More on learning theories

I can see now that the various learning theories really are different views on the whole aspects of how we learn – each having their own validity, but perhaps not giving the full picture. It has helped me to become more familiar with the differing views. I feel like I now have bigger picture of the various ways we can learn.

The idea that these are all just ‘lenses through which we can view an aspect of reality’ was a helpful way to look at it for me – “The 5 lenses are just a metaphor – ways to talk about reality which we may not be able to fully describe.” Joe Maxwell, “Reality does exist, but we need different lenses to approximate it.”

‘Reality’ hmmm…

The Social Cognitive theory is interesting. I recall reading about Bandura in the book Influencer and the effect of vicarious learning in bringing about social change. I remember where an example was given where a radio show was used in Tanzania to help shift cultural norms such as domestic violence and also bring up the awareness of AIDS which was a taboo subject there (as in many cultures). The idea that we can learn from others experiences seems valid – at least we may shift our perceptions or beliefs which could then lead to a change in our actions or behavior. This is where the idea of mentoring comes in. HR development also has strong roots in the social cognitive theory.

And then there is Constructivism. This area of thought seems so broad. However, this idea seems to resonate well with my own thoughts on learning, so far – the idea that knowledge is constructed from within. I think I connect with the personal constructivism where experiences are provided to “induce cognitive conflict and that leads to new knowledge schemes”. Whereas the social constructivism is exploring through a group. I think I enjoy this process too. This seems to be where the structured exercises of the experiential learning process that I have participated in would fit in.


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