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Research Papers on Educational Theories

Research papers on educational theories can be custom written to cover one theory in specific or overview some of the more popular learning theories, educational theories or teaching strategies. Popular education theorists include the following:

  • B.F. Skinner
  • Albert Bandura
  • Jean Piaget
  • Lev Vygotsky

As with all theories, educational theories have developed and changed over time. Many of these theories built on each other as researchers learned more about behavior and learning. Additionally, despite the fact most of these theories were developed several decades ago, they are still relevant and applicable to current learning situations, which is why they are still studied.

One of the early educational theories was the theory of classical conditioning, which was made popular by Pavlov and his well-known dog experiments. Classical conditioning involves the linking of two stimuli to create a new learned response. Classical conditioning in humans was demonstrated in a 1920s experiment conducted by John Watson and R. Rayner in which they taught a baby to fear a white rat. While classical conditioning theory held it’s ground for several years, new theories were introduced that gained a great deal of support. The problem with classical conditioning is that it is based on the premise that the mind has no ability to adapt or work independently of the stimuli presented.

Educational Theories and Skinner

B.F. Skinner built on the theory of classical conditioning to develop the theory of operant conditioning. This educational theory is based on the belief that behaviors can be changed through reinforces and punishers. Essentially, Skinner argued that children would repeat behaviors they were rewarded for and avoid behaviors they were punished for. This theory is often the basis of parenting techniques.

Educational TheoriesIn the 1970s, Albert Bandura introduced social learning theory. Bandura believed that behavior was learned through observation. He showed how children would observe the behavior of other people or models and then attempt to imitate that behavior. Continued behavior would be based on how people reacted to the imitated behavior. For example, if the child was praised for the behavior, they would be more likely to repeat it.

Another well known educational theory is the theory of cognitive development. This theory was developed by Jean Piaget. Although his theory is frequently studied within the realm of human development, it is also a solid theory on the process by which humans learn. Piaget asserted that an individual’s mental development was a process, which developed through assimilation and accommodation. Piaget believed that humans are born with the ability to continually adapt to their environment, which created a process of learning.

Social Interaction theory was developed by Lev Vygotsky, who believed that people learn and develop cognitively through social interaction. He also stressed the important role of community, which he asserted created meaning by which learning was based. For example, children learn gender expectations as they are presented and demonstrated within their community.

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