My observation from the classroom demonstrated that true different learning theories we had in this three session such as behaviorism, cognitivism and considerativism all of them include strengths and weaknesses. I tried to explain my perception through this schools of thoughts.
It focuses on two key factors stimulus and respons and disregards mental activities.
Povlov, Watson, Thorndik and Skinner were the famous psychologists who widely promoted this theory. In classical conditioning a stimulus presented in order to get a response but in operant conditioning the response is made first then reinforcement follows. A noticeable weakness that I find in this method is that it can’t explain the recognition of new language patterns by children for which there has been no reinforcement mechanisms for example in Persian we have “koshtondam or pazondam”.
It neglects the consideration of genetics, heredity and personal perception. In order to control the class in this way teachers must apply positive and negative reinforcements to change students behavior and discourage disruptive behaviors.
In cognitive theory the most important thing is internal mental process of the learner during the learning process. Against behaviorists that consider learning as a passive activity in this theory the role of learners is active and seeking meaning. J. piaget and L. vegotsky improved this theory. In this method teacher must create learning environment active and allowing students to apply previous knowledge.
In this theory learning is simply the process of adjusting our mental models accommodate new experiences in other word all new information linked to prior knowledge. The learners start with a complax problem and workout to discover the basic skills required to solve the problem. The role of instructors changes from teacher to facilitators. In this method theorists try to eliminate grades and testing. Teachers must provide engaging opportunities for students to make sense of the information via hand-on activities and discussions.
There is no single best theory and each theory gas different aspect of teaching/learning process.