Impact of R. M. Gagnes Work on Instructional Theory.Report as inadecuate

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Although Robert M. Gagne's work is often thought of as learning theory, his contributions can most appropriately be considered as an "instructional theory." This denotes an integrated set of principles based upon learning theory, other relevant theories, and sound replicable research, that permits one to predict the effects of specific instructional conditions on a learner's cognitive processing and the resulting learned capabilities. This paper discusses: (1) the status of instructional theory before Gagne, specifically, curriculum theory and applied learning theory; (2) precursors to instructional theory; (3) instructional theory contributions, including the development of the types of learning, the learning hierarchies concept, events of instruction, and conditions of learning; (4) the relationship of Gagne's work to learning theory; (5) the influences of Gagne's theory on instructional design models; and (6) the influences of Gagne's theory on curriculum design. Gagne's process of developing, refining, and extending his theory over time based upon new research and theory distinguishes him among scholars in the fields of educational psychology and instructional theory. (Contains 93 references.) (SWC)

Descriptors: Adoption (Ideas), Cognitive Processes, Curriculum Design, Instructional Design, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Theory Practice Relationship

Author: Smith, Patricia L.; Ragan, Tillman J.


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