Prominent Learning Theory Name: Prominent Learning Theory Summary B.F. Skinner provided the operant conditioning theory in which he stated that operant conditioning takes place when reinforcement of a particular behavior is conducted along with specific stimuli…
Operant conditioning falls in the category of behavioral learning theories. Another theorist named Jerome Bruner came up with his own theory of learning which is recognized as discovery learning theory and this theory falls in the category of cognitive learning theory. In this theory he stated that learning takes place when an individual comes in contact with a particular stimuli, he forms a perception regarding that stimuli and then acts according to the formed perception (Leonard, 2002, p.97). The perception they develop regarding a stimuli is dependent upon the learner’s environment. A third category of learning theory is humanistic approach of learning and one of the most famous theories of this approach is Experiential Learning theory provided by Carl Rogers (Leonard, 2002, p.68). He stated that there are two kinds of learning taking place one is cognitive which is meaningless in nature and the second kind of learning is experiential which is significant. He stated that experiential learning is very important as it is backed by a need and whenever an individual has to satisfy a need he may resort to learning. For example: a person is motivated by the need of driving, this motivation will make him learn. Similarities and Differences The main similarity between Skinner’s and Bruner’s theory is that they propose the humans are passive learners and they will not learn until they come in contact with a stimuli (Hitchcock, 2003, p.232). Another similarity between these two theories is that an instructor is required to teach the respondents. The main similarity between Roger’s and Bruner’s theory is that individuals learn by themselves and they do not need a third person to help them learn. Another major similarity between theories provided by Roger’s and Bruner’s theory is that individuals learn first and then they use these learned behaviors. None of the three theorists have emphasized on the age of the learners in their theory, thus they accept that learning can take place at any age. There are several differences between these theories, in case of Skinner’s theory an instructor has to provide an environment for learning and children learn through their experience with rewards and reinforcements while in Bruner’s case the instructor is merely a facilitator who provides the subjects with the opportunities to learn on their own. Skinner’s theories have been tested on animals, while Bruner’s theory has been tested on human beings, thus Bruner’s theory is more applicable to humans. The theory provided by Roger is quite different from the theories of Skinner and Bruner in the sense that Roger believes that learning can not take place without a need, while the other two assert that students are pushed to learn. Application in Nursing All three theories are quite applicable in various scenarios where learning takes place as well in various fields. Nursing staff and officers can even use these theories to manage their day to day activities. Example for Operant Conditioning: A patient insists on not taking medicine and continues to watch television; the nurse turns the television off. The patient gets irritated and wants the television to be turned on; the nurse tells her that if she takes the medicine the television will be turned on, so she quickly takes the medicine. Now whenever the patient insists on not taking her medicine, the nurse staff switches off the television box (Berman, 2008, p.490). Example for Roger’ ...
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