Module 7 - Learning Theory – 3 Credits

How do young children learn?  What do we know about the human brain and how it assimilates and adapts to new information?  Building on what was learned in the Child Development module, the student examines different ideas about how learning occurs and what are the optimum conditions for learning. 

 Important theorists to study in this module are Jean Piaget, Howard Gardner (theory of multiple intelligences), and Vygotsky.  The acquisition of language is an important consideration at this stage of development.  How to children learn to speak?  How do they develop conceptual schema about the world (principles of quantity, shape, size, distance, time and space, etc.) What is the role of fantasy and play in learning?  

This module will examine how our conceptions of intelligence have changed through time, and some of the problems associated with conventional understandings of  "ÏQ" and the emphasis on testing.  The student becomes acquainted with current theories from brain research, and what they have to tell  us about creating "brain-compatible" learning. 

 Much of learning theory (with the exception of Gardner's theories) has been concerned with the development of reason , logic, and other capacities associated with the intellect.  In addition to the development of reason and logic, Neohumanist Education is also concerned with the development of creativity, imagination, intuition, and other faculties.  How do we create learning experiences that awaken the subtle human capacities? What is the role of the kosas in early learning?  What is meant by "integrated learning", and why is it important?


I. What is Learning 

II. How Learning Occurs

¨      1.Yogic Science:  Process of Learning

¨      2. What Brain Research is Saying About Learning

  •  Importance of Early Childhood
  • Hands-On, Integrated and Co-operative
  • Role of Emotions
  • Movement and Learning
  • Play and Fantasy
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Language Acquisition 

III. Some Important Theorists

¨      Erikson

¨      Froebel

¨      Montessori

¨      Piaget

¨      Vygotsky

¨      Dewey 

IV. Learning Approaches in NHE

¨      Basic Philosophy and Principles of NHE

¨      Fundamentals for Learning

¨      Learning Approaches 

V. Coursework

¨      Readings

¨      Assignments 


The teacher has workable knowledge of learning theory and understands

¨     what learning is

¨     how learning occurs

¨     what fosters learning

¨     what impedes learning  

The teacher is able to combine their knowledge of child development with that of learning theory to understand and recognise developmentally appropriate learning opportunities and experiences for children.