The first book, Learning Theories in Childhood, divides philosophy and learning theories into different chapters and covers contributions from Locke, Rousseau, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bandra, Bronfenbrenner and Bruner. It brings together learning theories in one place and covers cognitive, psycho-dynamic, behaviourist and theoretical perspectives.
Dr MacBlain’s co-author is Professor Collette Gray at Queen’s University, Belfast. She had been a Visiting Professor at the University of St Mark & St John for several years. Dr MacBlain’s position as Reader at the University is similar to an Associate Professor and he drives research and productivity. He is also an Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society, a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Member of the Dyslexia Association. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and an External Examiner in Northern Ireland.
The focus of the writing is to convey the many different ideas on learning that are inherent in our culture and how they have all affected education. Because Dr MacBlain is a psychologist, he asks the question, ‘What is learning? It is developing sensory pathways in the brain and internalising meaning. It is important for teachers to engage with educating children in a wider sense and understand what the century has brought us. We have to ask ourselves why children learn, but also why they don’t learn.’
The book includes exercises to improve professional and critical practice and helps newly qualified teachers who are hoping to work in early years and primary education. It is also being picked up by other professionals including dentists. The feedback is that it is very readable.
This second book answers questions about a range of conditions that affect learning. He is now working on a third title about dyslexia, which will be about the emotional impact on the child and how it affects educational experience and therefore literacy. It offers solutions for inclusion with child-centred approaches.
Amy Jarrold, Commissioning Editor at SAGE said, SAGE is absolutely delighted to have published Learning Theories in Childhood. We always believed there was a real need for a book of this kind and we certainly had brilliant authors to write it. The feedback has been fantastic as the book is genuinely helping students to understand and engage with theory. We are thrilled we have been able to continue working with Dr MacBlain on his exciting new books which I am sure will be as equally respected an appreciated.
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