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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.

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 included with some individual topics on this page.

Emilia, Reggio

An approach rather than an individual’s theory.

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Erikson, Erik

Information on 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.

Hattie, John [Visible Learning]

  • Updated ! 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.
  • John Hattie : Visible Learning Pt.1
    ‘Part 1 of edited highlights of a talk given by John Hattie who has led a team at Auckland University, New Zealand which compares the effect on learning of over 100 classroom interventions’. Part 2 is found here. Related videos are listed at the right of the screen.
  • Visible Learning
    News, videos, 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

  • Knowles' Andragogy : an angle on adult learning
    ‘Knowles’ formulation of the principles of andragogy may be taken as much as an integration or summation of other learning theorists as in its own right’.
  • Malcolm_Knowles
    ‘Knowles expressed and taught on his strong beliefs that students should be self-directed learners, a concept that was unfamiliar; and sometimes unacceptable during his time’.
  • Malcolm Knowles and the Theory of Andragogy
    ‘Andragogy is Distinct from Pedagogy. Education of adults has long been perceived as different from education of children in both theory and practice. In this section general views of the purposes and characteristics will be given’.
  • 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’.

Kolb, David

Maslow, Abraham


  • American Montessori Consulting
    ‘Your one stop for complete Montessori information. Information, Montessori books, resources, links, discussion list, more’.
  • Introduction to Montessori and the Montessori Foundation
    ‘Video [8 mins.] produced as part of the National Education Report to briefly introduce Montessori education’. Links to related videos.
  • Updated ! Maria Montessori
    Biography, background, career, methodology, references.
  • Montessori
    ‘The Montessori Foundation and the International Montessori Council’.
  • Montessori Method
    History, theory, practices, studies, terminology, 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’.

Piaget, Jean

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Q - Z

Skinner, B.F.

Spearman, Charles

Steiner, Rudolf

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

Vygotsky, Lev

Wiliam, Dylan [Embedded Formative Assessment]

  • Assessment for Learning
    ‘Five key strategies for effective formative assessment - Dylan Wiliam and Marnie Thompson’. Video, approximately 6.5 minutes.
  • 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’.
  • Dylan Wiliam’s website
    Links to papers, publications, videos, professional development pack, resources, podcast, blog, other links, more.
  • Embedded Formative Assessment - Dylan Wiliam
    ‘Stresses the importance of formative assessment as a key process for increasing teacher quality whilst having the biggest impact on student outcomes’. Links to related videos.
  • Updated ! Readings and resources on formative assessment
    ‘A wealth of reports and articles available concerning the principles and practices of formative assessment. We feature a key selection of them here’. Ministry of Education, New Zealand.
  • The Journey to Excellence
    Includes a video on Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam who ‘reviews the nature of formative assessment and how teachers can use it to gain better insights into student learning and achievement’. This link, Dylan Wiliam provides access to multiple, free videos by him.

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Other Information

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