Learning and Teaching

  • David Fontana
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series


Learning can be defined as a ‘relatively persistent change in an individual’s possible behaviour due to experience’. It is thus clearly distinguished from those changes in behaviour which come about as a consequence of maturation (i.e. as a consequence of the individual’s physical growth and development). Learning can take place either as a result of informal circumstances (e.g. parent-child relationships, interaction with friends and with the mass media), or as a result of the formal efforts of society to educate its members through schools and academic institutions. Though both are important our main concern is with the latter: that is, with the ways in which the teacher or the tutor can best monitor and assist learning within the class or lecture room.


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Annotated reading

  1. Bigge, L. (1976) Learning Theories for Teachers (3rd edn). New York: Harper & Row. One of the best and most comprehensive surveys of learning theories and their application to teaching.Google Scholar
  2. Hintzman, L. (1978) The Psychology of Learning and Memory. San Francisco: Freeman. A good choice for those who want to take their study of learning theories rather further, and examine their relationship to memory.Google Scholar
  3. Marjoribanks, K. (1979) Families and Their Learning Environments. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. A thorough and scholarly survey of the research into the relationship between intelligence, personality, family variables and learning.Google Scholar
  4. Fontana, D. (1977) Personality and Education. London: Open Books. A more general discussion, with an examination of the implications for the teacher.Google Scholar
  5. Hunter, I. M. L. (1964), ‘Memory’ (rev. edn), Harmondsworth: Pelican. Difficult to beat as an examination of all aspects of memory.Google Scholar
  6. Klatsky, R.L. (1975) Human Memory. San Francisco: Freeman. Gives a more up-to-date picture than Hunter’s book.Google Scholar
  7. Rowntree, D. (1976) Learn How to Study. Harmondsworth: Pelican.Google Scholar
  8. Mace, C.A. (1968) The Psychology of Study (rev. edn). London: MacDonald. Both of these are among the good books currently available on study habits, and are highly recommended.Google Scholar
  9. Gronlund, N.E. (1978). Stating Objectives of Classroom Instruction (2nd edn). London: Collier Macmillan. One of the best short books on the writing of educational objectives. It also has something useful to say on the construction of objective tests.Google Scholar
  10. Vernon, P.E. (1964) An Introduction to Objective-type Examinations. London: Schools Council Examinations Bulletin No. 4. One of the most valuable short introductions to the subject.Google Scholar
  11. Gagné, R.M. (1975) Essentials of Learning for Instruction. Hinsdale, Illinois: Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gagné, R. M. (1977) The Conditions of Learning (3rd edn). London: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Good introductions to Gagné’s work.Google Scholar
  13. Jones, R.M. (1972) Fantasy and Feeling in Education. Harmondsworth: Penguin. A good discussion of Bruner’s ideas within the practical classroom context.Google Scholar
  14. Taylor, J.L. and Walford, R. (1972) Simulation in the Classroom. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Simulation exercises are comprehensively explained, with examples.Google Scholar
  15. Rowntree, D. (1974) Educational Technology in Curriculum Development. London: Harper & Row. The best approach to programmed learning and the whole field of educational technology.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Fontana

There are no affiliations available

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