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An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

As teachers deal with teaching and of equal importance learning of students, the contribution of various learning theories to teacher development is with some detail given hereunder. Although theories differ in many ways, including their general assumptions and guiding principles, many rest on a common foundation. These theories differ in how they predict that learning occurs—in the processes of learning—and in what aspects of learning they stress. Thus, some theories are oriented more toward basic learning and others toward applied learning and, within that, in different content areas; some stress the role of development, others are strongly linked with instruction; and some emphasize motivation.

They also contend that learning involves the formation of associations between stimuli and responses. Behaviourists explain learning in terms of observable phenomena, and reinforcing consequences make the response more likely to occur whereas punishing consequences make it less likely.

The role of environment specifically how stimuli are arranged and presented and how responses are reinforced are of most important. Motivation is the process whereby goal-directed activities are instigated and sustained. As environment properly arranged help learning to occur, teachers should prepare the environment that will help learners to learn such as arranging activities that suit environment.

Teachers also need to help learners make practice of what they have learned. This is important as learning is subject to the rate of occurrence of behaviour. The practicing is important for strengthening the responses. Learning should be reinforced. Students should therefore be given rewards. Teachers are to reward any desired behaviour in learning. However to weaken the undesired behaviour learned, teachers should apply punishment.

In developing the profession of teaching, teachers have to note that developing professionally has some benefits such as being able to help learners learn. This is to say teachers plan to develop professionally due to these observable benefits as well. Cognitive learning theorists stress the acquisition of knowledge and skills, formation of mental structures and processing of information and beliefs Chunk, To cognitivists, learning is an internal mental phenomenon inferred from what people say and do.

They contend that learning best takes place by doing it Aggarwal, Practice of skills and correct feedback as needed promote learning.

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What students do with information, how they attend to, rehearse, transform, code, store, and retrieve is critically important. In general cognitivists suggest that learning takes place in the mind as is a result of mental processes on the information received. Teachers need to use variety of teaching techniques. This helps teachers lead students to explore the concepts from different angels.


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Observational learning by Albert Bandura suggests that students learn by observing. Teachers therefore need to be role models to their students. Current learning builds upon the previous one. Teachers need to provide exercises and practices to the learners.

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This is because students learn best in the course of doing exercises. Exercises help to accommodate the information into the mind. Courses and topics should be divided into subparts which can easily be understood by students. The small parts should be taught in such a way that they reinforce each other.

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This theory was put forward by Jean Piaget whose study focused on the development of children understanding. He did this through observing them while talking and performing different activities. His particular insight was on the role of maturation in increasing capacity of children to understand their world. It was recognized that, children cannot undertake certain tasks until they are psychologically mature enough to do so Atherton, Note that assimilation and accommodation go together: you can't have one without the other.

Jean Piaget believed that humans learn through the construction of one logical structure after another. He also concluded that the logic of children and their modes of thinking are initially entirely different from those of adults. It also has to be flexible to respond to initial and emerging ideas and skills.

Planning should include strategies like; how learners will receive feedback, how they will take part in assessing their learning and how they will be helped to make further progress to ensure that learners understand the goals they are pursuing and the criteria that will be applied in assessing their work alternative assessment.

This will enable learners to impart knowledge and skills compatible to their understanding ability. This structure also reflects also the age of learners for example preschool children can start at the age of years the time where their is rapid language development. Teachers of this level do so to meet this objective. Constructivism is a theory of knowledge with roots in philosophy, and psychology. The founders of this theory are : Vygotsky, Brunner and John Dewey , they believe that 1 knowledge is not passively received but actively built up by the cognizing subject; 2 the function of cognition is adaptive and serves the organization of the experiential world.

In other words, "learning involves constructing one's own knowledge from one's own experiences. Meaning that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas i. Hawkins said that knowledge is actively constructed by learners through interaction with physical phenomenon and interpersonal exchanges. Mathew said that constructivist teaching and constructivist learning are Oxymoronic terms meaning that they are two terms which goes together but they are controversial to each other.

In constructivist teaching the teacher is required to enact agendas from outside the classroom that is it has to be of societal imperative but intended to enrich the curriculum at classroom level. Bell describes four forms of constructivist relationship between teacher and student these are;. Power of: This is also a traditional approach of instruction where the teacher ignores learning opportunities in the course of teaching but students are told to take note of them to be explored post learning process.

Power for: This is a democratic approach of teaching where the learner is freer to explore physical environment so as to solve some problems and create new knowledge. Power with: This is a democratic approach of teaching where learners have high opportunity in the course of learning.

John Locke (1632—1704)

It was contended that, constructivist teaching scheme has five phases which are:. The theory has far-reaching consequences for cognitive development and learning as well as for the practice of teaching in schools. Professional development should consider the important of using learners experience in teaching and learning process. By experiencing the successful completion of challenging tasks, learners gain confidence and motivation to embark on more complex challenges Vygotsky call it as zone of proximal development ZPD Vygotsky, Teachers should encourage and accept student autonomy and initiative.

They should try to use raw data and primary sources, in addition to manipulative, interactive, and physical materials. So that students are put in situations that might challenge their previous conceptions and that will create contradictions that will encourage discussion among them. In our teaching therefore we need to use some activities which originate from our environment so that learning can be meaningful to students.

So that students can construct their own meaning when learning Hawkins Ashcraft, contends that, information processing is a cognitive process which attempts to explain how the mind functions in the learning process. With this theory more emphasis is on how the information is processed than, how learning happens. The theory has three basic components which are;. This is a stage, where the learner receives the information through senses and stores it in a short tem memory.

At this point the information stays for only a fraction of a second; this is because this region is continuously bombarded by information which tends to replace the first information Shunk, The information registered at SR is then shunted to the short term memory, where its storage at this region is facilitated by process called chunking and rehearsal. Information here stays for not more than twenty seconds. If chunking and rehearsing does not occur within 20 seconds then the information will lapse. This region has an ability of storing seven plus or minus two units of information.

In order for the information to be available in a long term memory it must be transferred from short term memory to long term memory by a process called encoding.

LPSG Philosophy of Language

At this point the new knowledge is related to the prior knowledge stored in long term memory resulting into persistence and meaningful learning by a process called spreading activation. Mental structures called schema are involved in storage, organization and aiding of retrieval of information.


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Met cognition is an awareness of structures and the process involved Bigus, These are procedural knowledge and declarative. Ships in 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Introduction p.

All Rights Reserved. Beyond Good and Evil Penguin Classics. In Stock. The Order of Time. Freedom The End of the Human Condition. The Meaning of Life. Relationships School of Life Library. Existentialism Is a Humanism. The Nicomachean Ethics World's Classics. How the Mind Works.