The significant learning theory was developed by David
Ausubel (1918 - 2008), an American
psychologist who made important contributions to constructivism. According
to Ausubel, meaningful learning arises from the establishment
of a relationship between the new knowledge acquired and that
which is already available, and a reconstruction of both occurs in the process.
this means that, when a person develops a significant
learning process, he modifies the knowledge he had from the acquisition of new
information, while simultaneously, this new acquired information also produces
changes in previous knowledge.
The key to meaningful learning lies in creating links between
new concepts and the previous cognitive structure. For this to
be possible, the preceding knowledge must be solid as it will be the basis of
cognitive development. If the older data is understood by the subject and can be
used by the subject for reinterpretation, meaningful learning
can be carried out.
In addition to all that has been exposed so far, it is necessary to know
other interesting data about meaningful learning, among which we can highlight
-In it, concepts, representations and propositions play an essential role.
No less relevant are other of its keys that respond to the names of progressive
or transfer differentiation.
It is established that for meaningful learning to fulfill its function properly,
it requires the teacher to play a key role. Specifically, it must participate
very actively in this regard. Exactly it is determined that its principles
should be collaborative and critical reflection, integrative didactic knowledge,
strategies for solving problems, contemplating content analysis...
It can be affirmed that significant learning requires that the person can apprehend the
information, in the sense of “appropriating” it. Memorizing the new
content to repeat it is not useful for meaningful learning, since the subject
only incorporates the information without processing or interpreting it. In this
way, you cannot establish relationships between the new information and the data
that were part of its structure.
It must be kept in mind, however, that learning by repetition or
memorization may be the starting point for the future development of
meaningful learning: one modality does not necessarily cancel the other.
In order to achieve real and effective meaningful learning, it is considered
that the teacher must bet on carrying out actions such as these:
-Proceed to carry out the explanations using examples.
-Propose and develop activities whose clear objective is to awaken the interest
of their students.
-In the same way, propose actions through which students participate actively
and give them the opportunity to argue, debate, exchange positions and ideas...
-Among the most useful tools that the teacher has in this regard, they stand out
from summaries to intercalated questions, through graphics and
illustrations. However, we must not forget other very useful ones such as maps,
diagrams, signs or what conceptual networks are.