Analyzing Theories, Principles, And Models Of Learning For Effective Teaching And Learning

Balancing between theory and practice

There are three schools of learning which can be applied either in the learning or in the training process. The three schools are behaviourist, cognitivist and humanist.

Behaviourist theory states that learning can be processed by concentrating on what is happening in the surrounding circumstances. It is about the behaviour of the learner or the trainer. It also means being influenced by the variety of external resources of learning by adapting to the different situation (Muijs and Reynolds 2017).

Behaviourist theory on being applied to the learning process is a way to learn from tutor’s reactions to different circumstances. The learner learns from what they observe while being in the class. It can be the style of teaching or the teacher’s reaction to different circumstances (Meyer 2015).

The behaviourist theory in regards to training can be based on the different types of absorbing capability of the learners. Not all the learners are alike in absorbing capability. The best training style in such situation would be to understand the various minds and frame the training accordingly.  

Cognitivist theory advocates the importance of processing from the variety of resources available to the observer. It means using past records, utilising of current resources and planning based on the future needs (Muijs and Reynolds 2017).

The application of the theory in regards to the learner can be collecting the materials taught in the past, at current and the syllabus of future. The next step is to build up a plan to utilise the collected knowledge. Afterward, the implementation of the planned process comes to the next (Meyer 2015).  

The theory can also benefit the trainer. It is advisable that the trainer has all the materials from oldest of the materials to the newest. Interpretation becomes easier based on the available resources. The best syllabus according to the needs of the learner can then be constructed.

Humanist theory says that being human by justifying the responsibilities under any situation is one of the keys to learning. Both the trainers and the learners need to have utmost honesty paid to their course of action (Muijs and Reynolds 2017).  

Humanist theory can be utilised to dislodge the challenges and focus on the course of action. Trainers may have their bad day due to the variety of reasons; however, as per the theory, they need not let it influence their way of training (Meyer 2015).

Learners need to learn also that their challenges can never be the barriers to their learning. If it so then learning may get disrupted. It is imperative to be unmoved by the goal which is to learn and to achieve the ultimate mission.

Behaviourist theory

It is important that there is a balance between the theories and its practical applications. The learner and the trainer need to understand the application of every schools of theory. Misbalancing the situation by utilising the inappropriate theory is not that the schools preach to the learner and the trainer. Both the learner and the trainer need to understand the importance of balancing between the theory and the practice. 

There are various schools of theory for reflection and evaluation. Reflection can be easily understood or facilitated from “Gibbs’ reflective cycle”. In a similar way, the evaluation can also be done using various theories like “Empowerment Evaluation Theory” and ‘Theory-Driven Evaluation Theory”.

Gibbs has postulated the Reflective Cycle which encourages a systematic reflection of an experience or an activity. It is divided into six interrelated and important segments. Description, Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion and Action Plan constitute Gibb’s Reflective Cycle (Gould and Taylor 2017). It is also one of the very few models that enable to conduct both reflection and evaluation of an incident or the activity. In the description of Gibbs, the experience needs to be presented in a descriptive format to make it clear and understandable. ‘Feelings’ is to realise the entire situation. ‘Evaluation’ is identifying every important bit of the chose experience. In the Analysis section, the experience is thoroughly analysed to find out important elements of the issues, circumstances and the probable solutions. ‘Conclusion’ means summarising the entire activity to establish a platform for action. ‘Action’ is the last stage that advocates the utilisation of appropriate resources to reduce the weakness (Gould and Taylor 2017).  

Evaluation of an experience or the self-evaluation can be facilitated through various theories like ‘Theory-Driven Evaluation Theory” and “Empowerment Evaluation Theory”.

‘Theory-Driven Evaluation Theory” focuses on four important phase of an action like “inputs”, “outputs”, “outcomes” and “impacts” (Mertens 2014). The first stage is ‘inputs’ which speak of an action. The action must produce some ‘outputs’ which is also known as ‘outcomes’. The outputs or the outcomes can also be known as the ‘impacts’. It thus facilitates both a descriptive and an analytical point of view on a chosen incident or an experience. Evaluation done in this way is helpful to get a wider list of outcomes or the impacts. Hence, everything associated with an action can be explained by the theory.

“Empowerment Evaluation Theory” resembles a process of evaluation which is divided into three important segments like developing & defining the mission, stocking & prioritising the activities and making the plans. It thus advocates the evaluation to be done throughout the course of action (Mertens 2014). The evaluation focuses initially on the mission statement and a modification in the same with regards to the circumstances. It then reaches to the stocking of the entire process making. This is done to prioritise the activities, so that, appropriate actions can be taken. The last stage is the making of plans which means the factors to consider while evaluating the course of action. Evaluation when done against the set benchmarks, it maintains a directive approach towards the mission. Moreover, evaluation in such circumstances produces a wider variety of useful outcomes. This in other way helps to modify the mission statement to make it feasible with the available resources. The available resources mean the tools, strategies, time-frame and budget. Such factors are all the part of both academic and the professional actions. 

Cognitivist theory

There are an ample number of models and theories using which tutor can communicate with the students. One of such models is “Shannon and Weaver” which governs the four stages such as the sender, message, channel and the receiver. The sender in regards to a classroom can be both the tutors and the learners. Tutors can send lectures on different tutorials to students which are necessary for the academic study. Learners, on the other hand, can ask questions in case they are not clear with any queries. A message can be the feedbacks given to learners. Channel means using the medium of communication which both the tutor and the student use to communicate. The mode of communication may vary depending on the size of the classroom or the technological advancement of the institution. The tutor can use the latest technologies to communicate with using an app especially dedicated to the institution. This enables the student to communicate without using their voices. They are indeed needed to send queries in the text format. The receiver in regards to the classroom is both the students and the tutors. Students receive the lectures and important notes from tutors. The tutor may be the receiver in case students are sharing their responses or else (McQuail and Windahl 2015).

Another model in this regard is the “constructionist model” which consist of phases as such the sender, receiver, decode, encode, channel, feedback and the message. The sender in context of the model is the tutors who understand the kind of audience they are interacting with.  The sender decodes the actual element while communicating with the learners. The tutor is then able to identify the language which is feasible to the learners. The tutor then encode it again to deliver the communication in the most understandable language to the learners. Channel is the medium that tutors use to communicate to the learners. Feedback is the other stage which tutors use to make the learners identify where they have performed well or poorly. The feedback can be in the form of a message communicated verbally or non-verbally to learners (Katz, Lazarsfeld and Roper 2017).

The models such as “Shannon and Weaver” and “constructionist model” just establish the modes or the ways using which tutors and learners may be in the communication. Communication is essential in education. It can be in various forms; however, there has to be a type of communication. The models used for this purpose provides a systematic platform using which communication can be established. The communication can be both verbal and non-verbal. In some places, tutors communicate verbally to students; however, if learners have some queries they can also place their queries using the dedicated app for the institution. In the course of action, the tutor may proceed with the explanation verbally by addressing the queries received. Feedback can be given either by separately sitting with the learner or notifying the same through the student’s portal. Both of the ways have the distinguished benefits and hence, tutors may decide the best concerning the circumstances. 

Humanist theory

Assessment is another essential element of teaching. Assessment is required to judge whether the learners have adapted the learning. This is important also to judge the level of development in each learner. Assessment can be of two types based on theories such as formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment can be understood as a process where tutors give feedbacks on the partial solution. Formative assessment may generally consist valuable feedback indicating the areas of improvement, so that, the entire solution could be delivered without any serious flaws. In the formative assessment, learners are needed to submit a part of the work which is decided generally by the learner. Accordingly, the process continues. The tutor gives a certain time period to learners to submit their partial solution. They are also given a deadline for the feedbacks (Box, Skoog and Dabbs 2015).

Summative assessment can be defined as a process where learners are required to submit the entire solution while also following the earlier feedbacks. Learners are supposed to deliver the entire solution while giving utmost focus to the identified flaws in the formative assessment. The tutor gives a final feedback on the solution. It depends on tutors and the institutional policies whether the learner is given a chance to resit (Box, Skoog and Dabbs 2015).

Curriculum development is another very important and a vital process in institutions. The formation of study is based on the syllabus. The syllabus is not decided alone by the institution but, the institution needs to follow certain guidelines in context to the curriculum. All the institutions follow a governing body designed especially for the curriculum development. They have their set of expertise which they consider while framing a curriculum development. However, the curriculum designing should follow the certain guidelines considering the social, economic, technological, political and the environmental context (Khan and Law 2015). Learners are trained on the syllabus which is why it should be benefitting every context of society by nurturing the relevant growths in learners. Learners in academic will be influencing the different context of society through their practical expertise. They will add values to the technological advancement if they are well versed with the technological expertise. They will also improve the living standard of society if they are well equipped with cultural and societal values.

Societal background, in fact, is the collective practice of every living being that is all a part of it. They will be civilised if they have the civic sense. The civic sense will get developed through an adequate exposure to a wider variety of social values. Curriculum syllabus, in fact, is a formation platform for a civilised generation who will be serving the respective society through their understanding of social and cultural values. It is imperative that the government must design the curriculum to make it fittest to the society it serves (Khan and Law 2015). A skilled workforce is a necessity of global world which is possible only through effective learning environment and the facilities in learning centers (Windapo 2016). 


Box, C., Skoog, G. and Dabbs, J.M., 2015. A case study of teacher personal practice assessment theories and complexities of implementing formative assessment. American Educational Research Journal52(5), pp.956-983.

Gould, N. and Taylor, I., 2017. Reflective learning for social work: research, theory and practice. Routledge.

Katz, E., Lazarsfeld, P.F. and Roper, E., 2017. Personal influence: The part played by people in the flow of mass communications. Routledge.

Khan, M.A. and Law, L.S., 2015. An Integrative Approach to Curriculum Development in Higher Education in the USA: A Theoretical Framework. International Education Studies8(3), pp.66-76.

McQuail, D. and Windahl, S., 2015. Communication models for the study of mass communications. Routledge.

Mertens, D.M., 2014. Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Sage publications.

Meyer, O., 2015. Towards quality CLIL: successful planning and teaching strategies. PULSO. Revista de Educación, (33), pp.11-29.

Muijs, D. and Reynolds, D., 2017. Effective teaching: Evidence and practice. Sage.

Windapo, A.O., 2016. Skilled labour supply in the South African construction industry: The nexus between certification, quality of work output and shortages. SA Journal of Human Resource Management14(1), pp.1-8.

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