Learning Theories and Leadership

 The theory asserts that students learn from the environment particularly through conditioning (Steffens, 2015). It asserts that learning purely relies on impacts associated with interacting with the environment. Primarily, the children in the learning process develop knowledge through their interpretation and interaction with the environment as they attempt to generate solutions to challenges experienced in the environment interaction process.  Importantly, the source of knowledge for the learners could relate with either natural response to recurring events or be based on either encouraged or discouraged response to a desirable on non-desirable response to the environmental stimuli (Yau, 2018). The theory as such purports that the learning process remains significantly influenced by the environment. In a similar manner, teachers could influence the learning environment by making it favorable to teach desirable outcomes and discourage undesirable behaviors. An example of behavioral learning theory would be an instance where the teacher rewards or provides an incentive for the practice of desirable behavior.  

On the other hand, the cognitive theory asserts that the learning process involves reason and thought and merely a response to stimuli (Chen, Woolcott & Sweller, 2017). The theory as well provides that the earning process demands the mirroring of new ideas and information with existing one and attempting to relate. As such, the learning process (i.e. acquisition of new knowledge) involves response and analysis of indicators which aid in generating knowledge. As such, the learning process significantly relies on the input of the learner in creating value and understanding of the new information and knowledge (Chen, Woolcott & Sweller, 2017). Collectively, the theory associates acquisition of new knowledge with reflection with existing ideas and as such involving replication and modification of existing knowledge. An example of the learning theory involves the use of images in problem-solving. 

Constructivism theory, on the other hand, asserts that the learning process involves the learners acquire knowledge through personal judgments (based on reason), and inspired by their respective experiences (Steffens, 2015). The theory as such associates learning with the use of stimuli and reason for acquiring new ideas and knowledge. Due to the diversified experiences, learners tend to have various opinions in making decisions and also opinions. However, a significant knowledge base is required for effective decision making and acquiring news skills among learners (Yau, 2018). Similarly, the teachers, perceived the leaders in the learning process play a critical role in directing the learning process by choosing the learning theory for the learners at various developmental stages subject to their intellectual abilities and desired outcomes. 

Various leadership theories similarly influence the success of the implementation of the learning theories and philosophies (Fuller, 2019). For instance, the formative leadership theory encourages and embraces teachers taking responsibility and ownership of their task in leading learners towards acquiring new information, skills, and knowledge. The theory as well as demands that the leaders of teachers, i.e. the principals ought to cohesively and aggressively possess leadership skills supporting and empowering the teachers. Again, such leadership as illustrated through transformative leadership encourages creativity and innovation among both learners and teachers (Fuller, 2019). Collectively, it is critical for the teachers and educators to own their task and apply appropriate leadership understanding in the insemination of knowledge to the learners.


Chen, O., Woolcott, G., & Sweller, J. (2017). Using cognitive load theory to structure computer-based learning including MOOCs. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33(4), 293-305. doi:10.1111/jcal.12188

Fuller, M. B. (2019). Transformational and Change Leadership Theories in Higher Education Assessment. Leadership of Higher Education Assessment, 122-150. doi:10.4324/9781351181006-5

Steffens, K. (2015). Competences, Learning Theories and MOOCs: Recent Developments in Lifelong Learning. European Journal of Education, 50(1), 41-59. doi:10.1111/ejed.12102

Yau, C. N. (2018). The Leadership Role of Instrumental Teachers in Students’ Career Development. Leadership and Musician Development in Higher Music Education, 149-166. doi:10.4324/9780429503924-12

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