Essay Sample on Learning Theories Application

Published: 2024-01-14
Essay Sample on Learning Theories Application
Essay type:  Process essays
Categories:  Learning Child development Cognitive development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1511 words
13 min read

Activity 1For activity one, the designed obstacle course is for four to five-year-old children. This activity focuses on the physical fitness and health learning area described by the Hong Kong kindergarten curriculum. The obstacle course contains seven activities that entail physical and cognitive development. At the end of every activity, children will be rewarded with one piece of art stuff for creative fun and a bonus piece of art stuff upon completion of the obstacle course. The learning objective is to develop gross and fine motor skills, gain control over basic movements, and understand the concept of direction and space.

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Steps of Completing the Designed Obstacle Course

The developed obstacle course activities that will be undertaken in the stated order are as follows.

  1. Firstly, I will place a wooden ladder horizontally with well-spaced rows. The children will jump from one row to another across the ladder without skipping any row.
  2. Secondly, I will place four hula loops in a row. The children will step into the first hula loop, raise it to their body and drop it between them before moving to the next. They will move in the line until they are done.
  3. Thirdly, I will blow about one hundred balloons and tie them with a string. I will then take the balloons' ends and tie them under a table to make a narrow balloon covered pass way for the children to crawl through. This activity tests for the motor skill of crawling.
  4. Fourthly, I will ask children to match colored blocks with color-coded squares that will be cut out and placed on a poster board. The blocks will have the colors yellow, blue, red, and green, while the poster board will have four cut-out squares with the colors red, blue, green, and yellow. The child’s role is to place the blocks in the correct squares.
  5. Fifthly, I will make a balance beam using a two-meter wood and place it horizontally for the children to walk across. The activity will test the strength and balancing skills of children.

The next obstacle will entail three cones set up of colors blue, yellow and red, and under each cone, there is a car. One of the cars will be silver, and the other two will be blue. The child’s role will be to find the silver car.

The last obstacle will entail two glasses filled with the same amount of liquid and an empty glass. The child will be asked if the amount of water in the two glasses is the same. Next, the water in one glass will be poured into the bowl, and the child asked if the glasses still have the same amount of water or one had more. This activity tests the child’s perception of conservation.

Objectives of the Obstacle Course

This obstacle course will promote the development of several skills upon completion. The outdoor activities will offer a perfect environment for children to enhance and learn vital gross and fine motor skills. Walking over the beam balance will promote strength and balance. As the children encounter the obstacle, their balance and strength will be enhanced. Passing under the table with balloons will also help children develop crawling, a gross motor skill while jumping between the ladder’s rows will help develop the motor skill of jumping.

Furthermore, playing with hula loops will enhance sensory processing and coordination skills that contribute to cognitive development. Bilateral coordination is a skill that children struggle to develop at an early age. The activities will promote complex coordination by enabling children to move different body parts to complete a task simultaneously. The children will also develop sensory inputs, including linear, sagittal, and rotary inputs, to help explore motor skills and coordination.

Moreover, matching the colored blocks with their respective colors and finding a silver car will test children's memory based on what they have learned. Children need to remember and learn lots of information, and this activity tests their brain development. Finally, the activity of identifying an empty and full glass will test the children’s problem-solving skills. This activity will help them learn how to maneuver through the challenge and memorize the easiest way to progress through challenges.

Piaget’s Development Theory

Piaget’s theory is one of the learning theories applicable in this obstacle course. Children experience a drastic increase in symbolic or representational activity when moving from the sensorimotor to the preoperational development stage (Waite-Stupiansky, 2017). Piaget’s theory of education highlights three principles. Piaget believed in discovery learning, the readiness to learn, and individual differences (Ojose, 2008). He posits that children play an active role in learning. They behave like little scientists who conduct experiments, make observations, and learn about the world. The interaction with the surrounding helps them continually build on existing knowledge (Waite-Stupiansky, 2017).

The chosen age group of five to six-year old children falls in the preoperational stage of the four cognitive developmental stages described by Piaget. In this stage, the children have increased language ability, an egocentric perspective, symbolic thought, and limited logic (Waite-Stupiansky, 2017). Piaget’s theory helps teachers to elicit conversation from the children as they work around a problem. Verbalizing the child and the obstacle course activities provides a foundation for the teacher to infer the mechanisms of the children's thought processes (Campbell, 2012). However, Piaget states that this stage lacks logic and rational thought (Ojose, 2008). For example, the conservation activity is set to explore if the children can understand logic and perspective. Children tend to link unrelated events but do not understand their point of view (Gray & MacBlain, 2015). Therefore, employing Piaget's theory allows teachers to help learners employ effective questioning concerning characterizing objects. For example, in the activity of matching colors of blocks, children will be asked questions such as “How did you decide which block color matches with that on the poster board?” A teacher’s engagement in discussions with children engenders their discovery of different colors and how to differentiate them in terms of appearance.

Arousal Motivation Theory

One of the motivational theories that relate to the obstacle course is the arousal motivational theory. The theory posits that every individual has a unique arousal level that appeals to them (Zhao, 2014). The arousal theory states that one’s arousal levels can influence their performance (Ostroff, 2013). According to Zhao (2014), physical exercise is one of the ways that influences the state of arousal in an individual. Research depicts a positive relationship between mental functioning and physical activity (Ostroff, 2013). The psychological benefits attributable to physical activities include academic improvement, emotional stability, and cognitive enhancement such as executive skills, memory and perception. The physical activities in the obstacle course require arousal to achieve optimum performance. Increased physical activity may change hormone levels and blood flow, creating arousal. However, the children will cope and react differently with both anxiety and arousal. Moderate anxiety levels will tend to improve the performance of children while too much anxiety may impair their performance. Furthermore, arousal may increase muscle tension and affect coordination among learners, and too much tension is detrimental to performance. Such a scenario implies that at low arousal levels, the learners' performance is low, and it will increase as arousal increases.

This theory is also associated with the reward system, which spurs physiological arousal that motivates individuals to adopt behaviors that relieve their arousal (Gopalan et al., 2017). Rewarding the children with one art stuff for creative fun after successful completion of every activity and a bonus art stuff upon completion of the obstacle course will motivate children to complete the obstacle course. This reward system focuses on the child’s effort to complete a task instead of performance. This reward system enhances physiological arousal that will motivate learners to participate in activities that will relieve or satisfy the arousal.

The teacher can use the arousal motivation theory in ensuring learners obtain optimal arousal levels. Despite the lack of an optimal level of arousal that learners and teachers can maintain, teachers can help out under-aroused and bored students explore some stimulation. If over-aroused, teachers can help learners explore behaviors that reduce arousal (Gopalan et al., 2017). Research depicts that moderate arousal is the best, and high or low arousal only makes performance suffer. The theory helps focus on both students and teacher interactions at school that promote student achievement. On the one hand, learners can be described as the problem in learning activities because of their attitudes and willingness to learn. On the other hand, teachers may be blamed for their ability to challenge and interest students from diverse economic and social backgrounds. In the designed activities, teachers can control environmental arousal factors such as comfort levels, noise, and temperature. As such, teachers will be able to put more arousal factors that benefit learning without getting to the arousal overload. The teacher will also provide more motivation and attention to learners to ensure they reach the peak arousal point and the stress factors in the learning environment are eliminated.

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