Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cognitivism as a Learning Theory

7105 Mod 2 Blog Post

Which –ism to use?

This seems to be a controversial area when it comes to learning. So which –ism shall be used: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, or Connectivism? You ask yourself the question, “How does one determine if learning has actually occurred?”  Bill Kerr and Karl Kapp converse over learning theories and the influence it has on student learners. After reading the blog by Kerr (2007), I believe that all –isms should be given the opportunity to be presented to the learner, so the learner can figure out which way is the best way to learn. I believe in the “mixed” bag effect. Karl Kapp (2007) wrote to Bill stating, “I particularly like your comment about the concept of taking a little bit from each school of thought, I really believe that is the essence of good educational design. Creating learning utilizing an entire tool kit of philosophies, techniques and ideas”. Dreana Marshall-Stuart supports Kapp’s (2007) statement by saying,  “It is true that no one theory can stand alone and be strong in itself, but if we apply different aspects of each theory to fill a particular learning need then we may be able to design a course that can be consider exceptional in terms of the learning processes”.

After reading the blog by Kerr (2007), this quote sums it all up. I love it! “Since no two people are alike, we will never get to a point where one -ism will serve all”.

There are so many level of learners in one classroom, I don’t think just one theory would suit all. Since I have been taking this class, I find myself wondering about what theories are used in the special education learning environment. So my question to you is, “What do you think is the best theory for learning for students with learning disabilities?” I found an article on the web that briefly talks about learning theories and special education by Gwen Hardy:

These articles describe many theories that might meet the needs of a special needs child. Hardy goes on to say, “there is a long list of theories that can be applied as different strategies to help teach children, so one is not working, find a new one”. I agree with her that not one theory will benefit all students just as Kapp’s (2007) blogs confer.


 “Since no two people are alike, we will never get to a point where one -ism will serve all”. Retrieved from:

Hardy, Gwen.  A Child with Needs

Kerr, B. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker [Web log post]. Retrieved from


  1. Sue,
    Wow it never occurred to me to think about Special Education, but you are right, and now I am wondering what works best for them? My first instinct would send me to behaviorism, but that isn't without knowing too much about the overall special
    education specialization.

    I also like how you addressed the "many levels of learners" in a classroom. Learning is different for every student, some need to learner a different set of skills entirely, and some are only able to learn and process a certain amount of knowledge. With technology we should be able to address individual needs on a much larger scale!

    1. Heather- You are right, we should be able to address the individual needs with the use of technology. However, technology in our school is used as assistive technology for accommodations and modifications. Technology really can't teach a child to put on his shoe, toilet train or feed himself, it can guide them with pictures but if they do not have the capability to learn that skill, it will not be learned. Special education is a challenge when it comes to the learning process. Thanks for responding

  2. Sue,
    I appreciate and value your constant question of special education. Going on your comment that technology can't teach the child to do basic tasks unless they are instructional videos possibly. I have an autistic student, whose grandmother keeps wanting the grade changed in my room. I make several accommodations meeting his instructional needs, and I have a completely technology based class. I find it funny that the 504 plan asks that he use his iPad in class for a tool yet the district won't connect it to the wifi. High school students are allowed to connect to the wifi networks but not middle school students or teachers.
    If a learning strategy is not effective then yes go to the next one. My concern is our district tries for a minute and gives up. Sometimes implementation takes more then a minute or a week. The districts want instant rice.
    Joy Flack Avery

  3. Joy
    Your school is not in compliance if the student does not receive wifi. Isn't that what the 504 is for? That is really to bad because both you and your student are being compromised. what do your administrators say about this situation? Do you have a spec ed chair person in your school?