Theories of Teaching and Learning

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Education theory is the theory or the philosophy of the purpose, application and interpretation of education and learning. Its history begins with classical Greek educationalists and rhetoric and includes, since the 18th century, pedagogy and andragogy. In the 20th century, "theory" has become an umbrella term for a variety of scholarly approaches to teaching, assessment and education law, most of which are informed by various strands of educational philosophy.


Plato is the earliest important educational thinker. He saw education as the key to creating and sustaining his Republic. He advocated extreme methods: removing children from their mothers' care and raising them as wards of the state, with great care being taken to differentiate children suitable to the various castes, the highest receiving the most education, so that they could act as guardians of the city and care for the less able. Education would be holistic, including facts, skills, physical discipline, and music and art, which he considered the highest form of endeavour. For Plato the individual was best served by being subordinated to a just society. Plato's belief that talent was distributed non-genetically and thus must be found in children born to all classes moves us away from aristocracy, and Plato builds on this by insisting that those suitably gifted are to be trained by the state so that they may be qualified to assume the role of a ruling class. ...
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