Still Thinking About Deeper Learning

This post continues the theme that has appeared previously in my blog… see the embedded posts at the bottom on the page.

Behaviorism is only one concepts of how learning occurs, and many cognitive and learning scientists concur it does not accurately explain and predict most of what happens in schools and classrooms. Cognitive psychology and social constructivist theory are the psychologies that better describe human learning than behaviorism, but Harris and Williams (2016) suggested cognitivism was marginalized “as interesting theory but not one that could be operationalized with a high degree of confidence in its efficacy, despite the fact that it was, though not in name, the underpinning theory of learning during most pre-Industrial periods” (p. 13).

Deeper learning is grounded in cognitive, constructivist, social constructivist, and connectionist theories of learning. Cognitive psychology posits motivation, problem solving, and reflection are factors affecting learning. Constructivist psychology posit learning occurs through the active interpretation, integration, and meaning making of information and ideas; social constructivism extends this to include interaction with others as an essential part of learning. Connectionists posit knowledge is stored both in one’s brain and in the network of tools and people the learner can bring to a problem.  


Harris, P., & Walling, D. R. (2016). Redefining learning: A neurocognitive approach. In M. J. Spector, B. B. Lockee, & M. D. Childress (Eds.), Learning, Design, and Technology (pp. 1–52). Routledge.