The great thing about blogs is that even though it seems like two people are having a discussion, others can join in. As Stephen Downes and I have been exchanging talking points about the various schools of educational thought, Bill Kerr has added a number of ideas and insights to the discussion as well and then took it one step further and created a summary on the discussion called _isms as filter, not blinker. It is a good post and I suggest you take a look.
Bill Kerr then added his own insights and a comment that I find resonates with me:
It seems to me that each _ism is offering something useful without any of them being complete or stand alone in their own right
I couldn’t agree more. We need to take pieces from each school of thought and apply it effectively because…Cognitivism doesn’t explain 100% how humans process information and neither does Constructivism or Behaviorism. What we need to is take the best from each philosophy and use it wisely to create solid educational experiences for our learners.
So the next question you ask is “What is the best, how do we know what makes sense or what doesn’t?” I suggest that lower level learning (lower cognitive load) requires a behaviorist approach (memorize, recognizing, labeling) as does the expectation of outcomes that must be measured. I then suggest that procedural and rule-based learning requires an emphasis on Cognitivism and finally, problem-solving, collaboration and creativity require a view of Constructivism.
The issue many forget is that “learning” is not one thing…it is a multi-layered word that tends to get treated as if it were just one thing…and it’s not. It is multi-facetted and that is why developing new models for “learning” is so difficult…there are too many levels for one school of thought or one model to do it all.