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reers in order to deepen understanding and increase the likelihood of retainment. At younger ages, or lower stages of cognitive development, the information given is more basic, but as the same topic is reached again in later years, there is more scope to deepen that knowledge as students will already have a good grounding. He states that in order to fulfil learning potential, “A curriculum as it develops should revisit these basic ideas repeatedly, building upon them until the Student has grasped the full formal apparatus that goes with them” (Bruner, 1960 p13). Bruner also advocated for discovery learning, giving a geographical example of children who were taught reasons in which settlements developed in certain places, due to topography, water supply, fertile soils, and then given a physical map of the United States of America and asked to propose the possible locations of cities. Discussion between the pupils led to some accurate suggestions, backed up by sound reasoning, for where cities were likely to expand. Bruner points out the different ways in which pupils of different ages experience the world, through the example of bouncing a ball against a wall. How the child analyses that action depends on the age of the child, with young children being unable to equate the angle at which the ball hits the wall with the angle at which it moves away, a hypothesis which comes easily to older children (Bruner 1960). Bruner relates this directly to Piaget’s work on the intellectual stages of child development. The point of learning theory is to discover the best ways in which to help children learn, whether this is through behaviourist, cognitivist, or other means, such as humanistic theories. While humanist theories have not been discussed here, they are important to note as being one of the other major works into learning theories, and centre on work by psychologists such as Maslow and Rogers, who believe that students will learn best when given free agency and choice over what and how they study, and when their other needs (such as hunger, warmth, and a sense of belonging) are met. Behaviourist tend to focus on the environment which is external to the child, to see how alterations can affect change in how a person or animal learns, while cognitivist theorists look instead at aspects intrinsic to child development and memory to predict what a pupil may be able to learn at each stage of their education (Weegar and Pacis, 2012). Proponents of behaviourist theory tend to put forward that learning is passive, and that the mind of the individual is not really as important as the environment in which learning takes place. Skinner stated that all learning could be measured through changes in the behaviour of the subject (Weegar and Pacis, 2012). Cognitivists put a much higher emphasis on the importance of experience, prior learning and the ability to fit new knowledge amongst the student’s existing ideas about how the world works. Constructivism is a branch of cognitivist thought which places great importance on social inte
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