Many adults (and some children), especially those who are teachers and professors, will have heard of characters such as Piaget, Vigotsky, Gestalt … and all these names belong to prominent figures in the world of education due to the formulation of their theories and their novelty at the time they were published. Theories that, even today, continue to be key in the vision we have of the current educational panorama and of how education affects the development of the youngest.


educación teorías


It is true that all educational theories are not as famous as the one formulated by Piaget, but they all enjoy their importance, so it is essential to know them all, especially for those who are dedicating their training and work development to the educational world. That is why in this article we have wanted to elaborate a summary with some of the most important educational theories, in order that anyone who needs it can get a basic and simple idea of which are the most prominent characters around the world of education and which ones should not be overlooked in teaching.

Learning theories always pose paradigm shifts in traditional educational methods , and they all tend to have in common their significant contribution to the way of educating others, of obtaining results and of being able to interpret them. It is worth understanding the different currents that have dominated our time on this issue in order to apply in the classroom the theory that best suits our convictions and / or test results with the most convenient.


Don’t miss the main features of each theory below!



Characteristics of the main learning theories


  • Theory of perceptual restructuring

Perceptual restructuring is a theory formulated by Gestalt, from which it is stated that the person who learns responds to their environment by being motivated by a problematic situation. According to this theory, the role of the teacher is to guide the behavior that motivates the student to solve the problematic situation presented. In this case, learning is given by a brusque understanding of reality, that is why the educational tools must be aimed at solving the problem and the evaluation is practical, aimed at the concrete result of having solved the problem.


  • Theory of genetic constructivism

Genetic constructivism is a theory proposed by Piaget where it is stated that the learner is in a constant process of development and adaptation. According to this theory, the human being goes through different stages of development and in each stage the student is prepared only for a specific cognitive process. That is why the teacher should not force the student to learn knowledge that is not typical of his cognitive stage. Each new knowledge produces an imbalance in the student, which must find a way to restructure. In this theory the emphasis on evaluation is more on the process than on the result.


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  • Sociocultural theory

The greatest exponent of sociocultural theory is Vygotsky, who argues that the person who learns is not isolated , since he reconstructs knowledge inter-individual and, later, intra-individual. Intelligence occurs as a product of the socialization of the subject in his environment. The teacher, in this case, must act as a mediator guiding the knowledge of his students, and at the time of evaluation he must emphasize both the process and the product that the student contributes.


  • Meaningful learning theory

The theory of meaningful learning was presented by Ausubel, who proposed that the learner possesses a set of prior knowledge , concepts and ideas that are specific to the culture in which it operates, which is why general knowledge is built on prior knowledge. The teacher, consequently, must investigate the knowledge that motivates his students and use pedagogical tools that allow the linking of new knowledge with previous ones.


Many teachers and education experts consider that one learning theory does not have to override another, and that they can complement each other, but the debate remains open. And you, what do you think about it and what theory, if you do, do you apply to your classroom?

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