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.
For information on Learning & Teaching Styles, related methods and further information, go to this page.
This page covers major theorists and their theories. Information includes biographies, information, further sources and an increasing number of videos.
A - H
Bandura and his Social Cognitive Theory.
- Albert Bandura
Text presentation on the man and his theories.
- Bandura Bobo Doll Experiment
6 minute .AVI video.
- Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory : An
Video. Links to related videos.
- New !
Bandura - Social Learning Theory
Text-based presentation. Easy to read and understand. Download as PDF document.
- Information on Self-Efficacy
Links that cover Bandura [biography, his own commentary], self-efficacy, social cognitive theory, more.
- 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’. Also looks at Bandura and others. Wikipedia
- A Three Story Intellect !
‘Bloom’s Taxonomy and Costa’s Levels of Questioning’.
The man and his works.
- Bloom’s Taxonomy
13 minute video from Google. Several other Videos on Bloom’s Taxonomy are found here.
- Bloomin’ Apps
‘This page gathers all of the Bloomin’ Apps in one place. Each image has clickable hotspots and includes suggestions to support each of the levels of Bloom’s revised taxonomy’.
- Bloom’s Taxonomy
Learning Domains and Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational
- The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The
‘Here are my choices [most, though not all, are materials prepared by different school districts]’. Larry Ferlazzo.
- Updated !
Constructivism and the Five E’s
‘The 5 E’s is an instructional model based on the constructivist approach to learning, which says that learners build or construct new ideas on top of their old ideas’.
- New !
Constructivism Learning Theory
‘Constructivism learning theory is a philosophy which enhances students’ logical and conceptual growth. The underlying concept within the constructivism learning theory is the role which experiences-or connections with the adjoining atmosphere-play in student education’.
- New !
History, Constructivist learning intervention; The role of the instructor; The selection, scope, and sequencing of the subject matter; Pedagogies based on constructivism; Criticism; Confusion between constructivist and maturationist views; Radical Constructivism; Relational Constructivism; Social Constructivism; Communal Constructivism; Influence on computer science and robotics; references; further reading; external links. Wikipedia
Constructivism, Instructivism and Related Sites. Annotated links to multiple sites.
- The Five E’s Model
‘The following sections contain a description of the five phases [5E’s] of this instructional model’.
De Bono, Edward
Edward De Bono and lateral & creative thinking.
- Critical Thinking Resources
Tertiary level. Links, tutorials, more.
- New ! Edward de Bono - Biography
- Edward de Bono discusses Lateral Thinking
3.5min. video. Links to other de Bono videos.
- How do Creative Thinking Techniques Work ?
- Six Thinking Hats -
‘Six Thinking Hats is an important and powerful technique. It is used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives’. Video and transcript.
- Centre for Dewey Studies
Publications, papers, audio, reading list, more.
- John Dewey on Education,
Experience and Community
- John Dewey and the F.M. Alexander Technique
Further aspect of Dewey’s influence and interest.
- Pragmatism Archive
Dewey was considered one of the classic pragmatists.
Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann, ‘Dr. Wesley Becker, and their colleagues believe, [and have proved,] that correctly applied DI can improve academic performance as well as certain affective behaviors. It is currently in use in thousands of schools across the nation [USA] as well as in Canada, the UK and Australia’.
- Basic Philosophy of Direct Instruction
What it is, 5 Key Philosophical principles, Why does DI work?
- National Institute for Direct Instruction [NIFDI]
‘The world’ s foremost Direct Instruction [DI] support provider. This website provides information and resources for administrators, teachers and parents to help them maximise student achievement through DI. The website also contains information on DI’ s extensive and broad research base’. USA.
- Siegfried Engelmann and Direct Instruction
Presented in 5 parts with a reference section covering a Glossary of Direct Instruction, Reference List and selected book list authored by Seigfried Engelmann.
- Siegfried Engelmann : Instructional
Design 101 : Learn from the Learners !
A wide-ranging interview with Engelmann.
- Siegfried [Zig] Engelmann on
‘In the following video segments, you will hear Zig’ s thoughts on everything from “Drill and Kill” to multi-sensory learning to teachers’ creativity in a DI classroom’.
- Zig Biography
‘This sensitive, 23-minute presentation by Jon Palferman documents the professional history of Zig Engelmann, from the early days at the University of Illinois’.
Videos, of varying lengths, freely available online from a number of sources. Specific videos included with some individual topics on this page.
- Education Theory Capture Part 1
‘Educational theories explained and demonstrated. 2 Parts’. Approximately 18 minutes in all.
- Education Theory Capture Part 2
- Theories of Learning.
An approach rather than an individual’s theory.
- Reggio Children
Multi-lingual. Information, links.
- Reggio Emilia : An
innovative approach to education
Article with sources. From the UK.
Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education
Extensive video listing.
- The Reggio Emilia Approach
‘Related to the approach to early childhood education developed in the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy’. Discussion lists, videos, bibliographies, newsletter and more. May be difficult to find the book at this stage.
- What is Reggio Emilia
Education.com. ‘A growing form of early childhood education, called the Reggio Emilia approach, is turning heads with its unique take on teaching - one that makes parents, teachers and children equal shareholders in the learning initiative’.
Information on the theorist and the Socioemotional Development Theory.
- Erik Erikson
Biography, theories of development, theory of personality, scientific support, bibliography, further readings, references, links. Wikipedia.
- Erik Erikson, 1902-1994
Biography, theory, stages with detailed descriptors, discussion, readings.
- Erik Erikson, 8 Stages of Psychosocial
Video, 12 minutes.
- Erik Erikson’s Stages of Development
Approx. 5min. video.
- Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial
Summary chart, introduction, biography, critiques & controversies, references, other links.
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Good presentation on the 8 stages.
- Socioemotional Development
‘For Erikson, the most important force driving human behaviour and the development of personality was social interaction’.
- Paulo Freire [Infed]
Biography, links, articles.
- Paulo Freire - An Incredible Conversation
8 min. video. Links to related videos.
- Paulo Freire’s Educational
Biography, theoretical contributions, global impact, references, bibliography.
- Paulo Freire Biography
Biography, concepts, quotes and organisations.
Created the concept of Kindergarten, its name, and had further input into the foundation of modern education.
- Elements of a Froebelian Education
Principles, pedagogy and environment are covered.
- Friedrich Fröbel
Biography, career, legacy, works, references, further reading, links to further information. Wikipedia.
“His life and influence on education”. Article by Miriam LeBlanc.
- Friedrich Froebel Pdf eBooks
Access a range of these you can preview and/or download. Careful selection may be warranted.
- Froebel Archive for Childhood
‘Collection of books, archives, photographs, objects and multi-media materials’. Roehampton University, London.
- Froebel’s Chief Writings
Online text. In chapters and sub-chapters.
- Updated !
Biography, Froebel’s Kindergarten Philosophy, The Kindergarten Curriculum, Diffusion of the Kindergarten.
- International Froebel Society Home
News, links to related information, conferences, more.
- Conditions of Learning -
‘This theory stipulates that there are several different types or levels of learning. The significance of these classifications is that each different type requires different types of instruction. Gagne identifies five major categories of learning. Different internal and external conditions are necessary for each type of learning’.
- Gagne Learning Theory
Slideshare presentation [31 slides]. Text presentation in addition. Links to further material in this format are found on the right.
- Gagne’s Nine Levels of
‘Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning provide a step-by-step approach that can help managers, trainers, and facilitators structure their training so that their students or teams get the most from their learning opportunities’.
- Robert Gagné : The Conditions of
9+minute video from a course at an American university.
See additional information on Multiple Intelligences on the Learning & Teaching Styles page.
- Howard Gardner of The Multiple Intelligence
Video. Links to related videos.
- Howard Gardner, Multiple
Intelligences and Education
Information including questions on further intelligences.
- Howard Gardner
Biography, FAQs, books, papers, links and more.
- Howard Gardner Profile
- Understanding Howard
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory
‘Ever wondered why some people seem to thrive in certain tasks and others seem to struggle ? This is the occurrence that Howard Gardner was trying to understand when he came up with the Multiple Intelligence Theory. Let’s dive in and find out what this theory is all about and how it approaches the manner in which we understand new concepts’.
- Gestalt Psychology
Origins, framework, properties, laws of grouping, quantum cognition modelling, criticism, references, links, more. Wikipedia.
- The International Society For Gestalt Theory
“And Its Applications”. ‘What is Gestalt Theory ?’ to an archive of articles and information, links to people connected to the theory and its use, the Gestalt Theory - Online Journal [open access], Resources, Related Pages, monthly features, more.
Gregorc, Anthony F.
- Anthony F. Gregorc, Ph.D.
Biography, Publications, Audio, FAQs on Style.
- Gregorc Learning Styles
Information on brain-hemisphere learning styles.
- New !
The Gregorc Model. There is also a second site, New ! Gregorc Mind Styles Model which is a YouTube presentation.
Hattie, John [Visible Learning]
- 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.
- New !
Hattie’ s Index Of Teaching
& Learning Strategies : 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order
‘John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning ?’ ’.
- 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’.
I - P
- Adult Learning Theory [Andragogy]
‘An overview of the Adult Learning Theory and definition of Andragogy’. Includes video, links and brief description.
- Andragogy [Adult Learning]
‘A short video from the PC3 team focusing on Malcolm Knowles’ theory of andragogy or adult learning. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License’.
Andragogy - Adult Learning Theory
‘The best known theory of adult learning is Knowles’ andragogy. As a teacher, writer, and leader in the field of adult education, Knowles was an innovator, responding to the needs of the field as he perceived them and, as such, he was a key figure in the growth and practice of adult education throughout the Western world’.
- Knowles’ Andragogy : an angle on
‘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’.
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’.
- The Adult
Learning Theory - Andragogy - of Malcolm Knowles
Overview, links to resources, references. This includes an Infographic.
- What is Andragogy
‘Alexander Kapp and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy developed theories around adult education, which were later popularised by Malcolm Knowles - a theorist in adult education. For Knowles, adult learning was premised on these characteristics’.
- David A. Kolb on Experiential
Main topics, concerns and other thoughts.
- David Kolb
The Theory of Experiential Learning and ESL I-TESL-J.
- Experiential Learning
Articles & Critiques of David Kolb’s Theory. ‘Explores the development of experiential learning from its original proposal into some of its current refinements and applications’.
- Learning Styles and Experiential Learning
Article. University of New South Wales, 1998.
- Kolb’s Learning Theory
Video. Link to related videos.
- Research Library
‘Enables easy access to selected publications and a bibliography on experiential learning theory’.
- Abraham Maslow
Background, biography, theory, discussion, references.
- A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham
Full Audiobook. Other Abraham Maslow videos are found here.
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Representations, deficiency needs, aesthetic needs, self-transcendence, success of offspring, criticisms, references, links. Wikipedia.
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Text-based information, diagrammatic representations, links, reference listing.
- Maslow’s Motivation
“And Its Application to Education”. Sections on his theory and applications to education. From a US university Psychology course.
- Mezirow’s Ten
Phases of Transformative Learning
‘Mezirow states that there are four ways to learn : Refining or elaborating our meaning schemes [existing frames of reference]; Learning new meaning schemes [new frames of reference]; Transforming meaning schemes [habits of mind]; and Transforming meaning perspectives [points of view]’. Further sections about Transformative Learning.
- Transformative Learning
Mezirow, other perspectives, learning in practice including various roles, references, more. Wikipedia.
- Transformative Learning Theory
‘The posting gives a brief summary of transformative learning theory, an important educational development of the last decade’. Done as part of a preparation for an upcoming presentation.
Learning Theory, An Overview
PDF download from the site. You need to subscribe to read this and other documents but this is free.
- Transformative Learning Theory - An
Part of a larger monograph. ‘This section provides a brief overview of transformative learning theory from the perspective of Jack Mezirow. Also discussed are the conditions that need to be present, from his perspective, to foster transformative learning’.
- American Montessori Consulting
‘Your one stop for complete Montessori information. Information, Montessori books, resources, links, discussion list, more’.
- Introduction to Montessori and the Montessori
‘Video [8 mins.] produced as part of the National Education Report to briefly introduce Montessori education’. Links to related videos.
- Maria Montessori
Biography, background, career, methodology, references.
‘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’.
‘Constructionist learning is inspired by the constructivist theory that individual learners construct mental models in order to understand the world around them’. Instructional principles, Constructionism and technology, computer programming languages, references, links, more. Wikipedia.
- Educational Robotics
and Constructionism [Papert]
‘Seymour Papert, a leading constructionism advocate and researcher, is for bringing technology into classrooms as much as possible. Constructionism can mostly be found being used as an educational tool in science and maths classrooms, though it is spreading to other subjects as well’.
- Papert’s Ideas : Mainly from Mindstorms
‘In my view the central tenants of Papert’s thesis are educationally, socially and politically somewhat more radical. So, what is Papert really on about ?’ Read and discover.
- Thinking about Thinking about Seymour
MIT Media Lab video.
- Jean Piaget
Biography, influence, major works and achievements, stage theories, quotations, references, links, more. Wikipedia.
- Jean Piaget, Intellectual Development
Stages of intellectual development, how children learn, implications for education, instructional technology.
- Jean Piaget Society
Biography, publications, Student pages [r/h column], links to free full-text books, links to further information [including to Vygotsky].
- Jean Piaget Videos
From Stages of Development to links with Vygotsky.
- Piaget’s Development
Presentation, mostly in point format. Shows his theory and stages of development. Good starting point.
- University of Geneva Jean Piaget
Information, documentation, publications, more.
Q - Z
- Carl Rogers
Biography, theory, applications, selected works, references, sources, further reading, links. Wikipedia.
- Carl Rogers : Experiential Theory
‘An overview of Carl Rogers Experiential Theory with biography and main points’. Flash video.
Overview, a few links to related material. Also links to other theorists and theories.
- Behaviourism at Questia
- B. F. Skinner
Biography, information on the theory.
- B. F. Skinner Foundation
Behavioural Science, archives, publications, more.
- B.F. Skinner [Wikipedia]
Biography, theory, inventions, influence on education, awards, negative criticism, bibliography, references, more. Wikipedia.
- B F Skinner on YouTube
‘B F Skinner lecturing, being interviewed, busting some myths and stating some facts’. Multiple videos.
- B.F. Skinner - Operant Conditioning
Simply Psychology. Article with embedded videos. Be sure to check the Further Information section at the bottom.
- B. F. Skinner - Topic
Videos on Skinner, Behaviourism, more.
- Charles Spearman
Biography, theory of intelligence, factor analysis, references, further reading. 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’.
- Charles Spearman : Theory of Intelligence, Lesson & Quiz
- Human Intelligence - Charles
Introduction to Spearman and his theory. Part of a larger site on Human Intelligence.
Steiner and his theories, as demonstrated through implementation in Waldorf Schools.
- Rudolf Steiner, An Introduction
- Rudolf Steiner Archive and eLib
Background, elibrary, discussion forums, links, blackboard artistry, bookstore, information. American Anthroposophical Society.
- Rudolf Steiner - Topic
Videos covering Steiner and related works.
- Rudolf Steiner Web
Article, biography, links, collections from lectures and other written works.
- Steiner Australia
Steiner education in Australia.
- Waldorf Answers
‘Intending to provide answers about Waldorf education’. Text with embedded videos. Multiple sections.
- Beyond the Individual-Social Antimony in
Discussions of Piaget and Vygotsky
Michael Cole, James W. Vertsch.
- Lev Semenovich Vygotsky
Massey University, NZ Virtual Faculty presentation.
- Lev Vygotsky Archive
Biography, image gallery, links, information on “The Vygotsky School”, Vygotsky on literature and art, further readings.
- Lev Vygotsky - Topic
Multiple links. Includes material on Vygotsky & Piaget.
Article covering the theory and Vygotsky. University of California at Berkeley.
- The Vygotsky Reader
Leiden University. Multiple sections, PDF format.
- Understanding Vygotsky’ s Social
‘Vygotsky’ s Social Development Theory, or SDT, introduced two major principles. These principles are encapsulated in three theories or themes’.
Article with embedded videos. Includes a link to Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development [Powerpoint] and Vygotsky and Piaget.
- Vygotsky, Lev
Biography, work, influence in Eastern Europe, criticisms, references, bibliography, texts online, links. Wikipedia.
Blog Posts, links, videos.
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 Biography
Includes short, medium and slightly longer biographies.
- 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.
learning on track : ...
Formative assessment and the regulation of learning. A presentation in Australia in 2005 by Dylan Wiliam.
- Readings and resources on formative
‘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.
Multiple videos on this topic [as well as a few related videos]. One of the inclusions is Embedded Formative Assessment - Dylan Wiliam which ‘Stresses the importance of formative assessment as a key process for increasing teacher quality whilst having the biggest impact on student outcomes’.
- 5 000 Year Timeline of Learning Theories
Vimeo. 13+ minute video.
- Angles on Learning
‘Introduction to theories of learning for college, adult and professional education’. Extensive listing and descriptions, by J S Atherton. Their Site Map lists these, in text-based groupings
- Instructional Design & Learning
Brenda Mergel, University of Saskatchewan.
‘Knowledge base features learning theories that address how people learn. Useful for scholars of various fields such as educational psychology, instructional design, and human-computer interaction’.
- Learning Theories
Links to sites with research on learning.
- Learning Theories [ALA]
‘We all learn in different ways. Learning theories explain how people learn and help us better understand complex processes. We will explore three major learning theories’. Includes video [approx. 3 min.].
- Learning Theories and Philosophies as Applied to
Grid presentation. Information about philosophers for each area, student actions, teacher actions, subject matter emphasised, desired educational outcomes.
- Learning Theories and Teaching Models
Link collection. Each link briefly annotated.
- 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.
- New !
Teaching Methods and Strategies
: The Complete Guide
‘Figuring out the best ways you can deliver information to students can sometimes be even harder than what students go through in discovering how they learn best. The reason is because every single teacher needs a variety of different teaching methods. Using these different teaching methods, which are rooted in theory of different teaching styles, will not only help teachers reach their full potential, but more importantly engage, motivate and reach the students in their classes, whether in person or online’.
- Updated !
‘There are three main categories into which learning theories fall : Behaviourist Theories, Cognitivist Theories and Constructivist Theories’. Annotated links.
- The Second Principle
Has the most used pages from old sites Newer Views of Learning Index and the Creativity Index.
- The Theories
Links to learning theories.