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Theories of Effective Education I. Introduction II. Definitions of

II. Definitions of instruction, education, and learning

A. What is learning? (Randle, Dultz)

B. Why and how do we learn? (Ebeling)

C. Content vs. relevance (Dultz, Ehrlich)

B. Combining instructional theory and curriculum;

impediments to learning (Dultz, Ebeling)

C. Testing: Assuring that learning has taken place (Dultz)

D. Can we truly consider one without the other?

This paper discusses whether teachers and administrators can and should seek a theory of instruction separate from a theory of curriculum in approaching a means to effective education. "Curriculum" is what is taught but also implies the way in which subject matter is communicated to students, while "instruction" suggests the methods used and the underlying philosophies that drive those methods. To some extent, the two are inseparable: instruction requires content, while curriculum that is not imparted by some specific means is simply stored knowledge. Yet considering each element individually before they are combined to create the educational process offers educators the opportunity to consider more clearly what they believe about both method and content. This paper considers the two issues separately and then as a connected whole, arguing that such a consideration provides a more carefully-considered approach to teaching and to learning that benefits both teacher and student.

Education has been the focus of considerable research and theoretical discussion. Opinions regarding its purpose, its methods, what should be taught, and how its effectiveness can best be measured continue to be the source of hot debate in academic circles. The professional educator in contemporary America may hold wildly differing philosophies of his or her work, influenced by differing ideas about how human beings function, how individuals develop and learn, and what constitutes a quality education. By developing a personal theory, first of educati...

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