Chapter 2: Approaches to Learning and Teaching

Study Guide Contents

Notes and Concepts



Chapter 2 continues a review of foundation concepts for teaching and learning. It provides an excellent overview of approaches to learning and teaching in classrooms that support a diverse student population. Topics include: operant learning and applied behavior analysis, cognitive strategy instruction, sociocultural theory of cognitive development, and information processing and schema theories. These learning models provide the basis for methods and strategies presented in later chapters.

Look for the following key concepts/ideas as you read:


  • operant learning and applied behavior analysis
  • increasing desirable behaviors through consequences
  • decreasing undesirable behaviors through consequences
  • stages of learning
  • cognitive strategy instruction
  • sociocultural theory of cognitive development
  • information processing and schema theories


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Part 2: Study Questions

Cognitive strategy instruction is designed to actively involve students in learning.


Read Chapter 2. Use the following questions to guide your reading and find meaning in this chapter:

  • List the principles of operant learning theory and the key concepts of reinforcement, shaping, modeling, Premack principle, contingencies, extinction, punishment, and time-out and their implications for teaching.
  • Identify strategies for increasing and decreasing behaviors and their implications for teaching.

  • Outline the levels of mastery or learning including entry, acquisition, proficiency, maintenance, generalization, and application.

  • Compare and contrast the principles of cognitive strategy instruction including the key features of strategy steps, modeling, self-regulation, verbalization, and reflective thinking

  • Describe the principles of a sociocultural theory of cognitive development including the key features of zone of proximal development, scaffolded instruction, modeling, thinking aloud, interactive dialogues, and the social nature of learning.

  • Explain the information processing theory including the processes of attention, perception, memory, and executive functioning

  • Analyze the interactive nature of these information processes, the important role that context and motivation play in learning, and their implications for teaching.

When you finish studying this chapter, please go to the class interactive pages and take the self test for Chapter 2.


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World Wide Web Resources



Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 2.
Vygotsky's Developmental Theories
This Website provides information on social constructivism.

Learning to Learn
This Website is for students, teachers, and researchers. It teaches the value of self-awareness as a critical part of learning.

Focus Adolescent Services
This Website includes resources, information, articles, and books on learning, teaching, education, and educational cognitive psychology.



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