Educational theory describes the way or model of explanation in the learning process or pedagogy. As a phrase, educational theory does not have a single model. Consequently, defining what education theory is is not easy. This phrase is more relevant to being seen as a general concept consisting of several more specific theories.
For example, we can mention that the theories of constructivism, behaviorism, intelligence, and so on are types of educational theories, especially if implemented in a pedagogical context. In the study of education, education theory also consists of several variants. There is no universal theory of education.
The general picture that is usually presented when studying educational theory is about methods that also cover the epistemology of the teaching-learning process
Practically, there are many learning models that can be applied. However, the general assumption that has become an agreement remains the same, namely that education cannot be obtained instantaneously or suddenly. Therefore there is such a thing as a learning process.
The question that then arises is why to learn about education, do we need theory? One popular reason is that education is a broad term that has broad meaning. This term also has a complex meaning so that to understand it must be specifically contextualized.
To understand the complexity of the terminology, and its use in specific contexts, theory is needed. Theory is a tool to explain complex phenomena such as education
For example, we want to find out how a child becomes easy-minded and ashamed to ask questions. The question we ask is how the education process is obtained. To help answer that question, the theory of beahviorism is applied in the analysis. This theory explains about the response to behavior received by children in the process of interaction. Children tend to be embarrassed to ask if when asked always laughed at by their friends, for example.
To understand more about educational theory, we will discuss several theories in the field of education that have been reviewed by pedagogical experts such as: Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, B. F. Skinner, Jerome Bruner, and Benjamin Bloom.
Some theories in education include, scaffolding, constructivism, behaviorism, spiral curricula, and taxonomy. All of these theories have the same assumptions between one another, namely that education is intended to create changes in human performance and potential. These changes can also be understood as a result of education.
However, even though the basic assumptions are the same, in the implementation, the theories have quite fundamental differences.
- Scaffolding theory
describe the importance of external support in the education process. Changes in support for someone will determine changes in the abilities and skills of students.
- Theory of constructivism
said that education is a practice, done by doing (learning by doing), and not by lectures or lectures alone.
- Theory of behaviorism
stated that the response in the form of appreciation, flattery, appreciation, and so on will increase a behavior to be repeated by the actors who do it. Conversely, a negative response will affect an actor to undo his intention to do something. Thus, education takes place in a process of interaction.
- Spiral curriculum theory
assume that in the education process, a child can respond to a certain topic at a certain age level. As we get older, topics that respond to can be developed by themselves.
- Taxonomic theory
assume that the educational process begins with a simple knowledge and grows into a complex knowledge that often enters a period of evaluation. During this evaluation, students already have the ability to reflect on what is taught to them.
In general, discussions of applicable theories in the field of education are at the level of “how to” only. Quite often the philosophical and sociological sides are not touched at all. In the sociology of education, educational theory tends to be discussed more critically. Some sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Paulo Freire have concentrated on educational issues.
Bourdieu in discussing education, not only discussed how a value is socialized, but also to how a culture or culture is produced and reproduced. Paulo Freire criticizes contemporary educational systems that are exploitative and tend to turn off the creative side of individuals for critical thinking.