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Teaching and Learning Researched-Based Models

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
These seven principles, by Chickering and Gamson, were the result of a large metastudy of educational research.

How People Learn
Bransford, J. (2002) How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
A product of the National Research Council.
This book summarizes recent research from many fields (for example, cognitive psychology, learning and transfer, social psychology, neuroscience) and makes recommendations for the design of effective learning environments. It's considered a fundamental publication in its field.

The first edition of this book is online at
See this one-paged tabular summary of findings, implications, and actions.

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy
Bloom's Taxonomy is a cognitive taxonomy. It used to develop objectives and especially to decide the learning skills expected in learning activities and assessment. The Taxonomy has been recently revised. The following resources all describe the revised version.

Bloom's Taxonomy (Mary Forehand, University of Georgia) - Extensive site with sections on history, comparison of the original and revised, and more.
Revised Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Levels (NC State) - Includes a table with verbs, sample assignments, and activities for each level.
Critical and Creative Thinking - Bloom's Taxonomy

Models for Stages of Cognitive Development

King and Kitchener's Reflective Learning Stages
King, P.M. and Kitchener, K.S. (1994) Developing Reflective Judgment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
King and Kitchener developed a seven-stage model based on extensive work with students. These seven stages fall into three categories: pre-reflective, quasi-reflective, and reflective. In their book, they discuss what thinking looks like, the challenges students face, and suggest learning activities that will challenge students at each stage.

It is likely that your students will be a varying stages in this model. Also, an individual student is likely to be at more than one stage about different material. If you can identify the stage at which a student is operating, it may be easier to see past what might be considered resistant behavior and understand that this student is just speaking from a stage that is not consonant with the kind of learning activity you have assigned.

William Perry and Mary Belenky et al Models for Cognitive Development
For a summary of each model, see Richlin, L. (2006) Blueprint for Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Perry, W.G., Jr. (1979) Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Perry's model is older and is the result of studying Harvard males. He discusses four stages through which students progress.
•  Dualism in which students think knowledge is absolute.
•  Multiplicity in which students think that knowledge is a matter of opinion.
•  Relativism in which students come to understand that knowledge is contextual and some knowledge may be better than some other.
•  Commitment in which students develop a world view and become committed to that.

Belenky, M.F., Clinchy, B.M., Goldberger, N.R., & Terule, J.M. (1986) Women's Ways of Knowing. New York: Basic Books.
Belenky's model is newer and relates to women. She and her co-authors discuss five stages through which women progress.
•  Silence in which women have difficulty speaking and hearing.
•  Received knowing in which women believe that knowledge is absolute.
•  Subjective knowing in which women trust their beliefs about knowledge over that of others.
•  Procedural knowing in which women understand that knowledge must be gained via a process.
•  Constructed knowing in which women integrate subjective and objective knowing.

Brain research related to learning
Zull, J. (2002) The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

This book for the educator discusses the alignment between the results of cognitive and brain research.
It's three main points are:
•  There is an alignment between Kolb's four-part cycle of learning (experience, reflection, abstraction, and active testing) with the biology of the brain. (The cortex has sections that pick up sensory details, integrate with what we already know, work to problem-solve; and act with language and movement).
•  Fear mechanisms (amygdala) can inhibit learning; pleasure mechanisms can enable more firm cognitive connections.
•  The best way to teach is to help students link new information with knowledge that they already have.

See a summary article in the CWRU Magazine Summer 2004.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Page updated: 28-Sep-2011

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Office of Academic Programs
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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