Which theory are you?

VygotskyBeen looking at learning theories today and discussing the affects they have on children in schools and how it has shaped teachers.Vygotsky, Piaget, Gardner and Skinner; no it is not the panel from Mock The Week but the most influential theorists in the last 120 years.  We discussed how theories like Behaviourist, Humanist, Constructivism and Social Constructivism can be seen in todays classrooms and at home but how much should we each take form them when it comes to developing our own pedagogies?  I had little knowledge of all 4 of these, as they were only briefly touched on during my degree at university (don’t get me started!), however the session today really opened up my mind to the beliefs, advantages and disadvantages to each.  Certainly each one of these has their own positives and negatives, as no system is perfect, however, I can see the modern Humanist view really opens up to the curriculum to cross-curricular lessons and believes strongly in providing children with the vital aspects of a healthy well-being,which can lead to a good education.  The ECM (Every Child Matters) document is also aimed towards improving a child’s well-being, health and learning environment, creating access to education for all children.

In Scandinavia I was amazed to hear that it is the teachers and the learning environment itself which are assessed and not the children.  The government try to ensure if the learning environment is at its best then the children will gain the most out of their education. FANTASTIC!  Why add pressure to our own children with SATS and other 11+ exams when their education is likely affected by cramped schools, no access to nature, not enough resources to enjoy sports and the arts.

What do you think?  Are you in favour of any particular theory? Use pieces from all of them?  Let me know.  Have a ‘rant’ if necessary!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jo Wood on September 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Hey Martin,
    This is really interesting stuff, you seem to be enjoying the pimary PGCE im going to re apply as i didnt get on the course this year. Im looking forward to doing it. The issue on Scandiavia is interesting, for my dissertation i did a comparrison of England and Finlands schools facinating stuff theres so many differences. Good luck with the rest of the course. Jo Wood (Ed studies degree).


  2. Posted by Korin on September 7, 2009 at 10:51 am

    As someone who has a young child in her first year of school I am concerned about the stress of tests and achievement that I hear about in the media. But I don’t know how that will bear out in reality. I like the idea of the children being given every opportunity to learn in an engaging and free space. Would be intersting to see the measures they use to assess the teaching environment and how they evidence it – seems likely that there would still be some focus on what the children have produced or engaged in in order to provide evidence for the assessment.


  3. Posted by Keith Atkins on September 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    This already looks like a great forum for discussion and reflection. I hope other trainees will add comments and that it will be a positive and collaborative learning aid for everyone on the course – including the tutors!


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