Theory is a group of tested propositions which are regarded as correct and can be used to provide appropriate explanations and predictions for a phenomena. However, the proposed explanation is still under experimentation and is yet to be confirmed as the actual fact. These assumptions are used to provide explanation on the relationship of the observed phenomena. Theory is a rational and a contemplative form of abstract as a result of generalized thinking depending on the context of the scenario. Theories are important in providing guidance when analyzing the facts and findings to reach the intended goals.
Learning theories are also referred to as training theories. They are theories that describe how knowledge is acquired, absorbed, processed and retained based on the surrounding environment. Through adequate analysis of learning theories, one can understand how learning occurs and ho the environment affects the learning process. The principles provided by these theories assist in selecting instructional tools and teaching techniques & strategies that promote learning. One learning theory is the behaviorism theory. Behaviorism theory examines how new traits and behavior are acquired.
According to the behaviorist theory, new behavior or changes in ordinary behavior are attributed to association between the stimuli and response. The theory provides that all behavior is attributed to external stimuli known as operant conditioning. The theory is best utilized in examining the response of a learner to environmental stimuli. The behavior observed in the learner is shaped and attributed to either positive or negative reinforcement. Both positive and negative reinforcement increase the probability of the antecedent behavior. The theory is therefore in understanding the behavior of the learner based on the environment (Sutherland, 1977). However, the theory cannot be used to examine and understand the reasoning and the mental nature of the student.
ReferencesSutherland, S. (1977). Behaviourist theory. Nature, 267(5614), 868-868. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/267868a0