Learning is everything – Yeah, all that is with us is what we have learned. But how this learning process takes place? Have you ever brainstormed about learning? What is the connection between learning and the environment? How much a teacher values the learning system? There is so much to talk about as the topic is widespread. So, let’s begin with talking about learning theories and their application to classroom. It is because it is all a matter of learning theories that will help you understand the process. 

Learning theories are greatly practiced and it is behind the success of teachers in bringing up skilled students. Teachers need to introduce any one of the learning theories to have the best results. After all, a teacher is responsible for educating the students. The main streams of learning theories are;

  1. Behaviorism
  2. Cognitivism
  3. Constructivism

Let’s break through these 3 main streams to explore learning theories and their application to classroom in depth!


learning theories and their application to classroom


Learning Theories


Are you a fan of Plato’s words? You know he was confused that how a person learns a new phenomenon if he is introduced to something new (not introduced before). His confusion gave birth to so many learning theories. (Every other person tried to answer his question)

What does a learning theory deliver? It defines principle based on which a good student get, store and recall the newly learned knowledge. Let’s start with the early 3 mentioned schemas of learning theories and their application to classroom




The basis of behaviorism explains the concept that knowledge is external to the learner and independent of them. A behaviorist views the learner as a blank slate who needs to be given the material to be learned. This communication results in the formation of new relationships, which leads to learning. When the presented stimulus modifies behavior, learning takes place. The non-instructional work of Pavlov is an illustration of this. 

In his well-known “salivating dog” experimentation, Pavlov demonstrated that a stimulus—in this case, ringing a bell each time to feed the dog—would ultimately lead the dog to begin salivating.

The dog learned that hearing the bell ring was a sign that it would soon be fed, therefore whenever the bell has rung, it caused the dog to begin salivating.

Let’s implement this in the classroom as the blog post is to address learning theories and their application to classroom. The teacher may, for example, modify the body language. 

Students may have learned that if a teacher sits cross-legged at a desk, it means that he or she is about to say something important and supportive and that they should pay attention because it directly affects them. Similarly, if a teacher stands in a particular spot in the classroom with arms folded, it means that he or she is getting frustrated with the level of noise.

Verbal reinforcement, repeated behavior, and participation incentives are all part of behaviorism. Establishing guidelines is an excellent idea, primarily for behavior management.




As opposed to behaviorism, which focuses on how learners simply react to stimuli, cognitivism emphasizes how students process the information they are given. Although there is still evidence of behavior change, it is due to thinking and information processing.

Wolfgang Kohler applied Gestalt psychology to the development of cognitive ideas at the beginning of the 19th century. Gestalt essentially translates in English to something being organized in a way that is seen as greater than the sum of its parts.

The cognitive load theory, schema theory, dual coding theory, and retrieval practice are just a few of the numerous evidence-based education theories that cognitivism has inspired.

According to cognitivism theory, learning happens when a learner reorganizes knowledge by either coming up with new explanations or changing existing ones. Instead of only being seen as a change in behavior, this is perceived as a change in knowledge and is retained in memory. The majority of cognitive learning theories are credited to Jean Piaget.

Teaching strategies that incorporate cognitivism in the classroom include conversations, problem-solving, and connecting ideas to real-world situations and examples.




Constructivism is founded on the idea that we create new knowledge based on our own experiences and early knowledge. As a result, each learner’s experience with learning is different. Students modify their conceptual frameworks by either considering earlier theories or clearing up misconceptions.

Constructivist teaching methods work best when students have a foundation of past knowledge. One excellent illustration of constructivism in action is Bruner’s spiral curriculum.

Since results cannot always be predicted as students build their own knowledge bases, the teacher should verify for and correct any misunderstandings that may have occurred. Constructivism may not be the best theory to apply when predictable results are needed.

Constructivism includes problem-solving-based learning, research projects, and group interactions.


Take Away!

This blog post explained the 3 schemas of learning theories and their application to classroom. There are so many learning theories that originated from these 3 basic schemas. You may learn about applying the cognitive learning theory in the classroom in another blog on this site.


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