Different Learning Perspectives

Being able to learn is one of the most important things in life if you think about it. We all need to be able to learn to be able to do anything new, and to function throughout life. Two of the most notorious approaches are the cognitive perspective and the behaviorist approach.

As mentioned by Woolfolk(2014) “According to Cognitive view, knowledge and strategies are learned, then changes in knowledge and strategies make behavior possible. According to the behavioral view, new behaviors themselves are learned”(pg.312)

The cognitive view has the information processing system that entails sensory memory, working memory, and long term memory. All of these systems work together at the same time. Our sensory memory takes in information, the working memory holds the information temporarily and is very limited- and works to get it to our long term memory, while also presently using the help of the long term memories previously stored data to help. Sometimes it may only make it to our short term memory, but the goal is to make it to the long-term memory so that we can draw from this information later in life.

This video was kind of long, but I think it did a great job of really illustrating a very wide range of topics of the Cognitive Processing Model with the time allotted. I really loved the drawings and explanations and I thought it was a great representation of that cognitive model.

The behavioral approach believes that people learn from doing actions. With reinforcement, these actions then become learned. There is positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when a stimulus is reinforced after a behavior. This then trains our brains to want to do that action again. Negative reinforcement is when an action stops or avoids something unpleasant, then that action is likely to occur again.

Both the Cognitive View and the Behavioral Approach are very important for teaching because they are the most proven ways to teach/learn something. I know I will apply these methods to my instruction, but the trick will be when to use what approach. But these approaches do have their limitations, and knowing those limitations can be the deciding factor of how one will teach. With Behaviorism, some psychologists believe that positive reinforcement will “cause students to lose interest in learning for it’s own sake”(Woolfolk, 302). Doing this could potentially make a student who is genuinely interested in a topic become uninterested at the end of the reward system.

As for the table to see who’s views of learning I would most likely emulate- I would have to say Piaget’s Constructivism. I really like how this view really challenges the student to contemplate the topic at hand to have a complete understanding of it. I think when someone has a complete understanding of something, it become’s much more useful for a much wider range of venues for the students future. And I like how much it make’s the student really work for the goal of achieving understanding, because I’ve always found this learning to be the most satisfying and self rewarding once learned. Since I have had great experiences with this type of teaching, I think it would be very smart to utilize when necessary.



Woolfolk, Anita. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition, 12th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education Inc.


Leave a Reply