Not Behaving like a Social Constructivist

Posted by on Jan 14, 2012 in Learning Theories | 0 comments

Recently I’ve come across two interesting learning sites.

One called Memrise.com which helps learners acquire vocabulary in over 200 languages. Increasing vocabulary is compared with the lifecycle of a plant that grows from seed to flower. The other site is Codeacademy.com which helps nascent programmers like myself (tongue firmly planted in my cheek!) to gain the basics of Javascript.

Both sites give learners a safe place to acquire information which builds on previous sessions. More interesting is that learners access this learning in isolation. Both seem to have an underpinning behaviourist pedagogy which reinforces positive behaviour (learning success) with the reward of a flowering plant or points for Memrise and Code Academy respectively. The behaviourist approach is a departure from the increasingly popular pedagogy of social constructivism which describes effective learning as primarily involving collaboration.

Two things stand out, the first is that they are both in their own way effective and secondly, perhaps more importantly they are both fun. It seems that behaviourism still has a lot to offer, let’s not discard it yet!

 

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