About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1451-1454
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain


J. Oliver

University of Deusto (SPAIN)
The theory of meaningful learning has enriched the constructivist view of cognitive development. According to the theory of meaningful learning, new knowledge is built through the establishment of relationships with previous knowledge. These relationships are meaningful, in other words, they have special significance for the learner, and thus, the process of learning is individual, because each learner has different previous knowledge and different attitudes towards learning. The quality of the relationships among knowledge structures can widely vary among different people and learning situations.

The main ideas of meaningful learning were developed by Ausubel in the 1960’s and he believed that it is possible to analyze learning by inspecting the cognitive structure of a person. In fact Ausubel wrote that if he had to condense all educational psychology in one single principle, he would choose this one: among all factors that influence learning the most important one is what the student knows already. Find out about it and teach accordingly.

The theory of meaningful learning is still a valid approach and has been used by researchers, teachers and policy makers for more than forty years. The concepts behind meaningful learning can help us understand cognitive structures from a psychological and pedagogical point of view. But meaningful learning is not the solution for all problems in learning processes, and it requires a positive attitude on the part of the learner as well as order and structure in the teaching materials. Meaningful learning is not instantaneous, and is not a process that can be considered independent of social interaction. It can be concluded that the theory of meaningful learning is a valuable tool to explain the process of learning from a cognitive point of view.
author = {Oliver, J.},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1451-1454}}
AU - J. Oliver
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 1451
EP - 1454
ER -
J. Oliver (2010) MEANINGFUL LEARNING, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 1451-1454.