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Understanding and Using Educational Theories

Understanding and Using Educational Theories

November 2015 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

" I expect that this book will equip and inspire students to engage first-hand with the texts of these creative and influential educational writers."-David Aldridge, Programme Lead: Professional Education, Oxford Brookes University  

If you’re training to teach or studying education a clear understanding of major educational theories and the thinkers behind them is essential in order to appreciate how different practices impact on learning.

This textbook gives you a clear overview of the most influential twentieth and twenty-first century thinkers on education, including established names (including Vygotsky, Bruner, Dewey), more recent writers (such as Freire, Kolb, Claxton) and many other important theorists whose writings have helped shaped our views on teaching and learning.

Each chapter includes:

  • Practical examples showing how theories can be used to inform classroom teaching
  • Critiques of each theorist exploring opposing viewpoints and the strengths and weaknesses of different ideas
  • Reflective tasks inviting you to apply what you’ve read to your own educational experiences

Did you know about the exciting new companion title?
Take students to the next level in learning theories - take a look at companion title Understanding and Using Challenging Educational Theories

John Dewey: A democratic notion of learning
Maria Montessori: Liberating the child
Jean Piaget: Understanding the mind of the child
Lev Vygotsky: An early social constructivist viewpoint
B.F. Skinner: The father of operant conditioning
Benjamin Bloom: Learning through taxonomies
Malcolm S. Knowles: Contextualising adult learning
Jerome Bruner: An evolution of learning theories
Urie Bronfenbrenner: The ecology of human development
Paulo Freire: Oppression, freedom and critical approaches to education
Donald Schön: Reflection and learning
David Kolb: Experiential Learning Theory
Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger: Socially situated learning and communities of practice
Guy Claxton: Learning power

The chapters are accessibly written and accurate, serving to set the selected thinkers in context and draw the student’s attention to key themes.  I expect that this book will equip and inspire students to engage first-hand with the texts of these creative and influential educational writers.

David Aldridge
Programme Lead: Professional Education, Oxford Brookes University

Accessible, broad introduction for teachers and trainee teachers to be able to dip into (or read through) to understand educational theory & theorists and their contexts. An essential for all interested in educational theory.

Professor Kerry Scattergood
Adult and Communication Skills, Solihull College & University Centre
July 11, 2018

An excellent introduction to educational theories and their major proponents.

Dr Irenie Lowry
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
November 1, 2017

This book represents a clear introductory text to a range of educational theory. They provide entry-level access to key ideas, critique and links to other theories. The further reading suggestions are also helpful for students who wish to engage more deeply with the theorists.

Ms Ruth Hunt
CASS School of Education & Communities, University of East London
October 3, 2017

This book covers early years, school and adults contexts with the inclusion of early theorists such as Dewey to more contemporary theorists like Claxton. The book contains a summary of each theory together with a critique and practical ideas to apply the theory to the classroom. This is a useful book that encourages reflection and the application of theory to practice. It will be adopted for our reading list.

Mr David Andrews
Education, Loughborough College
August 1, 2017

fantastic book for learners to be able to digest knowledge about a variety of theorists at a level that is understandable to them.
It is broken down into sections which are clearly labelled and accessible for a variety of levels.

Miss Abi Ackerman
Health, Care and Early Years, Yeovil College
July 5, 2017

This is a very accessible text which provides a clear overview of core educational theories. Undergraduates will find this particularly useful when trying to categorise and compare educational concepts.

Ms Lorraine Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
April 3, 2017

This book provides practitioners and student teachers with a good overview as to key theories and theorists, as well as outlining how the those elements might be implemented within practice. We wholly recommend this book for use by our initial teacher trainees from the outset of their course.

Miss Lynne Sanders
Education , Manchester College of Arts & Techn.
December 7, 2016

Very specific to the course content for the course. Supports students understanding of complex ideas well

Ms Babs Anderson
Education Studies, Liverpool Hope University
October 19, 2016

The book gives a concise guide to some of the most relevant educational theories, providing background to the theorist and notes on critiquing and using the theory in practice. This book allows the student to explore further the educational theories that are relevant to their teaching practice and to enable them to begin to embed educational theory into their own teaching practice. The book also provides an excellent reference for their continued professional development as teachers.

Mrs Vikki Foley
Faculty of Health, Keele University
October 11, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1. John Dewey: A democratic notion of learning

Preview this book

Karl Aubrey

Karl Aubrey is a Senior Lecturer on the Applied Studies in Education programmes, as well as a tutor with post graduate students, at Bishop Grosseteste University. Prior to this Karl was the Programme Leader for a range of initial teacher education and professional development programmes at a large city Further Education college. Between 2003 and 2005 he was seconded to the DfES Standards Unit as a learning and teaching practitioner in the East Midlands. Karl has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of Education and has collaborated with colleagues to publish a number of journal articles. His doctoral thesis explored the reforms in Further... More About Author

Alison Riley

Alison Riley is the Academic Co-ordinator for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree at Bishop Grosseteste University, she has also worked on a number of educational related programmes at the University including ITT courses. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University Alison spent 16 years working in Primary Education, as a classroom teacher, deputy head teacher and finally head teacher of a large junior school. Alison has been involved in a number of collaborative projects, and has recently been involved in an EU Funded project researching ‘Creativity in Early Science and Mathematics Education’. Alison has recently commenced... More About Author

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