What The Old Woman Said

Guy Lefrancois is a good writer. You can trust that anything he writes is worth your reading. As a case in point, this is a great introduction to learning theory. I’m re-reading it just for fun.

It’s that kind of book. You can use it to learn more about a specific theory or approach to learning. You can use it to research a particular theorist. Or you can read to get a general overview or review of all areas of learning.

If you are looking for an introduction to learning, this is a good place to start. It’s a generalist book. You won’t get in-depth coverage of overwhelming detail. You get clear explanations of the basic principles of learning.

The concepts are presented in quasi-historical order.  So you get to see some of the give and take that occurs as theories develop and mature. All in all, it is very well done.

I think the 5th edition has the best cover but any edition will serve you well.


Theories of Human Learning
What the Old Woman Said
Fifth Edition
Guy R Lefrancois

Chapter 1 Human Learning: Science and Theory
Chapter 2 Early Behaviorism: Pavlov, Watson and Guthrie
Chapter 3 The Effects of Behavior: Thorndike and Hull
Chapter 4 Operant Conditioning: Skinner’s Radical Behaviorism
Chapter 5 Evolutionary Psychology: Learning, Biology and the Brain
Chapter 6 A Transition To Modern Cognitivism: Hebb, Tolman, Gestaltists
Chapter 7 Three Cognitive Theories: Bruner, Piaget and Vygotsky
Chapter 8 Neural Networks: The New Connectionism
Chapter 9 Learning and Remembering
Chapter 10 Motivation
Chapter 11 Social Learning: Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory
Chapter 12 Analysis, Synthesis and Integration


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