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WatsonFlowing in the same stream of thought, Goodwin Watson (1960–61) provides the following summary of “what is known about learning,” which is easily read as “guidelines for the facilitation of learning”:1. Behavior which is rewarded—from the learner’s point of view—is more likely to recur.2. Sheer repetition without reward is a poor way to learn.3. Threat and punishment have variable effects upon learning,but they can and do commonly produce avoidance behavior inwhich the reward is the diminution of punishment possibilities.
4. How readywe are to learn something new is contingent upon the confluence of diverse—and changing—factors, some of which include:a. Adequate existing experience to permit the new to be learned or we can learn only in relation to what we already know.b. Adequate significance and relevance for the learner to engage in learning activity or we learn only what is appropriate to our purposes.c. Freedom from discouragement, the expectation of failure, or threats to physical, emotional, or intellectual well-being.5. Whatever is to be learned will remain unlearnable if we believe that we cannot learn it or if we perceive it as irrelevant or if the learning situation is perceived as threatening.6. Novelty (per 4 and 5 above) is generally rewarding.7. We learn best that which we participate in selecting and planning ourselves.8. Genuine participation as compared with feigned
participation intended to avoid punishment intensifies motivation, flexibility, and rate of learning.9. An autocratic atmosphere (produced by a dominating teacher who controls direction via intricate punishments) produces in learners apathetic conformity, various—and frequently devious—kinds of defiance, scapegoating (ventinghostility generated by the repressive atmosphere on colleagues), or escape. An autocratic atmosphere also produces increasing dependence upon the authority, with consequent obsequiousness, anxiety, shyness, and acquiescence.10. Closed, authoritarian environments (such as are characteristic of most conventional schools and classrooms) condemn most learners to continuing criticism, sarcasm, discouragement, and failure so that self-confidence, aspiration (for anything but escape), and a healthy self-concept are destroyed.11. The best time to learn anything is when whatever is to be learned is immediately useful to us.12. An open, non-authoritarian atmosphere can, then, be seen as conductive to learner initiative and creativity; encouraging
the learning of attitudes of self-confidence, originality, self-reliance, enterprise, and independence. All of which is equivalent to learning how to learn.HouleHoule (1972, pp. 32–39) has proposed a fundamental systemof educational design that rests on seven assumptions:1. Any episode of learning occurs in a specific situation and is profoundly influenced by that fact.