The Psychology of Learning


The psychology of learning is concerned with the various types of learning and the reasons and causes that allow learning to occur. Five distinct theories deriving from the psychology of learning are: kinesthetic learning, constructionist learning, memory consolidation, collaborative learning and multimedia learning.

Kinesthetic Learning

  • Participating in activities meant to be learned as opposed to being told how to perform an activity is kinesthetic learning. Kinesthetic learning incorporates both physiological and cognitive processes facilitating internalizing new knowledge for later recall (learning). For example, seemingly simple tasks involving common physiological motions at one point had to be learned kinesthetically: making a sandwich, tying your shoes or typing involved a direct interaction with an object and a series of proactive requirements, consciously completed, in a particular order prior any automation.

Constructionist Learning

  • Assimilating, restructuring and incorporating new information into prior knowledge involves a constructionist learning process. Furthermore, constructionist learning involves learning specific to how knowledge is relevant and therefore how it can be connected to prior insight. For example, constructionist learning is expressed when an individual brings public speaking skills acquired from years of church participation into the corporate world assisting in presenting alternative business models to an employer. This cross-pollination of talent allows prior speaking skills to assimilate into new environments acting as a basis for achieving competence in new areas.

Memory Consolidation

  • Memory consolidation is a process when knowledge is internalized, stabilized and isolated for later recall. Furthermore, memory consolidation is a dual process involving: (1) knowledge consolidating into declarative memory, which is assessable through conscious exertion, and (2) over a span of years becomes tacit knowledge that is assessable unconsciously, automatically and fully internalized. For example, presenting facts regarding how to ride a bike is declarative knowledge; riding a bike is a manifestation of tacit knowledge.

Collaborative Learning

  • Working to cultivate skills as a team, group or social setting; collectively participating toward a common theme is collaborative learning. Leaning resulting through an act of cooperation and agenda sharing are main characteristics that set collaborative learning apart from other types of learning styles. For example, teachers assigning students to write a 5,000-word essay to divide, among themselves, portions of the essays to be completed individually but part of a net-sum collaborative effort is collaborative learning.

Multimedia Learning

  • Knowledge restructured into an audio-visual narrative presentation to facilitate learning involves multimedia learning. For example, reasoning, deductive logical and inferring strategies performed by a student when investing the meaning of a video documentary is a multimedia experience. Furthermore, the psychology of learning is concerned with how multimedia learning recruits various cognitive processes involved in how learning itself is achieved.

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