Learning Theories and Formational Practice

EDU525 │ Elective Subject │ 10 credit points


This subject provides opportunities for practicing teachers to revisit learning theories that were likely studies in their pre-service studies of education. Beginning with the early ideas of Plato, emerging understandings of learning and the development of knowledge are explored: from the observations and techniques of behaviourism to constructivist and connectivist approaches. Learning theories are considered for their contribution to educational decision-making and practice, and critiqued through a Biblical worldview lens. Additionally, the theoretical basis and educational implications of theories of learner diversity, including Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and a sample of learning styles theories, are evaluated. Students engage in classroom-based practitioner action research to investigate how insights from one or more learning theories can inform shape and suggest answers to questions about the impact of their actions and choices on their students’ learning.


EDU400/400a Biblical Foundations of Education and EDU501/501a Worldviews and Educational Practice

Teaching methods

Online Semester
Directed online learning and independent learning

Learning outcomes

Student who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  1. Identify and compare the main features of a range of significant learning theories, including theories of learner diversity.
  2. Integrate insights from a range of learning theories in a coherent view of learning that aligns with the school’s vision and priorities, and the student’s own articulated beliefs and values.
  3. Critically evaluate learning theories for their consistency with a biblical worldview.
  4. Apply and evaluate concepts from theory through classroom based action research as a way of developing practical strategies for more effective teaching and learning.


Ethnographic Interview Report25%
Classroom Action Research Report50%
Comparative Narrative25%

Subject content

  1. Basic action research for practicing teachers.
  2. An overview of learning theories.
  3. Views of learning from the works of Christian authors
  4. Behaviourist learning theories.
  5. Theories of meaning and experience in learning.
  6. Theories from Neuroscience.
  7. Multiple Intelligences.
  8. Learning styles.
  9. Developing an integral approach.

Prescribed text and reading materials

Frontier, T. (2021). Teaching with clarity: How to prioritise and do less so students understand more. ASCD.

A list of reading materials will be available in the Subject Outline on eLearning Portal.