3 Educational Theories that All Teachers Need to Know.

(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

While there’s no single overarching theory of learning, a collection of learning theories share certain elements, offering useful guidance for teaching and learning practices. This article delves into three such theories—Constructivist, Experiential, and Humanistic—exploring their inherent connections and their practical implications for teaching and learning.

Constructivist Learning Theory

Constructivism suggests that learners construct knowledge actively, rather than passively absorbing information. It emphasizes the learner’s active role in the process of learning, wherein they build upon their existing knowledge and experiences to comprehend new information.

Teaching practices derived from constructivism include encouraging active learning, promoting collaborative group work, and integrating real-world problems to make learning more relevant and meaningful.

Experiential Learning Theory

Experiential learning theory posits that learning occurs through direct experience and reflection. It implies that knowledge is gained through “doing” and reflecting upon the outcomes of those actions.

Experiential learning encourages practices such as role-playing, simulations, field trips, and project-based assignments that enable learners to engage directly with the concepts being taught.

Humanistic Learning Theory

The humanistic learning theory emphasizes the development of the whole person and the uniqueness of each learner. It suggests that learning is a personal act to fulfill one’s potential.

Teaching practices rooted in humanistic theory include creating a supportive learning environment, recognizing individual learners’ needs, fostering self-directed learning, and encouraging personal growth alongside academic development.

Interconnections Among the Theories

While each of these theories offers unique insights, they are fundamentally related. All three theories emphasize the active role of the learner in the learning process, the importance of personal experiences, and the need for a supportive and engaging learning environment.

Practical Implications for Teachers

By integrating principles from these theories, educators can develop a holistic approach to teaching. Here are 12 practical tips inspired by these theories:

  1. Encourage active involvement in learning.
  2. Promote collaborative and cooperative learning.
  3. Connect learning to real-world contexts.
  4. Encourage reflection on learning.
  5. Use experiential methods such as role-play and simulations.
  6. Include project-based learning activities.
  7. Create a supportive and safe learning environment.
  8. Recognise and cater to individual learning needs.
  9. Foster self-directed learning.
  10. Encourage personal growth alongside academic development.
  11. Facilitate feedback and self-assessment.
  12. Promote a love for learning and curiosity.


Understanding and applying educational theories can significantly enhance teaching and learning practices. By interweaving the principles of Constructivist, Experiential, and Humanistic learning theories, we can create more engaging, meaningful, and effective educational experiences. These theoretical ideas, when translated into practical strategies, have the potential to enrich the learning environment and foster student success.

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

Related Posts

7 Simple Strategies for Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

Getting to know your students on a personal level is the first step towards building strong relationships. Show genuine interest in their lives outside the classroom.

Students observing a teacher in a classroom.

Connecting Learning to Real-World Contexts: Strategies for Teachers

When students see the relevance of their classroom lessons to their everyday lives, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and retain information.

A young girl is using a tablet computer for school.

Encouraging Active Involvement in Learning: Strategies for Teachers

Active learning benefits students by improving retention of information, enhancing critical thinking skills, and encouraging a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Students raising their hands in a classroom.

Collaborative and Cooperative Learning: A Guide for Teachers

These methods encourage students to work together, share ideas, and actively participate in their education.

A group of students are doing a science experiment in school, guided by their teacher.

Experiential Teaching: Role-Play and Simulations in Teaching

These interactive techniques allow students to immerse themselves in practical, real-world scenarios, thereby deepening their understanding and retention of key concepts.

In a school classroom, a teacher engages with her students while delivering a lesson.

Project-Based Learning Activities: A Guide for Teachers

Project-Based Learning is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic approach to teaching, where students explore real-world problems or challenges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *