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Yildizhan's Design Narrative: Theories of Learning (PTLLS)

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Yildizhan Negargar
9 April 2013

Title Introduction of Theories of Learning in PTLLS course



As the course tutor, I was expected to introduce the learners to the theories of Behaviourism, Humanistic Approach and Constructivism. 



This was part of a 36 hours course that was spread over 12 weeks.  Learners met once a week to study to obtain PTLLS certificate.


The aim was to familiarise the learners with the theories of learning stated above.



-          Group discussion on what learning means and how we learn best (memorable learning experiences – good/bad)

-          Based on these discussion, listing possible ways of learning things

-          Brief introduction to Behaviourism, Humanistic Approach and Constructivism, using the brief PowerPoint (one page each); encouraging learners to share their understandings of these as well as their expectations from them.

-          Group presentations on these theories

-          Group posters visualising what a classroom looks like based on these theories.

-          Matching activity


Learners were quite willing to share their views on learning and their learning experiences, which generated a discussion that was longer than expected.  Once introduced, they wanted to know more, asking many questions.  The presentations were brief and informative as were the posters.  They managed to reflect most of the essential features of these theories.  The matching activity, which was designed as a way of assessment, took longer than expected because it generated a lot of discussion.


Learners enjoyed talking about their own experiences but were hesitant when we started to explore the theories; however, they asked many questions and wanted to find out more.  The group presentations were very detailed but this was understandable as they were given only 20 minutes to prepare and seemed to capture most of the important parts.  Some learners were unwilling to design a poster because they believed they lacked the skills (drawing, colouring etc), which was not a criteria for the assessment of this task.  Nonetheless, all groups produced and prepared posters and they were all well-received.  The matching activity (matching various statements to the correct theories) was well received and generated a lot of discussion.  It would have been more effective to follow this activity by a more practical one; however, lack of time did not permit this.


The activities described were carried out over a period of three weeks, lasting about half an hour each week.  Since there were not enough guidance in the course curriculum on how much detail should be given, I have to rely on my own judgement on how much to introduce and how. The learner feedback was positive and learners expressed their desire to find out more.

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Tom Hopper
8:50am 10 April 2013

What is PTLLS ? Why did the students want to know more - is it because they want to identify their learning patterns and improve ? What practical activity did you have in mind to follow these ?

Cheers, Tom

Yildizhan Negargar
9:12pm 10 April 2013

Hi, Tom.


PTLLS is the Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Sector course, which is the first step towards obtaining a teaching qualification in the Post 16 sector.

The learners were fascinated by the theories because they could identify some either from their own experiences or from their preferences.

Ideally, if there wasn't time constraints, I would have liked to ask learners to design learning activities in their own specialities reflecting theories, encouraging them to consider how the same learning outcome might be treated differently by different theories.

Thanks for reading! :-)


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