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Educational Psychology Theories

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In a classroom setting, people are unique in the way they acquire information as many learn differently than others. This is primarily due to an individual’s ethnic background, motivation to learn, mental disability, or even one’s natural gifted ability to recall every last detail of what the educator stated. Educational Psychology TheoriesAs the research on educational psychology theory is extensive, the four major perspectives which make the foundation for its qualitative and quantitative research methods of study are those of behaviorist, cognitive, humanistic and social learning.

Behaviorist perspective is simply the student’s observable behavior. Psychologists such as Pavlov, Skinner and Watson have made identifiable findings in the stages of stimulus, response and reinforcement for this perspective. When it comes to a student’s attention to detail and critical thinking skills, cognitive perspective is evident. Key research found on this theory in education is the Gestalt Learning Theory as well as Cognitive Dissonance.

Despite one’s ability to learn information, positive or negative emotions also play a part in acquiring information, this relates to the humanistic perspective. The father of humanism, Abraham Maslow is the primary source for this aspect of educational psychology, with his hierarchy of needs pyramid. Lastly, with social learning perspective, this makes the notion that humans have the tendency to learn better in an interpersonal group setting. Bandura’s theory of observational learning is ideal for this particular perspective.

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