Learning and Instruction
Reference HJSLOP00000004
Taught in Faculty Minor EducationMajors List Master of Biomedical SciencesSecond Master of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy (UGent - AHS) - Main Subject: Teacher Education and Training
First Master of Psychology - Main Subject: Teacher Education and Training
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 20.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 180.0
Studypoints (E) 6
Credit contract? Unrestricted Access: student takes into consideration the conditions mentioned in Starting Competences
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through an exam contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Martin Valcke
Department PP06
Key Words

didactical strategies, approaches towards learning and instruction, educational frame of reference, assessment and evaluation, individual differences and challenges for learning, teacher as curriculum designer

Position of the Course

This course aims at following objectives.

  • Being able to describe an instructional setting in terms of an educational frame of references; with special attention to shortcomings, particular strengths/weaknesses and choices made.
  • Illustrate with examples the interaction in the educational frame of reference between processes, variables and actors at the micro-, meso-, and macro-level.
  • Being able to translate the relationship between approaches towards learning into approaches towards instruction (behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism).
  • Being able to illustrate principles and theories of behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist approaches towards learning and instruction with examples from classroom practice.
  • Being able to describe the systematic structure in een lesson or session on the basis of an instructional design approach of model.
  • Illustrate with examples how curricula are being influence by a variety of historical, societal and humanistic influences (model of Kliebard).
  • Illustrate with examples basic innovative dimensions in current approaches towards assessment and evaluation.
  • Clarifying the relationship between approaches towards learning into approaches towards instruction (behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism) and approaches towards assessment and evaluation.
  • Being able to describe differences between learners in terms of sociological models.
  • Situate approaches towards learning with learning difficulties within the educational frame of references (micro-, meso-, and macro-level).


Theoretical part.
This course focuses initially on the development of an instructional frame of reference that helps students to analyse in a systematic way all types of instructional situation. They have to adopt an attitude and point of view that goes beyond the microlevel (classroom level) and try to focus on school issues (mesolevel) and policy related issues (macrolevel). An important influencing factor is the context. Linked to other courses that focus on management and policy issues, a thorough discussion of final goals compulsory education and the professional competencies of teacher are discussed.
A second major theme in the course – based on an outline of theoretical concepts, and principles – is the discussion of a variety of approaches towards learning and instruction (behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism). This will explicitly be related to the individual conceptions of the student-teachers (conceptions of learning, approaches to study, etc.).
A third theme focuses on the curriculum. Teachers are considered as central actors in the discussion of final goals, objectives, aims, school plans, lesson plans, … and this at micro- and meso-level.
A fourth theme introduces the students to the theme of assessment and evaluation. Again, the focus goes beyond the micro-level (classroom testing). Also the meso-level (school quality) and macro-level (performance indicators) are being studied.
A final but major theme focuses on individual differences in learners and how this influence instructional practices at micro-, meso- and macrolevel.
Sub-themes are linked to motivation, self-regulation, study skills, learning styles, age differences, social economical differences, learning difficulties, ... .
Practical part.
The theoretical discussions are the basis to tackle four tasks that have to de dealt with in classroom and/or school settings. Depending on the choice of a school and classroom topic (mostly related to the master programme of the student), the tasks have to elaborated in a practice-oriented way. During the second semester, the initial elaborations of the tasks will be at the centre of (voluntary participation) feedback sessions.

Starting Competences

This course supposes the competences as obtained after having followed the bachelor and master of science.

Final Competences

The insight in and application of following basic competences are pursued, as determined by decree:

  • Being able to determine the starting position of individual and the group of learners
  • Selecting and defining learning objectives
  • Determining didactical strategies and grouping approaches
  • Selecting and adapting instructional media on an individual base or in a team approach
  • Developing a powerful learning environment that considers classroom heterogeneity
  • Evaluation of both process and product in view of remedial and differentiated approaches
  • Adopting a transfer approach when developing learning and development processes
  • Creating a positive classroom and school climate
  • Deploying strategies to work with non-Dutch speaking learners
  • Fostering a structured working climate
  • Creating a flexible and efficient lesson and day plan, that suits the time management of learners and the teacher
  • Becoming acknowledged of the results of educational research, that is relevant for the personal instructional context
  • Questioning and redirecting one’s own personal professional approach
  • Communicating with parents/care takers about their children at school
  • having conversations with parents/care takers about school and education
  • Collaboration and negotiation within a school team
  • Discussing the pedagogical and didactical role and approach of a team

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 40.0 EUR

  • Valcke, M. (2007). Onderwijskunde als ontwerpwetenschap. Een inleiding voor ontwikkelaars van instructie en toekomstige leerkrachten. Gent: Academia Press.


  • Biehler, R. & Snowman, J. (1993). Psychology applied to teaching. Boston/London: Houghton Mifflin Co.
  • Bloom, B. (1984). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook I: cognitive domain. New York: Longman.
  • Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J. & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Research based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD. Mayer, R.E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ormrod, J.E. (2003). Educational Psychology – Developing learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson - Merrill Prentice Hall.
  • Schunk, D.H. (2004). Learning Theories – an educational perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson - Merrill Prentice Hall.
  • Schwarz, B. & Reisberg, D. (1991). Learning and Memory. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.
  • Shuell, T. (1986). Cognitive conceptions of learning. Review of educational research, 56(4), 411-436.
  • Slavin, R.E. (1994). Educational Psychology: Theory into practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Snowman, J. & Biehler, R. (2003). Psychology applied to teaching. Boston/New York: Hoghton Mfflin Company.
  • Thompson, A., et al. (1992). Educational Technology. A review of the research. Washington: Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
  • van der Hoop, J. (1986). Het onderwijzen van theoretische begrippen. Onuitgegeven proefschrift. Tilburg: Katholieke Hogeschool.
  • Winn, W. & Snyder, D. (1996). Cognitive Perspectives in psychology. In D. Jonassen (ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, pp.112-142, London: Prentice Hall.

Study Coaching

Interactive support using Minerva.
Individual feedback is given by appointment.

Teaching Methods

For the theoretical part interactive plenary sessions are provided.
For the practical part following teaching methods are used:

  • introduction lesson to explain the main themes;
  • task-focused teaching methods;
  • composing a portfolio based upon a theme;
  • online forum to prepare the feedback sessions.
Students following the in-service training for teachers, obtain these competences composing a portfolio (cf manual for further instructions).

Evaluation Methods

A combination of periodical (50%) and non-periodical (50%) evaluation.
No second examination chance is provided.

Examination Methods

The periodical evaluation consists of a written exam with closed questions about the theory.
The non-periodical evaluation encompasses the evaluation of practise-based tasks.
Presence during the lessons is obliged.

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