The ecology of interactive learning environments: Situating traditional theory
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In educational discourse on human learning (i.e. the result of experience) and development (i.e. the result of maturation), there are three fundamental theoretical frameworks, – behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, each of which have been applied, with varying degrees of success, in online environments. An ecological framework of human learning and development in interactive learning environments is proposed. Such an inclusive paradigm organizes the fundamental theoretical assumptions of behaviourism (i.e. automated learning), cognitivism (i.e. recall, understanding, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, creativity, problem solving) and constructivism (i.e. private and shared meaning). Based on review of the literature, behaviourism is best conceptualized as a learning theory; constructivist theoretical assumptions are best applied to cognitive development including private online experience (cognitive constructivism) and shared online experience (social constructivism). Cognitivism is a particularly relevant theoretical orientation in understanding both human learning and development in interactive learning environments.
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Interactive Learning Environments (2012), copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10494820.2011.649768">http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10494820.2011.649768</a>.
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