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H809: Activity 7.1 Timelines, theory and technologies

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Time

The Study of Learning

British Social / political events

Impact on E-learning practice

1950

Behaviourism: All behaviour caused by external stimuli (operant conditioning). All behaviour can be explained without the need to consider internal mental states or consciousness.

Skinner

Edward Thorndike

Tolman

Guthrie

Hull

 

1953 Queen Elizabeth II crowned

 

 

 

 

1960 Birth control pill on sale

1960s Decolonisation

1955

1960

1965

Phase one - 1965-1979: Mainframe systems

Predominant pedagogical emphasis is instructional, behaviourist. Research is concerned with navigational issues.

1970

Cognitivism: New cognitive frameworks of learning emerging in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Cognitive theories look beyond behaviour to explain brain-based learning. Cognitivists consider how human memory works to promote learning.

1973 Britain joins EEC

 

 

1975 N. Sea Oil

1978 first in vitro fertilisation

1975

1980

1980s Concern over ozone layer

1981 Thatcher gov. starts privatisation

1982 Falklands war

Phase two - 1980-1989: Stand-alone systems:

Increased activity in terms of multimedia functionality but still content driven and focused on the interactive tutorial paradigm

1985

1990

Constructivism:

Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. The learner is not a blank slate (tabula rasa) but brings past experiences and cultural factors to a situation.

Vygotsky

Piaget

Dewey

Vico

Rorty

Bruner

1991 Liberation of Kuwait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1993 Peace proposal for N. Ireland

 

 

1994 Chunnel built

Phase three - 1990-2000: Networking technologies:

Beginning to see more emphasis on the wider contextual issues (skills, strategy, importance of embedding and integration). Also a shift away from the emphasis on the individual to the concept of situated learning

1995

Social Constructivism: Suggests that knowledge is first constructed in a social context and is then appropriated by individuals.

Vygotsky

Bruning et al., 1999

M. Cole, 1991

Eggan & Kauchak, 2004

Brown et al.1989 Ackerman 1996

Kukla (2000)

 

 

1997 Referendum for more autonomy for Wales/Scotland

A move to more holistic and joined-up thinking. Evidence of more linking of development to strategy and policy

2000

 

2003 Iraq war

2004 only 18% of economy is manufacturing

2004 Low unemployment at 4.7%

2008 Financial Crisis

Phase four - 2000-present: Politicisation and systematisation:

Pedagogy shifted away from individual learner to collaboration, communication and the notion of communities of practice

2005

2010

After: Conole, G., Smith, J. and White, S. (2007) 'A critique of the impact of policy and funding' in Conole, G. and Oliver, M. (eds) Contemporary Perspectives on E-learning Research, London, RoutledgeFalmer.

Added facts from:

http://www.learning-theories.com/cognitivism.html

Wikipedia

http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/british.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/1038820.stm

 

I designed a table comparing the social and political history of the UK with learning theories and e-learning practice (based on the Conole et al. (2007) timeline).

Looking at this table I can see a growing awareness of the importance of self-determination from 1950-1990 with a lessening of control as de-colonisation is mirrored by a move from behaviourism to cognitive theories where learning is located in the individual rather than imposed by the teacher. At this point e-learning practice is lagging behind with its concentration on behaviourist principles although functionality is improving.

Between 1990 and 1995 this concentration in individuals continues but is based more in context as Kuwait is liberated and the peace process in N. Ireland is started. Co-operation is beginning to show its effects as Britain becomes more involved in the European Union and the Chunnel is constructed. In educational research there is a rise of constructivism with its awareness of cultural history and this is also becoming a part of educational practice.

Moving towards the present, we see a concentration on autonomy with the referenda for Wales and Scotland and the stated aims of the Iraq war being to encourage self-determination and democracy. The current situation in Libya is another example of minimal interference to protect people in context and allow them to determine their own future. This social context is again mirrored by the research concepts of social constructivism and the educational practice of communities of practice.

 

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