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EDUC252 How People Learn

Develops understanding of models and principles of human learning applicable to a wide range of educational situations (from personal study and individual tutoring or counselling to whole-class teaching). Covers models of learning, motivation, individual and social differences, and assessment.

How do you learn? What approaches to learning work best for you? What impedes your progress? In this paper, we examine the major theoretical approaches to how humans learn, with two special emphases. One is on how the student in the paper learns, and the second is on how students learn in education settings.

Paper title How People Learn
Paper code EDUC252
Subject Education
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points 18 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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EDUC 101 or EDUC 102 or 108 points
EDUT 231
Schedule C
Arts and Music
With approval, students who have passed EDUC 105 prior to 2017 may be admitted without the normal prerequisite.
It is assumed that the student will have some background in development and/or psychology, but this is not absolutely essential.
Dr David Berg
Teaching staff
Paper Coordinator: Dr David Berg (Dunedin)
Other staff: Jill Paris (Southland)
Paper Structure
The course has four sections, corresponding to the following questions:
  • How do people learn? (the language and framework for thinking about learning)
  • Why do people learn? (issues in motivation, retention and the utilization of knowledge)
  • Why do people differ in their learning patterns? (individual and cultural differences)
  • How should learning be evaluated? (assessment and evaluation of learning)
Teaching Arrangements
The EDUC 252 course has a one hour lecture and a two hour workshop each week.
For two specified weeks there will be no lecture or workshop as students who are in the initial teacher education programme (about 2/3 of the students in the class) will be out doing a practicum experience in schools.
Please check your workshop placement and arrange any change required with UOCE Reception during the first week (programme clashes - not personal convenience).
Required Text:

Ormrod, J, (2016). Human learning (7th ed.). UK. Pearson.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Students will understand their own learning habits and processes and how effective these habits are
  • Students will comprehend the major theories related to learning and how to apply these in classroom settings
  • Students will be able to analyse educational settings from differing theoretical perspectives concerning learning.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9, 12-13, 15-16
M1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10-11, 17-19, 22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-19, 22
T2 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-19, 22
T3 Monday 13:00-14:50 17
Wednesday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-19, 22
T4 Thursday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-19, 22
T5 Friday 09:00-10:50 9-12, 15-19, 22

First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system