SS 240 - Education and Learning Theory 


This course investigates theories of how people learn and learning styles – with a particular emphasis on experiential education and brain-based learning. Students self-examine their own learning style and use this as a reflective tool to determine their effectiveness as students and educators. Concepts are presented through readings, dialogue, classroom activities, and visits to a variety of educational settings.  

SS240: Education and Learning Theory

Spring 2013


Instructor:  John Zaber           Teaching Assistant: Brooke Blodgett

Required Text: Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory

Texts on Reserve: Consult Course Schedule

Format: This is a survey course designed to examine a variety education and learning theories/theorists to provide you with baseline to develop your approach to learning and education. The class format includes field trips, lectures, reflective/reactive essays, presentations, extensive group dialogue, and a final presentation and paper.

Course Objectives:

  1. To demonstrate a general understanding of theories of learning.
  2. To identify one’s individual learning style and discuss personal strengths and challenges.
  3. To develop critical thinking skills within the context of education and learning theories.
  4. To relate one’s own personal learning style to a specific theory/theorist.
  5. To chart one’s personal learning style over the course of a semester
  6. To explore a variety of education and learning theories so that students can gain an overview of some of the approaches to education existing within American culture.

Course Activities:

  1. Mid-term summary of Personal Learning Style Project
  2. Reflective/reaction papers.
  3. Field Study Trips to Orchard Valley Waldorf School and St Johnsbury Community Work Camp
  4. Presentation of personal learning style.
  5. Final paper synthesizing Personal Learning Style Project with the development of one’s own evolving theory of learning and education.


Final grades for this course will be a combination of evaluation on the following elements:


  1. Professionalism    (Attendance/promptness, etc)      20%           
  2. Personal Learning Style Project                                              
    1. Weekly Logs                                                              10%
    2. Mid-Semester Summary                                         30%
    3. Final Paper                                                                40%


Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning problem or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine what accommodations would be helpful for you in this course.