Back to: Learning and Teaching – Unit 3
David Ausubel was an American psychologist, who proposed the Subsumption Learning Theory in 1963. The main focus of Ausubel’s theory is on meaningful learning. According to Ausubel, the key factor in learning is the knowledge one has already acquired. Meaningful learning is when a person interprets, relates, and takes in new information with the knowledge acquired before and uses the new information to solve problems. The theory emphasizes how individuals can take in large information and remember it.
Principles of the Subsumption Learning Theory
Ausubel has contributed a lot with his theories in the educational sector. He felt that for proper learning, students must connect their new knowledge with the previous knowledge gained. The main principles of Subsumption Learning Theory are as follows:
- The simple concepts should be taught first to the learners so that it’s easy to understand and memorize.
- The materials being taught should include the old information acquired by the learner along with the new information. Teachers should link the new with the old ideas and concepts.
- The information already known by the learners should be bought back to memory from time to time in order to prevent forgetting of the information.
In what Actual Classroom Situation can Subsumption Theory be Applied
The subsumption theory can be applied in the following situations in order to improve the learner’s performance:
Begin with the main takeaways
Begin the class with the highlights of the material being presented. This way the learners will understand what they are getting into and use their knowledge of what they know about the topic being discussed. By the end, they will have a clear concept and idea about what they have learned.
Encourage learners to apply previously acquired knowledge
The key factor of Subsumption Theory is applying one’s prior knowledge to the current knowledge while learning. The teacher should encourage the students to utilize their old knowledge related to the new learning concept for better understanding. By doing this, the learning process will become more effective.
Make the learning process meaningful
The teachers should focus on making the learning process meaningful. This can be done when an individual can relate what they have already learned with what they are going to learn. The students will be more interested in the material being discussed. This way the information being learned will also remain in the mind of the learners for a long time.