Educational psychologists have developed theories of learning based on three main paradigms -- behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism. Behaviourists believe that the behaviour of learners is a response to their past, and behavioural modification is the main purpose of education. According to cognitivists, the behaviour of learners is the result of his/her cognition, and the main aim of education is to change the cognitive schemas. Constructivists, on the other hand, believe that learners construct their own knowledge, and the objective of education is to provide opportunities to gain knowledge. The understanding of how children acquire knowledge has influenced teaching-learning processes in the classroom significantly. The role of teachers has changed from the person imparting information to a person facilitating the construction of knowledge. Teaching science has also been influenced by the changing psychological ideas about teaching and learning. The information age that dawned in the 20th century necessitated the acquisition of information through informal modes like listening to the radio, watching television or surfing the world wide web. Developments in digital technology have, thus, changed the way students make meaning of given information. All these changes have forced the educationists to design appropriate methods of teaching and learning. A journey into the changes that learning theories have witnessed influencing the teaching of school science is outlined in this article.
Volume 25 | Issue 7