment
    6 minute .AVI video from YouTube.
  • Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory : An Introduction
    YouTube Video. Links to other, related videos on the right
  • Information on Self-Efficacy
    Links that cover Bandura [biography, his own commentary], self-efficacy, social cognitive theory and more. Among the best sites on these topics.
  • Self-Efficacy
    ‘Albert Bandura may be most well known for his work on social cognitive theory and observational learning. But it’s important for educators and parents to know about a buried treasure at the heart of social cognitive theory - self-efficacy beliefs’.
  • Social Cognitive Theory
    ‘Posits that portions of an individual’s knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences’. Theory and looks at Bandura and others. Wikipedia
  • Social Learning Theory
    Text-based presentation. Easy to read and understand. Bibliography.

Bloom’s Taxonomy


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De Bono, Edward

Edward De Bono and lateral & creative thinking.

Dewey, John

Educational Theories

Videos, of varying lengths, freely available online from a number of sources. Specific videos are included with some individual topics on this page.

Emilia, Reggio

An approach rather than an individual’s theory.

  • Reggio Children
    ‘Rechild magazine, is both a possible and a concrete instrument for readers to feel themselves a part of a large philosophical and educational community connected in network and in dialogue, a community that reflects and acts on educational issues. Bilingual Italian-English. Each issue focuses on a particular theme or topic’. PDF files available.
  • Reggio Emilia : An innovative approach to education
    Article with sources. From the UK.
  • Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Years Education
    ‘Sets out to explain “the Reggio approach” and outline the inherent factors’. Several documents in PDF or Word format covering approach, Leader and Activity notes.
  • Reggio Emilia Philosophy
    ‘The following overview of the Reggio Emilia Approach was taken from a packet of information available at The Hundred Languages of Children Travelling exhibit’. Includes a listing of features.
  • Sesame Street Reggio Emilia Workshop
    For parents. A series of topics are covered.
  • The Reggio Emilia Approach
    Links resources ‘related to the approach to early childhood education developed in the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy’. Discussion lists, videos, bibliographies, newsletter and more.

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Erikson, Erik

Information on both the theorist and the Socioemotional Development Theory.

Freire, Paulo

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Froebel, Friedrich

Created the concept of Kindergarten, its name, and had further input into the foundation of modern education.

Gardner, Howard

See additional information on Multiple Intelligences on the Learning & Teaching Styles page.

Gestalt Theory

Gregorc, Anthony F.

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I - P

Kolb, David

Maslow, Abraham


Piaget, Jean

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Q - Z

Skinner, B.F.

Spearman, Charles

  • Charles Spearman
    Information, embedded links, external links, references. Wikipedia.
  • Charles Spearman : Behavioural Scientist
    ‘Outline of the significant achievements of the British Psychologist, Charles Spearman, who was the originator of the classical theory of mental tests, the multivariate statistical method called “factor analysis”, and the first comprehensive theory of the intellect’.
  • Human Intelligence - Charles Spearman
    Introduction to Spearman and his theory.

Steiner, Rudolf

Steiner and his theories, as demonstrated through implementation in Waldorf Schools.

Vygotsky, Lev

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Other Information

  • Angles on Learning
    ‘Introduction to theories of learning for college, adult and professional education’. Extensive listing and descriptions, created by J S Atherton. Their Site Map lists these, in text-based groupings
  • Learning Management Systems
    A series of blog entries about what these are and how they are used. Try their Theory page as well.
    ‘This knowledge base features learning theories that address how people learn. A resource useful for scholars of various fields such as educational psychology, instructional design, and human-computer interaction’. Be sure to check the Index of Learning Theories & Models.
  • Instructional Design
    ‘This site is designed to provide information about instructional design principles and how they relate to teaching and learning’.
  • Instructional Design & Learning Theory
    University student presentation covering a fair range of learning theories.
  • Learning Theories
    Links to sites with research on learning.
  • Learning Theories [Yahoo]
    Directory, annotated links.
  • Learning Theories and Philosophies as Applied to Schooling
    Grid presentation which provides information about philosophers for each area, student actions, teacher actions, subject matter emphasised and desired educational outcomes.
  • Learning Theories and Teaching Models
    Scroll down to reach the collection of links. Each link briefly annotated.
  • Learning Theory
    Fundamental information about learning theories.
  • Learning Theory [Education]
    Educational psychology, Educational neuroscience, multiple intelligences, multimedia learning, other learning theories, Philosophical anthropology, criticism of learning theory, references, further reading, links. Wikipedia.
  • Learning Theory Timeline
  • Methodologies and Theories
  • Newer Views of Learning Index
    Leslie O Wilson. ‘This particular site strand is devoted to discussions and information on newer innovations in education. Included are : newer views of intelligence, holistic learning and teaching, brain-based education, as well as suggestions on how to create teaching environments where optimal human learning is supported and nurtured’.
    A related site is his Creativity Index.
  • Teaching Theories
    ‘There are three main categories into which learning theories fall : Behaviourist Theories, Cognitivist Theories and Constructivist Theories. In addition to these main theories, there are other theories that address how people learn. These are listed below after a list of general resources addressing all major theories for teaching and learning’.
  • The Theories
    Links to learning theories.

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