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DNP 815 W5 Discussion Question One

DNP 815 W5 Discussion Question One


Learning theories have implications for advanced practice nurses outside the classroom. Share an example describing the application of learning theory or theories to develop a program targeting change to a specific organizational issue, patient lifestyle, or specific unhealthy behaviors.

What are the Five Main Educational Learning Theories?

Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive learning theory looks at the way people think. Mental processes are an important part in understanding how we learn. The cognitive theory understands that learners can be influenced by both internal and external elements.

Plato and Descartes are two of the first philosophers that focused on cognition and how we as human beings think. Many other

DNP 815 W5 Discussion Question One

DNP 815 W5 Discussion Question One

researchers looked deeper into the idea of how we think, spurring more research. Jean Piaget is a highly important figure in the field of cognitive psychology, and his work focuses on environments and internal structures and how they impact learning.

Cognitive theory has developed over time, breaking off into sub-theories that focus on unique elements of learning and understanding. At the most basic level, the cognitive theory suggests that internal thoughts and external forces are both an important part of the cognitive process. And as students understand how their thinking impacts their learning and behavior, they are able to have more control over it.

Cognitive learning theory impacts students because their understanding of their thought process can help them learn. Teachers can give students opportunities to ask questions, to fail, and think out loud. These strategies can help students understand how their thought process works, and utilize this knowledge to construct better learning opportunities.

DNP 815 W5 Discussion Question One


Behaviorism Learning Theory

Behaviorism learning theory is the idea that how a student behaves is based on their interaction with their environment. It suggests that behaviors are influenced and learned from external forces rather than internal forces.

Psychologists have been developing the idea of behaviorism since the 19th century. Behavioral learning theory is the basis for psychology that can be observed and quantified. Positive reinforcement is a popular element of behaviorism—classical conditioning observed in Pavlov’s dog experiments suggests that behaviors are directly motivated by the reward that can be obtained.

Teachers in a classroom can utilize positive reinforcement to help students better learn a concept. Students who receive positive reinforcement are more likely to retain information moving forward, a direct result of the behaviorism theory.


Constructivism Learning Theory

Constructivism learning theory is based on the idea that students actually create their own learning based on their previous experiences. Students take what they’re being taught and add it to their previous knowledge and experiences, creating a reality that’s unique to  them. This learning theory focuses on learning as an active process, which is personal and individual for each student.

Teachers can utilize constructivism to help understand that each student will bring their own past to the classroom every day. Teachers in constructivist classrooms act as more of a guide to helping students create their own learning and understanding. They help them create their own process and reality based on their own past. This is crucial to helping many kinds of students take their own experiences and include them in their learning.


Humanism Learning Theory

Humanism is very closely related to constructivism. Humanism directly focuses on the idea of self-actualization. Everyone functions under a hierarchy of needs. Self-actualization is at the top of the hierarchy of needs—it’s the brief moments where a person feels all of their needs are met and that they’re the best possible version of themselves. Everyone is striving for this, and learning environments can either move toward meeting needs or away from meeting needs.

Teachers can create classroom environments that help students get closer to their self-actualization. Educators can help fulfill students’ emotional and physical needs, giving them a safe and comfortable place to learn, plenty of food, and the support they need to succeed. This kind of environment is the most conducive to helping students learn.

Connectivism Learning Theory

Connectivism is one of the newest educational learning theories. It focuses on the idea that people learn and grow when they form connections. This can be connections with each other or connections with their roles and obligations in their lives. Hobbies, goals, and people can all be connections that influence learning.

Teachers can utilize connectivism in their classrooms to help students make connections to things that excite them, helping them learn. Teachers can use digital media to make good, positive connections to learning. They can help create connections and relationships with their students and with their peer groups to help students feel motivated about learning.

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