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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Education Department
Course Prefix and Number: EDUC 560
Course Title: Theories of Learning
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

The study of major learning theories including those proposed by Skinner, Pavlov, Bandura, Piaget, and Vygotsky.  Current and historical research into the application of learning theory to instruction and assessment is examined. Includes a 15-hour field experience. Students must complete the Field Experience Application at least one semester prior to taking this course. $40 lab fee. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following:

Our Minds, Our Memories: Enhancing Thinking & Learning at all Ages
By Ormrod, J.E. (Pearson)
Psychology of Learning for Instruction
By Driscoll, M.P. (Pearson)
Psychology Applied to Teaching
By Snowman, J., McCown, R., Biehler, R. (Houghton-Mifflin)
Human Learning
By Ormrod, J. E. (Pearson)
Course Objectives

MOSPE Standards: 2, 4, 8

  • To understand and evaluate the major psychological learning theories and their derivative instructional models.
  • To understand contemporary thinking about human brain structure and function and the implications for how people learn.
  • To understand the role of child and adolescent development in the learning process.
  • To understand the role of social and cultural factors in the learning process.
  • To unmderstand and analyze human learning theory as it applies to instruction and assessment.
Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • A well-defined and articulated Philosophy of Learning paper will serve as a benchmark for the certification portfolio.
  • Identify and describe the key components of the major learning theories and their instructional derivatives.
  • Compare and contrast the major learning theories.
  • Evaluate the appropriate application of specific learning theories to instruction based on intended instructional outcomes.
  • Develop lesson objectives and plans using different learning theory orientations.
  • Describe differing perspectives within learning theories on learner diversity, such as intelligence, academic readiness, motivation, and social and economic backgrounds.
Topical Outline:
  • The teacher as scientist and practitioner
  • Misconceptions about how people learn
  • The history of the study of human learning and development
  • Behavior and Social Cognitive learning theories
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Cognitive Constructivism
  • Human brain structure and function - the biology of learning
  • Remembering and forgetting
  • Intelligence
  • Motivation
  • Creative & critical thinking
  • Enhancing habits of mind
  • Creating environments conducive to learning
  • Social Constructivism

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Paul Hanna Date: October 31, 2012
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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