Emerging Educational Theories

1311 Words6 Pages
An examination of new and emerging theoretical frameworks serves to reorganize and reexamine prior experiences and thinking about teaching and learning. The emphasis from teacher-directed activities to a focus on learner-centered behaviors is creating a major transformation in the evolutionary cycle of new and emerging trends in teaching theories and practices. Learners are viewed as active constructors, rather than passive recipients of knowledge (Phillips, 1995; Prawatt & Floden, 1994; Cobb, 1995). In addition, there are other important forces that are driving these new trends in teaching and learning within today's educational profession. Some of the new and emerging educational theories and practices have their roots in research, conducted…show more content…
A constructivist view uses the learner's experiences and personal framework, such as memories, associations, feelings, sounds, experiences, rules acquired, and information collected, to help students learn how to actively apply knowledge, solve problems, and promote conceptual understanding. In the process, students can examine in more detail any incoherent or poorly formed concepts and beliefs and adjust them towards more refined and rigorously examined thinking. Teachers using constructivist approaches tend to challenge students with classroom projects and products that allow them to major (Brown, 1994) in areas of their own interests within a topic of study. Teachers also tend to present information across Gardner's multiple intelligence, so that the student's learning styles are consistently optimized. Closely related to a constructivist approach to teaching and learning is the importance of the social environment, peer interaction, and the learning from and with others. The constructivist philosophy to teaching and learning have literally paved the road for the popularity of social learning theories and the application of such practices in learning…show more content…
The zone of proximal development is the gap between what the learner has already mastered (the actual level of development) and what he or she can achieve when provided with educational support. This theory opposes the use of standardized tests as a means of to measure student intelligence. In a classroom setting, the teacher is responsible for structuring interactions and developing instruction in small steps based on tasks the learner is already capable of performing independently – an instructional strategy known as scaffolding. The instruction is also charged with providing support until the learner can move through all tasks independently. These tasks are built by the teachers to develop the learner’s zones of proximal development. (K-12 Teaching and Learning from the UNC School of Education)
Experiential Learning. Experiential learning theories situate experience at the core of the learning process. They aim to understand the manners in which experiences motivate learners and promote their learning. Experiential learning posits that learning is about meaningful experiences that lead to a change in an individual’s knowledge and behaviors. It is self-initiated learning as people have a natural inclination to learn and that they learn best when they are fully involved in the learning process. Carl Rogers, the proponent of these theories, mentioned that learning can only be facilitated and is most likely to occur and to last when it is self-initiated.

More about Emerging Educational Theories

Open Document