PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING AND LEARNING THEORY
requiring that the student makes those same responses but now with the addition of
categorization – that they respond the same way to the same stimuli, regardless of order or
organization. Rule Learning eventually comes in, the second to last piece of Gagné’s hierarchy.
The most complex part of Rule Learning is that it requires the student to not only learn
relationships between situations and higher concepts but to also predict future situations and
concepts (ie, to understand social rules even if they are in a social situation that is new).
The final part of Gagné’s Hierarchy is Problem Solving. Gagné considered this the
highest level of learning. Because it requires entirely independent cognition and no external
stimuli, the student has to have mastered all previous levels in order to problem solve effectively.
In Problem Solving, the student must be able to face complicated rules and situations and not
know the answers – instead, he or she must know ways of getting to the answers (Singley 1989).
Gagné saw that by working their way up through the levels, students could eventually have
mastery of the task they were studying. This method also allowed for students to move at a pace
that worked for their own abilities, as well as letting them stop and start again at any point and
presenting the entire learning process as a journey rather than a means to an end (Clark 2004).
> Major Learning Theories: Bloom’s Taxonomy
This learning theory comes from a 1956 report that came to be known as “Bloom’s
Taxonomy,” a form of learning through instruction that takes into account the intake of
information through Cognitive (knowledgebased learning), Affective (emotionbased), and
Psychomotor (actionbased). Much of instructional design that takes guidance from Bloom looks
specifically at the Cognitive model of Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the six individual components
that Bloom organizes in a hierarchy (similar to Gagné’s own hierarchy). For Bloom, the