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2 Exploring learning theories

From the many theories of learning, this section focuses on two that may be of particular interest to you as you continue on your learning journey. These are:

  • the idea of learning communities
  • the value of different approaches to learning.

But first, how are you going to make your notes? It is important to be systematic about making notes about theories, as you need to be quite precise. You are dealing with other people’s ideas, so it is only respectful to use them accurately, and you may well miss some important points if you rush through and just jot down the odd thing.

Activity 1 Making notes about theories

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes for this activity.
  • This is an opportunity to practise your note-taking. Read the next section, ‘Learning communities’, up to Activity 2. Make notes in your learning journal about what you read. You may want to skim read it first – just to get an idea what is there, and then come back and read in a more focused way.
  • Note down whose ideas you are reading about, and try to record the key points of their theories. This kind of note-taking should be useful when you come to writing essays or exam answers. (But relax – you aren’t going to have to do that here – this is just for practice!)


Don’t worry if this feels unfamiliar. It’s one of those skills that develops with practice. There is further feedback at the end of Activity 2.