<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
A brief summary, related links, and keywords related to the learning process.

Although the term learning has many possible meanings, the term as used by teachers emphasizes its relationship to curriculum, to teaching, and to the issues of sequencing, readiness, and transfer. Viewed in this light, the two major psychological perspectives of learning—behaviorist and constructivist—have important ideas to offer educators. Within the behaviorist perspective are two major theories or models of learning, called respondent conditioning and operant conditioning. Respondent conditioning describes how previously neutral associations can acquire the power to elicit significant responses in students. Operant conditioning describes how the consequences and cues for a behavior can cause the behavior to become more frequent. In either case, from a teacher’s point of view, the learned behaviors or responses can be either desirable or unwanted.

The other major psychological perspective—constructivism—describes how individuals build or “construct” knowledge by engaging actively with their experiences. The psychological version of constructivism emphasizes the learners’ individual responses to experience—their tendency both to assimilate it and to accommodate to it. The social version of constructivism emphasizes how other, more expert individuals can create opportunities for the learner to construct new knowledge. Social constructivism suggests that a teacher’s role must include deliberate instructional planning, such as facilitated by Bloom’s taxonomy of learning objectives, but also that teachers need to encourage metacognition, which is students’ ability to monitor their own learning.

On the internet

< (External Link) >This is the website for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and as such it is an excellent source of examples of how behaviorist learning principles can be applied to a wide variety of behavior-related difficulties. Any article older than one year is available in full-text, free of charge from the website. (If it is from the most recent three issues, however, you have to subscribe to the journal.)

< www.piaget.org >This is the website for the Jean Piaget Society, which in spite of its name is not just about Piaget, but about all forms of constructivist research about learning and development, including social constructivist versions. They have excellent brief publications about this perspective, available free of charge at the website, as well as information about how to find additional information.

Key terms

Appropriate (verb)


Bloom’s taxonomy

Classical conditioning


Psychological constructivism

John Dewey

Jean Piaget





Social constructivism

Jerome Bruner

Instructional scaffolding

Lev Vygotsky

Zone of proximal development



Extrinsic motivation



Intrinsic motivation


Operant conditioning




Schedule of reinforcement

Ivan Pavlov


Respondent conditioning

Conditioned response

Conditioned stimulus

Unconditioned response

Unconditioned stimulus

B. F. Skinner



Alberto, P.&Troutman, A. (2005). Applied behavior analysis for teachers, 7th edition . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Anderson, L.&Krathwohl, D. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives . New York: Longman.

Bruner, J. (1960). The process of education . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. (1966). Toward a theory of instruction . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Copple, C.&Bredekamp, S. (2006). Basics of developmentally appropriate practice . Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Dewey, J. (1938/1998). How we think . Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Ferster, C., Skinner, B. F., Cheney, C., Morse, W.,&Dews, D. Schedules of reinforcement . New York: Copley Publishing Group.

Fosnot, C. (Ed.). (2005). Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice, 2nd edition . New York: Teachers College Press.

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century . New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2006). The development and education of the mind . New York: Routledge.

Goldman, J. (2006). Web-based designed activities for young people in health education: A constructivist approach. Health Education Journal 65(1) , 14-27.

Gruber, H.&Voneche, J. (Eds.). (1995). The essential Piaget . New York: Basic Books.

Israel, S. (Ed.). (2005). Metacognition in literacy learning . Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Lavond, D.&Steinmetz, J. (2003). Handbook of classical conditioning . Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishing.

Mazur, J. (2005). Learning and behavior, 6th edition . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Onslow, M., Menzies, R.,&Packman, A. (2001). An operant intervention for early stuttering. Behavior modification 25(1) , 116-139.

Pavlov, I. (1927). Conditioned reflexes . London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Piaget, J. (2001). The psychology of intelligence . London, UK: Routledge.

Rockmore, T. (2005). On constructivist epistemology . Lanham, MD: Rowman&Littlefield Publishers.

Salkind, N. (2004). An introduction to theories of human development . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms . New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Skinner, B. F. (1948). Walden Two . New York: Macmillan.

Skinner, B. F. (1988). The selection of behavior: The operant behaviorism of B. F. Skinner . New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tharp, R.&Gallimore, R. (1991). Rousing minds to life: Teaching, learning, and schooling in social context . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Educational psychology' conversation and receive update notifications?