Canon Fodder: Learning Theories

Is there a canon for education? Sort of.

Coming late to the theory and literature of learning after years of a life saturated with mathematics, I always wanted learning to follow the same path of development that I loved from math.  I wanted a set of classic ideas (and books) from which all of the modern learning theory was derived (deductively, if I’m allowed to dream).  I was always asking my colleagues in Math Education, “What books or articles should someone new to learning, read first?”  I never got satisfying answers. I did realize that there were some basic theories and there were names spoken with reverence, e.g. Piget, Vygotsky, and Bloom.  There were other characters I heard and read about: Freire, Skinner, Gardner, Dewey, and others, but I couldn’t tell if they were major or minor players, or heretics.

I haven’t forgot my quest for a canon, and so I was glad to come across the following. Apparently back in April, Howard Rheingold (@hrheingold) tweeted a link to this awesome mindmap (sorry it is so small, link to original is broken):

Learning-Theory-v5

This looks to be a great resource and way to see various theories and how they are connected. I’ve just started to look through it carefully and I hope to be able to say more about it later.

Quick update: In searching for references to this map, I came across the blog for Donald Clark Donald Clark Plan B in which he did posts on all the learning theorists (and more) and either was the source for much of  the map or the makers of the map used the same sources as him.  Either way, I encourage you to visit his blog and read in more detail about the various learning theorists.

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