Considering competing perspectives on learning from the classical foundations of Rationalism and Empiricism through the traditional classifications of learning theory—behaviorism, cognitivism, humanism, and constructivism—can help educators
- understand the foundations of historical and modern learning practice, and;
- identify the practices that may best serve the learner and the situation.
Disparate perspectives and dynamically interacting factors prohibit a universal definition of learning. Limiting views by either strictly adhering to one philosophy or dismissing other philosophies may lead to ineffective learning applications that serve only the interests of the practitioner or institution. Practitioners can gain a more complete picture of learning and develop more effective methods by viewing learning through multiple perspectives to identify the best practices for a given context. In short, in an increasingly dynamic context with highly diverse student populations, educators can increase effectiveness by expanding perspective and approach beyond methodological myopia to develop adaptive methods through methodological integration.