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“TOP TEN” February 4, 2010

Filed under: B. Education — netkinat @ 5:14 pm

  • The American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed in 1943 “A Theory of Human Motivation”. He has developed a theory of Humanism on the base of Hierarchy of Needs. He considered as the main levels that help to accomplish the higher potential goals:  physiological needs; safety needs; love and belongingness needs; esteem needs (personal, self-respect); self actualization needs. When I organize the training with our students and teachers, usually we discuss the meaning of his theory, in order to understand how to motivate our students and adult in learning, nonetheless, there are some limitations in the Hierarchy of Needs….(open this link)

  • Jean Piaget was born in 1896, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland called Neuchâtel. Jean Piaget was a Swiss biologist, philosopher, and psychologist best known for his work in the area of developmental psychology.  He proposed the Theory of Cognitive Development, as a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. He described the development of formal thought by stages: Sensor -motor stage (0-2 yrs), Preoperational stage (2-7 yrs), Concrete operations (7-11 yrs), and Formal operations (from 11-15 and up).,_Lev_Semionovich

The theory of Cognitive Development includes (Dualism/Received Knowledge; Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge; Relativism/Procedural Knowledge; Contextual Relativism; Commitment/ Constructed Knowledge)

  • Erik Erikson (1902-1994) was born in Frankfurt, Germany.  He developed a  Theory of Psychosocial Development. One of the main elements of Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory is the development of ego identity. Ego identity is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. In each stage, Erikson believed people experience a conflict that serves as a turning point in development.

There are 8 stages of psychosocial Development: Trust vs. Mistrust (birth-one year); Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (early childhood); Initiative vs. Guilt (preschool years) Industry vs. Inferiority (5-11 years old); Identity vs. Confusion (adolescence); Intimacy vs. Isolation (early adulthood); Generativity vs. Stagnation (adulthood); Integrity vs. Despair (old age)

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  • Sigmund Schlomo Freud was born May 6, 1856 in Freiberg, Moravia. Then located in the Austrian Empire, the region is now part of the Czech Republic. Sigmund Freud, physiologist, medical doctor, psychologist and father of psychoanalysis, was an influential thinker of the twentieth century. Freud elaborated the theory that the mind is a complex energy-system, the structural investigation of which is proper province of psychology. He articulated and refined the concepts of the unconscious, of infantile sexuality, of repression, and proposed a tripartite account of the mind’s structure, all as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic frame of reference for the understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of abnormal mental conditions. The theory of “The id, the ego, and the superego

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  • David A. Kolb (born 1939) is an American educational theorist whose interests and publications focus on experiential learning, the individual and social change, career development, and executive and professional education.

He developed the Learning style Model (1984) where he proposed the diagram with (Accommodator; Diverger;   Assimilator; Converger). His diagram presented a combination of learning styles: Accomodator (Doing and Feeling); Intuition rather than logic. People like to work in teams. Diverger (Feeling and watching); People prefer to work in groups, they are sensitive, and they have open mind and want to receive personal feedback. Assimilator (Watching and Thinking); Ideas are important for people. They prefer readings, lectures, and have time to think about the issues. Coverger (Thinking and doing). People can solve problems. They prefer technical tasks then interpersonal collaboration. Practical applications.

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  • Robert Kegan is a Professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard University.

Constructive developmental theory concerns itself with regular, progressive changes in how individuals make meaning or “know” epistemologically. People are seen as “active organizers of their experience” (Kegan, 1994, p. 29). Each stage or order of consciousness represents the set of common organizing principles that individuals use in constructing experience. Kegan (1982, 1994) outlined six stages, “balances,” or “order[s] of consciousness” in cognitive development, which, he indicates, affect all emotional and relational functioning.

The stages are the incorporative balance, in which reflexes are primary (Stage 0); the impulsive balance, in which knowing is only about one’s own immediate impulses (Stage 1); the imperial balance, in which the individual is aware of concrete and durable categories (Stage 2); the interpersonal balance, romanticism, or cross categorical knowing, in which abstractions and more mutual relationships become possible (Stage 3); the institutional balance or modernism, in which understanding of systems, greater autonomy become possible (Stage 4); and the inter individual balance or postmodernism, in which people become the directors and creators of systems, understanding how systems fit together meaningfully (Stage 5).

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Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949)  is a behaviorist. He  was an American psychologist who spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University (

Edward Thorndike is one of the great learning theorists of all time. In 1928 his classic study, Adult Learning, posited that the ability to learn did not decline until age 35, and then it declined only 1 percent per year, thus going against the grain of the time that “you can’t teach old dogs new trick”.

Principles of the Theory :

1. Learning requires both practice and rewards (laws of effect /exercise)

2. A series of S-R connections can be chained together if they belong to the same action sequence (law of readiness).

3. Transfer of learning occurs because of previously encountered situations.

4. Intelligence is a function of the number of connections learned. (

Summary of the Theory:

  • Dewey’s philosophy was called instrumentalism (related to pragmatism).
  • Instrumentalism believes that truth is an instrument used by human beings to solve their problems.
  • Since problems change, then so must truth.
  • Since problems change, truth changes, and therefore there can be no eternal reality.

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