Pedagogy, practice and learning theory

When I was a teacher trainer, we used to debate whether trainee teachers should be introduced to learning theory before or after they went into the classroom to teach.

On the Pedagogy First programme (an online course to learn how to teach online) learning theory comes very near the end of the 24 week course (at Week 21), perhaps reflecting a view that theory follows practice, or that theory needs to be understood as a culmination of prior learning. Quite a few participants have struggled to keep up with the course, so only a small number have engaged with the week on learning theories, although those that did made interesting posts. (See the Pedagogy First course site )

As luck would have it, Claire Major, a participant on the course, is writing a book on how teaching online changes our work as teachers and so has a particular interest in learning theories – and this led to some great discussion and outcomes.

Claire bemoaned the fact that what has been written on learning theories seems to be a confusing mess and said she needed a diagram to pull it all together. I agreed.

Donald Clark wrote a series of 51 blog posts, each about a different learning theorist. Here is a screen shot taken from his first post in the series about Socrates.

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But this is not the diagram that Claire was looking for.

However, inspired by Claire to hunt for a diagram I found this cMap by Richard Millwood for the Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning Project.

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But ultimately Claire took up the challenge herself and produced this presentation which she has shared as her final presentation for the Pedagogy First course.

What a great final outcome to a 24 week course!