8 Types of Learning According To Gagne

• Gagne Theory of Hierarchy learning

Gagne has defined learning as, "Learning is a change in human culture and ability which is retained for some time and which is not attributable to the processes of growth alone."

In this definition of Gagne, four points are clear which are as follows - 

1. Learning is a change in behavior.

2. Behavior changes may be possible. 

3. Changes in behavior and ability are not permanent. 

4. The term learning is not used to refer to changes in abilities that result from maturity.

Gagne holds that normal behavior requires certain pre-requisites to be determined. For example, for the teaching of understanding level, the teaching of memory level is pre-requisite.

Gagne has defined teaching as, “Teaching is the provision of learning conditions externally for the student. Stratification is done in the arrangement of these learning conditions. For each learning condition their prior condition is for the student. It is necessary. which the holding power develops".

Gagne in his book "Conditions of Learning" describes eight types of learning that can be viewed in order from simple to complex.

 Gagne believes that pre-requisites are necessary for the learning of any one type of behavior in an individual. That is, each type of learning is related to its prior learning. To do a new type of learning, knowledge of the previous type of learning is required.

 In this form the eight types of learning described by Gagne are hierarchically described. Which can be seen in successive order as follows.

Gagne has explained the following 8 conditions of learning. The arrangement of their level of learning is as follows.

• 8 Types of Learning Given By Gagne 

• Signal Learning 

• Stimulus Response Learning 

• Chain Learning 

• Verbal Association Learning 

• Discrimination Learning 

• Concept Learning 

• Principal Learning 

• Problem-Solving Learning

1. Signal Learning

When un conditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus presented repeatedly So instead of the un conditioned stimulus, only the conditioned stimulus is capable of causing a un conditioned response.

The signal learning condition is based on classical conditioning presented by Pavlov. When un conditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus presented repeatedly So instead of the un conditioned stimulus, only the conditioned stimulus is capable of causing a un conditioned response.

For example, in Pavlav's experiment, the dog starts drooling just after the bell rings. In alphabetic knowledge to young children, a signal learning condition is created.

Such as presenting a picture of a Apple with the letter A to identify it, a picture of a Boy for B. This type of condition is created in the teaching of memory level.

This type of learning is beneficial in teaching good habits to children of preschool age , but it is not particularly beneficial in signal learning in higher grade studies. Hence it is placed at a lower level by Gagne.

2. Stimulus Response Learning

The second type of learning described by Gagne is stimulus response learning. Which is similar to Thorndike's try and error theory, Skinner's operant conditioning and Kimble's spiritual learning.

 Unlike Gagne's first type of signal learning, in this type of learning the response to a specific stimulus is relatively definite and precise.

For example, the dog learns specific responses to specific shocks given by the owner of the leash and chain around its neck.

 For this he is rewarded and praised, but later neither a strap is tied around his neck nor a chain is used, yet he responds to the owner verbal order to sit, stand, lie down, etc. And this response is definitely accurate and perfect. 

Thus learning a new behavior from the right response gives him further reinforcement. Thorndike's attempt and error learning is also in this category of learning. Verbal skills can be taught to children through this type of learning.

3. Chain Learning

 This is the third type of learning described by Gagne. In chain learning, two or more stimulus-response relationships are linked together. In this type of learning, individual relationships are related sequentially. Chain refers to the presence of a sequence of personal relationships.

This learning is of two types - one verbal chain learning and the other motor chain learning.

 Guthrie described motor chain learning in 1955 and explained it with many examples.

 Following is an example- A child who did not learn the chain to open the door - The stimulus-response relationship explains the act of opening the door. 

Key in hand, looking at the lock, inspecting the key in the upright position, putting it in the lock until it is completely inside, turning the key to the other side, until it is completely reached, push the door open.

 The point to be noted in this regard is that until a person does not learn the series completely, he cannot be completed. It is a sequential process. This condition occurs when one becomes familiar with both signal learning and stimulus response learning.

Robert Gagne has explained two types of chain learning - verbal and nonverbal chain learning.

1. verbal chain learning - In learning the teacher presents the subject matter in a sequence which ease the transfer of learning.

2. non verbal chain learning - In learning pictures or other visual aids are presented sequentially, such as the stages of development of an organism from embryo to adult are presented in sequence by pictures.

4. Verbal Associative Learning

This type of learning condition is a type of chain learning. In this type of learning, verbal response sequence is arranged. The preceding unit helps to learn the verbal unit. The arrangement order serves as an indication for more complex verbal chain.

Underwood considered this learning condition to be more important in human learning. Complex behaviors can be developed from verbal chain learning conditions. Example - a particular sequence of presentation of the verses of a poem or song.

For example - when the child recognizes the ball and calls it a ball as well as a red ball, in that case he learns the word associative of 3 units.

 Gagne believes that learning can be made more successful by breaking long chains into smaller units. Verbal-behaviors, verbal-relations can be learned in this way. Useful for language learning.

5. Discrimination Learning

Verbal and non-verbal chain are a pre-requisite for discrimination learning process. In this, the ability to discrimination between the two series is developed.

 At this stage the student develops the ability to make different responses to different stimuli while both the stimuli appear to be fundamentally similar.

 For example, by looking at both the white powders kept in the petridish, which seem to be the same, on the basis of the properties, the student can identify which is salt and which is NH4Cl. For this understanding level teaching is useful.

6. Concept Learning

Discrimination learning is a pre-requisite for this learning. Kendler (1964) first mentioned the concept learning.

Gagne has defined concept learning as, "Learning that makes it possible for an individual to respond to an object or event as a class, we call it concept learning."

 In this level of learning, the child first experiences some substances, then analyzes their properties, recognizes their common properties and on the basis of these common properties, differentiates these substances from other substances, classifies and finally names that class.

 When the child explains the reason for being in that category of other positive examples, then this condition shows that the child has grasped the concept well.

For example, he could make it clear that all shining objects are not metals. For metal conception, it is necessary to have common properties like solid state conductivity, ductility, metallurgy, hardness etc. at normal temperature. On this basis, copper, silver, gold are positive examples of metal concept.

According to Gagne, “Learning which makes it possible for an individual to respond to an object or event as a class is what we call concept learning.”

 This learning includes all the processes of analysis, synthesis, classification, diversification and generalization.

There are four types of concept learning - firstly the child sees an object directly and at the concrete level, then at the second level the child learns to differentiate between the two objects at the introductory level. In addition, it develops the ability to classify. This is the third level and on the basis of the characteristics of any object at the fourth level, the child also reveals differences in them, it is called the formal level.

 For example - if the child selects an unequal number against the same number from the given number table, then it can be said that the concept of an unequal number has become clear to him.

7. Principal Learning

Concept learning is a pre-requisite for principal learning. When the student understands the concept well, then the control of behavior is done in such a way that he can express the relationship of concepts through rules in words, formulate rules or principles. For this, the education system is done at the contemplative level.

 For example, after understanding the concept of area and pressure, such conditions should be created that the student can express the relation of area and pressure in the rule, that - "The pressure decreases when the area is more and the pressure increases when the area is less". "

8. Problem solving learning

Problem solving learning requires principal-learning. Under this, not only principals are used, but the child solves the problem by using his originality and creativity.

 Thinking level teaching is suitable for these types of learning forms. When the content is presented to the student as a problematic condition, the child experiences the problem, then considers the factors affecting it, tests hypotheses for its solution and finally draws conclusions and makes generalisations. is. This is the highest step in problem-solving learning.

By the process of solving the problem for the first time, certain abilities are acquired in the person, which are helpful in solving the same type of problem in future.

Gagne has expressed the view in this context that, "The process of problem solving gives rise to higher level theories which eventually become various parts of the modified behavior of the individual. Problem solving is certainly taken within a model of learning."

 Therefore, learning can be explained through the above mentioned eight conditions which are intertwined and are pre-requisites for each other.

8 Types of Learning According To Gagne

• Components of teaching-learning relationship

There is a close similarity between the purpose of teaching, the nature of learning and the level of teaching. The way in which the objectives are fixed in teaching, the learning conditions are created accordingly and the level of teaching is determined accordingly.

For example, Verbal chain learning and multiple Discrimination learning conditions will be necessary to achieve the purpose of comprehension and knowledge application and the teaching will be of comprehension level. A level below that is a pre-requisite for the development of a level.

For example, For the development of the thinking level, the teaching of the understanding level is a pre-requisite. Synthesis objective is a pre-requisite for assessment purpose and principle learning is a pre-requisite for problem solving learning. The relation of these three can be well understood by the table given below.

Objective-Learning Conditions-Learning Level As Propounded By Gagne

Objectives                Learning Conditions

1. Knowledge            1. Teaching Level
Teaching Level          
(Memory)                    2. Stimulus Response                                                Learning

                                      3. Chain Learning

2. Comprehension   1. Verbal Associative      Teaching Level.              Learning

3. Application           1. Discrimination                                                       Learning

4. Analysis                  1. Concept Learning

5. Synthesis                1. Principal Learning
Teaching Level

6. Evaluation              1. Problem Solving                                                     Learning

• As regards the four aspects of the teaching process -

Hasford has considered four main aspects of teaching. Which he has mentioned in his book 'Instruction Principle'. It has four sides - 

1. student (learning) 

2. teacher (teaching) 

3. syllabus 4. educational event

1. Learning is the process which brings about change in the behavior of the student through experience or training. 

2. Teaching is the process that facilitates learning. 

3. The curriculum includes experiences planned by the school. 

4. Educational planning includes activities of all educational experiences that are carried out in the school and outside the school. 

The interaction of these four sides can be represented by the diagram as follows -

Teaching, Learning, Curriculum - Relationship

The above diagram shows that all these elements of teaching-learning, curriculum and educational planning are related to each other at one level or the other and interact with each other and are incorporated in many areas.

• Psychological structure of teaching-learning relationship

 The relation of teaching-learning has been shown by Banard as follows :

Teaching-Learning Relations by Banard

The above diagram shows that learning conditions are an important factor in the relationship between teaching and learning. Teaching activities under appropriate learning conditions drive the learning process in which the student brings about changes in behavior through his experiences and actions.

 Proper development of the personality of the child takes place by the coordination of teaching and learning activities. Therefore, coordination of teaching and learning activities is necessary for the development of the student.

Also Read :

1. 9 Important factors that affect Learning

2. 10 Maxims of Teaching

3. Principles And Law of Learning