A child starts learning much before his schooling. It is done intuitionally as the child is psychologically tuned to learning every moment, after it attains learning capability.
"In addition, the child has very strong motivation to learn. His motivation to learn stems from three sources: pleasure, power, and security. Sheer delight results from exploring, experimenting, finding out, observing, understanding, constructing. The child's urge to gain increased power in his daily practical world also pushes him toward greater understanding and competence. Finally, the child needs knowledge of what to expect next, in order to feel secure," (Isaacs, 1974, p.6).
Edward Thorndyke developed the psychological connectivism theory of learning. This theory is supposed to be representing the original S-R framework of behavioral psychology, which depends on learning with connectivity between stimuli and responses. The original theory was of trial and error learning and has three primary laws:
According to this theory, which mainly focuses on learning transfer from teacher to student, learning transfer mainly takes place when the situation and identical elements are both present. The elements required are the teacher capable of transferring the knowledge, student or students, eager to receive that knowledge, and a comfortable, understandable, atmosphere, without stress. It is all the more better, if the place is already familiar to the student, for example, a classroom. Familiar place adds to the comfort level of students. It also brings a sense of belongingness meaning a learner is more comfortable inside a classroom or with a teacher both of which he is used to, than under unfamiliar circumstances, and new faces of new teachers. It is the part of natural learning that a student would take some time before getting used to a new teacher, or a new classroom or a new building. This is the reason why the education retards when a child is shifted to another city. In younger students, a new teacher is always less favored, till the students are happy to accept him.
The theory works on Gestalt principles, where the stimuli and response go together to create a complete affect. A concept of 'polarity' is introduced into this theory to merely specify that connections are easily established in the already formed direction and not in the opposite directions, or in the newly formed path.
Connectionism is considered to be the general theory of learning in all ages. It is the theory that exists between animals and humans during any kind of interaction and learning. Thorndike specifically recommended this theory for teaching and learning of mathematics. Theory depends upon the following principles:
1. Under Laws of effect/exercise, learning needs practice and rewards, both.
2. Under Laws of readiness, multiple S-R