Learning Theories: Which theories are you seeing your teachers apply?

Hey thinkers:

This week we are considering studying human beings. Yeah that’s us!

Let’s think about which learning theories we see your teachers applying to their lessons and activities.

Also, which of these learning approaches seem to work best for you? Collaborative Learning? Inquiry Based Learning? Interdisciplinary Learning?

Also, you can use this learning style quiz by Edutopia. How accurate are these results with what you know about yourself?

Using the above links or other research, consider how you are taught and how you learn, and answer these two questions:

1. Which learning theories are you seeing your teachers apply?

2. Which learning approaches seem to work best with your learning style?

Provide a response to this post by Thursday, January 31.

Cite examples from your real-life experiences.

Responses to two classmates is due by Friday, February 01.

Kind Regards,


44 thoughts on “Learning Theories: Which theories are you seeing your teachers apply?

  1. In Mr. Schnack’s class, I think he is using collaboration sometimes but it’s usually would be used before a quiz or test. Sometimes it would be individually but other times would be partnering up. In Ms. Bell’s class, I think she uses group discussions when using power points and lecture notes because she wants each of her students to remember specific dates, events or historical moments that are very important for tests in the future. Well, each teacher has different teaching styles but they could be similar in some ways because some methods from a class can work for another class depending how each student is learning and develop throughout the school year. I’m not so sure if my teacher are using constructivist methods or humanist methods. I think collaboration is helpful to some extent because working together helps each other build their understanding of the work and also, on skills that they may or may not have and improve it as well. I think group discussions are great but I think it kind of lacks on build understanding if some students are hand-to-hand learners.

    I have a couple of questions: what is constructivism and humanism? How can they be seen in our everyday classes when our teachers are teaching us? How can we as students catch their constructivist or humanist methods as teachers teaches us?

  2. I’ve noticed that as freshman and sophomores we were graded on our ability to follow instructions. Senior year teachers, with the exception of Muth, switched from Behaviorists to Humanists and Constructivists. For example, to get a good grade on a history essay for Muth you have to write the essay in the exact format he asked for. If we don’t the grade is severely impacted whether or not the student knew what they were talking about.
    However every other teacher this year grades us using the humanist and constructive approach. For example, Ms. Lanning doesn’t have to grade people on whether or not they can pass state tests, because everyone in our class has already passed those tests and the IB Exams results don’t have any impact on our class grades. She can focus on our progress as students rather than simply a percentage on a scantron.
    I hate the behaviorist approach. I can follow Muth’s instructions for writing the essays but it affects the way I say what I need to negatively. It makes me focus on writing it exactly the way he wants it rather than on making a good argument. I enjoy constructivist learning because I can listen to a lecture and take that information and come to my own interpretations.

  3. Generally my teachers are constructivists with an exception of and Mr.Pale who is a behaviorist. Most of my teachers use constructivism especially when they want an individual to gain an understanding of their own through constructivist learning. For example, when we were in history where Ms. Bell gave us a worksheet regarding the Louisiana and South Carolina black codes where there were questions that allowed us to show our understanding of the events prior to the black codes being made such as “why did white southerners feel that it was necessary to make these black codes?” this question makes the student focus on prior and current events that could have had an impact on what the student would have used as an answer. Learning styles that I tend to have the best time working with is constructivism. This works best for me because constructivism allows the teacher to be interactive with their students where they can talk about a student’s understanding and help them develop the knowledge they know. For example, when I took the learning style quiz the quiz revealed that I learn best through interaction and communication as noticed when I am history class when we discuss the right answers on our worksheets.

  4. The learning style i see my teachers use is a combination of contstructivist and behaviorist. Mr. Muth uses essay to know what i know. When we write our essays, he kind of lets us respond to the prompt freely with a guess, but he wants the essay format to written structurally. He would want the thesis written clearly at the beginning of the essay. Then, he wants us to use a format with a topic sentence, concrete detail, commentary, concrete detail, commentary, and then conclusion. Our grades on the essay would reflect if we follow the format.
    My math teacher, Mr. Brasel was a humanist and cognitivist. He created relationships with everybody in the classroom and graded us with the potential. But how he knew what we knew, he approached his ways of teaching by adjusting to our level of learning.
    The learning style that seems to work best for me is cognitivist and constructivist.

  5. My science teacher is more of a behaviorist because she likes us to do the things she wants too. She set rules and expect us to follow them and when she teaches doing it her way is the right way.
    my History teacher is more of a humanist because she observes us and likes to have a strong reatioship with us and know our strengh and weaknesses and builds around that.
    my math teacher is more of a behaviorist and a humanist because she likes to have close relationships with the students and also sets out a lesson plan. she is also a motivational design because she also motivates us and make sure we are heading in the right direction.

    • Would you learn better in science if you had more freedom in your experiments? Do you think science and math classes have to be taught with diffrent approaches?

  6. By observing my teachers, i noticed that the majority of them are contructivists and the rest are either behaviorists or a combination of both. For example, my History teacher is a constructivist. She doesnt like to stand in front of the classroom and give lectures all period long. She gives us a task to do and it is our job to understand and complete the task on our own, and if we get lost, shes there to guide and correct us. On the other hand, my English teacher is a behaviorist. She likes to praise the students who turn in good essays and does good in her class. For those who dont do things the way that she wants it, she talks down about them in front of the whole class. Out of all the learning approaches, i would prefer constructivism because i am able to learn from making mistakes and asking questions.

  7. The learning theory that I am seeing most of my teachers apply the most is constructivism. My biology teacher gives us internal assessments that are either individuals or groups. These internal assessments are to be written by the students, not by her. From my point of view, I think she believes that in order for us to understand a concept, we need to conduct experiments (labs). If it is an individual internal assessment, she expects us to question ourselves and answer our own questions. This is why when someone asks her a question, most of the time she would respond “I don’t know” with a smile. If it is a group internal assessment, she expects every group to compare the data and results with one another. Collaborative learning seems to work best for me because I like working in small groups. This means fewer struggles for me because if I am confused, there is someone who is going to help me. In small groups, I am learning and teaching. I enjoy working in small groups.

  8. I think that most of the teachers in this school are a mixture of constructivists and humanists because it’s basiclly what this school requires without saying. Most of the students here need that kind of structure because we have so many different students at different learning levels that it becomes a matter of how much they’ve grown as learners and it gives students retain more information. humanists are needed because there’s so much stuff going on in the students’ lives, most of them coming from a lower background, that it is absolutely nessessary to understand what is effecting them before teachers can come to conclusions about their students.
    Mr. Castillo is a constructivist because he’s trying to build constructivist lessons around us as we try to catch up to the level of pysics we are supposed to be learning.
    Ms.Bell is a mixture of styles so it’s nearly indecernable but I think she’s a humanist and multiple intellegences. She shows us different ways to do the same things and tries to build relationships with all her students.
    Mr.Schnack is a constructivist and a humanist because he’s always asking when we get it or we don’t get it and trying to make lessons that will help us better understand what he’s teaching and if we really don’t understand the homework or something else happens, he’ll postpone homework due dates or test dates.
    Mr. Taylor is a constructivist and a humanist because he explains things, later re-explain things differently, and he’ll have us do assignments to determine where we are and address the more serious problems. Also, if something’s going on, he’ll let some people slid and he gives us a LOT of pep talks or funny little tid bit of info.
    Mr. Vang I think is a humanist and a constructivist because he tries to build lessons around us, but I really don’t know because I feel like he’s being too lax.
    Mrs. Vigil is a humanist and a constuctivist because she builds our music practice around what we need and if we aren’t doing too well, pushes back concert dates so we have more time to practice.
    I think I workbest with constructivist with some expectations because I can go at my pace, whether faster or slower and I retain more info than any other classes, and I’ll try my best to meet the expectations.

  9. I’ve seen my history teacher, Ms. Bell use the theories of cognitivist. I say that she is cognitivism because she is always finding new ways to learn or she teaches us how to learn a certain topic. She told us that she has this weird way of thinking, I think her mental process is brilliant for she is able to turn something complicated into simpler terms and make the context a lot easier to understand. For example, she showed us a technique that would help us make our notes simpler yet easy to understand, I thought the technique was useful. We had to read this paragraph about the “black codes” and it was complicated to understand and made me fall asleep, but when she showed us how she took notes on it, I was able to understand the “black codes” a lot easier.

    • Great example of cognitivist learning. Being aware of how you might use different thinking process to make the task easier is an important approach for teachers/students to consider.


    • Yeah, she’s always using different learning styles on us, videos, notes, read & highlight, and then that thing she showed us the other day, where she pretty much showed us how to connect ideas and sum up the TBs

  10. From what I see everyday at school in my classes is that my teachers seemed to be humanists and a behaviorists. For my first period is Mrs. Roland and she observes us from what we are doing during labs and gives us quizzes to test us how much we had learn during that two weeks or so. Also in my fourth period class where I have Mr. Taylor who is a teacher that seem to expect us to do this and that, when our fourth period class was yelled at by him because some of the students did not finish their work and some of them were absent that day of the presentation. Also I see my teacher, Mr. Coey whish is a constructivist because he assigns research topics for us and we build from that on.

  11. I have seen most of my teachers use constructivism. For example when I am in English class, my teacher assigns me a role in the books that he has provided us with. It is then, my responsibility to research the topic and provide the information to the rest of then class. My teaher in history uses humanism. She grades us based on her experience with us in class. However, we still must do the that is expected.

    • I learn better with humanism because I am able to establish a neutral, but professional relationship.

  12. I think my old science teacher Ms. Toussaint was a behaviorist. One example is the way she used to punish us with our labs. We were going to do the candy lab but once she checked our pre-lab she didn’t like the way we completed them so instead of letting us do the lab she made us do the lab using metals instead of candy as our punishment. My other teacher Mr. Konow would be a designer based teacher, when we are working on math problems he uses real life stories instead of made up examples. Using real life examples makes it easier for him to explain and teach us the math. I’m more of a design based learner, it’s easier for me to understand when I’m getting real information instead of a made up scenario.

    • I agree with your idea of Ms. Toussaint being a behaviorist. She was really strict and had high expectations. I remember her saying that we were in IB so her class was going to be hard.

    • Do you think the behaviorist approach is more threatening or helpful to students?
      I agree with you how teachers using personal experience and life stories to help us understand something and improve our memory.

  13. The learning method that I’ve commonly seen is Behaviorism, because I see teachers examine our mental state and determine how to teach. If we’re troubling in the subject teachers usually stay on the subject until the students understand. I see this method used in all classes, because it is necessary to take into account the students mental well-being in order to understand the students progress in learning. Ms. Bell using behaviorism and humanism, because she gives us quizzes to track our learning. She uses humanism, because she utilizes past experience to improve our learning at the optimum level. She said that in school they didn’t teach her very well, so she goes back as a teacher to help improve education.
    Mr. Coey utilizes Behaviorism, because he uses parts of speech that help improve or reflect upon our behavior. Such as saying someone did good or bad to help someone change.

    • I use positive reinforcement to emphasis positive (or the desired) behavior in class. It’s excellent for motivating!


    • I prefer a cognitive approach on learning, because I like to get straight to the point on learning things such as math, but for English, Tok and Biology I prefer the humanist method, because I tend to remember things better If I apply them to personal experience or a story

  14. I believe most of my teachers are a mixture of constructivism and humanism. For example Mr. Castillo wants us to do a project, for example speakers but with that making a lesson on how physics is applied and used in speakers. Therefore we are learning and doing something that we will enjoy. My teachers use humanism as to an advantage to help us ,the students , to learn .they use past experiences of learning or teachings, they reflect upon them to see if it will be effective or not and how it can changed moderately for the class. I think I am a constructivism learner because I like to learn by doing. Although some other methods are effective I do prefer constructivism.

    • do you think that you will learn more or better, if the topic revovles around your likes or your interest? Does that limit our knowledge? Because not all topics revolve around what you might like. Just a thought.

    • Personal connections are an important part of learning. I think humanists is a very important part of learning, because it motivates us to keep on learning. Like asking us “how does this apply to myself”

  15. I think Mrs. Roland is a constructivist because she never gives students answers but instead makes them figure it out by themselves, pretty much she is very broad.
    I think Mr. Konow is a designer because he is always creating stories or speaking of his personal experiences when explain a math problem or equation.
    I believe I am a behaviorist because what I do or how I am reflects on how I responded to something in the past.

    • Do you think that she does this so you could reach your own conclusion, thus making you less dependent?
      I get irritated when someone doesnt answer my questions directly ont you?

  16. All of my teachers are behavioriests mixed with construtivmist becuase they use both of these emthods while teaching.I do not prefere a method but I do prefere how the teacher respects how i work.

  17. I think that my teachers are pretty different with their learning theories. One theory that is slightly used is the Design-Based Research Method. I think that Ms. Bell uses this because she combines theory and practice and observes the way that we learn through how and why we learn the way we do learn. Also, constructivism and behaviorism are both methods that are used extensively. For example, when math teachers teach, they show us what we need to achieve and then give us a series of steps through which we can achieve it. This is a great example of behaviorism. Also, Mr. Coey uses constructivism to teach because he lets us use whatever path we want as long as we attain knowledge about what he is teaching us. Humanism is used a little within my teachers as well because a lot of them try to make us believe in ourselves and our potential and then they see how we improve through our actions. For example, Ms. Bell uses our background outside of school to evaluate the way we learn because we might be pressured or formed in a different way than others around us. She also looks at our weaknesses and strengths to evaluate our grade and our achievement.
    I think that I am more of a collaborative and constructivist learner. I really excel when working together because as we work together, we share ideas and therefore can combine out thoughts and develop a far more extensive idea about the topic that we are observing and learning. Also I am constructivist because I base my learning on what I have already learned and expand my knowledge in that sense. I use my past experiences to achieve knowledge about the topic that I am learning.

  18. I see my some of my teachers having a combination of learning theories that they apply, but I have noticed more of a side of constructivist from them. My history teacher Ms. Bell has a very great style to constructivist because she is able to let us see how we can context our own knowledge into what is becoming new knowledge. For example, we will be turning a modern song and replacing the lyrics with our own, but these lyrics are going to be about history and the topic(s) that we are/had study. I also notice that freshman year English teacher Mr. Taylor let us twist the story of Romeo and Juliet, into new words and new dressing styles but at the same time learning the new concept of the story. In 10th grade English Mr. Coey let us have a creative approach on our presentation on Frankenstein, and what I did is I took my knowledge from music/DJ-ing to understand the novel of Frankenstein. Those are some of the ways I have seen my teachers take the constructivist approach to letting us learning and teaching us (students).
    I believe that my style of learning that benefits and helps me the most is constructivist. Why? I have felt that I learn and kept memory of those topics the best when I take that constructivist approach. I have done those presentations with my musical background in French. I have talked about French DJ’s and gained new knowledge from what I like to do or have, which is music, and plugged in French right into it. I also feel like my mind can feel like I actually enjoy and have a purpose of learning the knowledge that I gain.

    • Do we learn best when we frame the questions and when we choose the approach to learning?

      Cool analysis of your learning experiences.


  19. I see most of my teachers use constructivism. They use constructivism especially when we have to research a certain topic that we are assigning to. For history, last Friday, our history teacher assign each group a certain part of the black codes and we are supposed to find how it violates the first section of 14th amendment. She wants us to develop a knowledge on how does each section of the black codes violate the 14th amendment. On Monday, which is today, she wants us to report back to the class on how our part of the black codes violates the 14th amendment. I don’t know which learning approaches seem best to me because I am sort of over there and there. I am sort of cooperative learning and constructivist learning. I am sort of cooperative learning because I do learn new things in the group but the thing is that since I am shy, I am not very good at cooperating with others and sometimes people just cut me off when I am talking and I just went silent after that. I am sort of constructivist because when we do reader’s café, every time I am the teacher, I get better at teaching. I improve more on teaching but the thing is that I get really nervous when I had to explain something to two or more people or to a teacher. I feel so pressured that I just end up choking on my words.

    • Did the teacher connect your ‘new learning’ to your ‘prior experience’ and build from that point?


    • Mao I like you’re example with the reader’s cafe. :)) Based on your experience, how do you think emotions can affect the way people teach?

  20. Recently I saw one of my teacher use a mixture of both constructivism and humanism. My biology teacher gave us a general topic and we had to use prior knowledge to construct the entire experiment individually. During the constructive process of the lab she would constantly remind us to question ourselves, our knowledge, and techniques. After the lab was completed she had us reflect on it individually then as a whole class to assess our learning.
    I believe the learning approach of humanism works best with my learning style because it focus on developing self-actualized people in a cooperative environment.

    • Is it possible for ALL of your teachers to apply humanism in the classroom?

      What about the possibility of ‘not meeting the state standards’?

    • How do you feel knowing that your teacher used this style? In other words, did you feel satisfied with your knowledge from that lab? knowing that she let you go to do our own from what you knew maybe not being enough to understand perfectly on how to build that lab.

  21. The learning methods that I see my teacher use the most are constructivism and humanism. I see my teachers use constructivism when we do research on topics and share it with the class. In English class, groups of students were assigned a book and different topics to research. After that they shared it with the class as a group. I also see humanism in my teacher’s teachings because in french class, we are given the choice of creating a group script in any way we want without a lot of restrictions.

    I believe that collaborative learning would work best with me. Collaborative learning is being able to work in groups and I am able to work better when I am able to hear other people’s ideas.

    • Humanism allows for an approach to meeting the entire needs of the learner, taking into account emotional needs as well as long-term personal goals. Is this what you see from your teachers?


    • I agree with you that collaborating with other can really help us learn because as we combine ideas, we develop ideas that are far more extensive and relate to people from different backgrounds and come from different points of view.

    • I really enjoy collaborative learning because i like helping my peers when they are stuck or struugling and i appreciate when they help me when I am in that situation.