Friday, September 7, 2012

What are the Conditions of Learning?

Note: The original version of this post was written for my other blog, The Learning Museum.
I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
Albert Einstein

In this post, we explore the learning theory developed by Brian Cambourne from his research on language acquisition in natural settings. His book, The Whole Story: Natural Learning and the Acquisition of Literacy, introduced the idea that certain conditions were necessary in order for us to learn language. These conditions were further explored in this articleToward an educationally relevant theory of literacy learning: Twenty years of inquiry. In both the book and the article, Cambourne describes the eight Conditions of Learning in detail. Below is a figure from the article representing the relationships that exist between the Conditions.

From Toward an educationally relevant theory of literacy learning
Cambourne's work focused on applying these Conditions to literacy instructions. Others, have sought to consider their application in other learning environments. Edmunds and Stoessiger wrote a book and article about their efforts to apply the Conditions to mathematics. Jan Turbill's doctoral research examined the use of the Conditions in teacher inservice. ReLeah Cosset Lent wrote Engaging Adolescent Learners: A Guide for Content-Area Learners using the Conditions as a framework.
From Engaging Adolescent Learners
And I wrote a guess blog post on how I used the Condition to learn to Tweet.
How do the Conditions of Learning fit into your practice?

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