informal theme

Discovery Learning and Thorndike's Theory of Connectionism compared

In my readings, Discovery Learning Theory is very much like Constructivism Approach in which humans construct meaning from current knowledge structures. Discover y Learning is that of a constructivist while Thorndike’s Theory of Connectionism touches lightly with that of a behaviorist because of the need for repetition. However, they are closely related to because both theories promote the need for the learner to be connected with the topic through previous interactions or experiences. They need an element in the lesson in which they can relate to—so basically, contextualization of the lessons is a prerequisite. Here are the details of my readings:

Discovery Learning Theory

Thorndike’s Connectionism Theory

-It views each learner as a unique individual with unique needs and backgrounds.

-The learner is also seen as complex and multidimensional.

- It values developmentally-appropriate facilitator-supported learning that is initiated and directed by the learner.

-It actually encourages, utilizes and rewards it as an integral part of the learning process

-Discover Learning encourages the learner to arrive at his or her own version of the truth, influenced by his or her background, culture or embedded worldview. Without the social interaction with other more knowledgeable people, it is impossible to acquire social meaning of important symbol systems and learn how to utilize them.

-the responsibility of learning should reside increasingly with the learner: Learners construct their own understanding and that they do not simply mirror and reflect what they read. Learners look for meaning and will try to find regularity and order in the events of the world even in the absence of full or complete information.

-Instructor’s Role: Instructors have to adapt to the role of facilitators and not teachers. A facilitator helps the learner to get to his or her own understanding of the content. A teacher tells, a facilitator asks; a teacher lectures from the front, a facilitator supports from the back; a teacher gives answers according to a set curriculum, a facilitator provides guidelines and creates the environment for the learner to arrive at his or her own conclusions; a teacher mostly gives a monologue, a facilitator is in continuous dialogue with the learners

-believes that Knowledge is thus a product of humans and is socially and culturally constructed; Knowledge should be discovered as an integrated whole

- stresses the need for collaboration among learners, in direct contradiction to traditional competitive approaches.

-Learning is contextualized: A constructivist learning intervention is thus an intervention where contextualised activities (tasks) are used to provide learners with an opportunity to discover and collaboratively construct meaning as the intervention unfolds. Learners are respected as unique individuals, and instructors act as facilitators rather than as teachers.

-involves engaging and challenging the learner

The learning theory of Thorndike represents the original S-R framework of behavioral psychology: Learning is the result of associations forming between stimuli and responses.

- associations or "habits" become strengthened or weakened by the nature and frequency of the S-R pairings

- The hallmark of connectionism (like all behavioral theory) was that learning could be adequately explained without refering to any unobservable internal states.

Three Primary Laws:

1) Law of effect - responses to a situation which are followed by a rewarding state of affairs will be strengthened and become habitual responses to that situation

2) Law of readiness - a series of responses can be chained together to satisfy some goal which will result in annoyance if blocked

3) Law of exercise - connections become strengthened with practice and weakened when practice is discontinued.


- suggests that transfer of learning depends upon the presence of identical elements in the original and new learning situations

- the concept of "belongingness" was introduced; connections are more readily established if the person perceives that stimuli or responses go together


Learning requires both practice and rewards (laws of effect /exercise)

A series of S-R connections can be chained together if they belong to the same action sequence (law of readiness).

Transfer of learning occurs because of previously encountered situations.

Intelligence is a function of the number of connections learned.


read the runes

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog




return some love : )

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

Blog Archive

God-moments =)

keep seeking

Custom Search

PI and beyond!

free counters