Over the past century, educational psychologists and researchers have posited many theories to explain how individuals learn, i.e. how they acquire, organize and deploy knowledge and skills. The 20thcentury can be considered the century of psychology on learning and related fields of interest (such as motivation, cognition, metacognition etc.) and it is fascinating to see the various mainstreams of learning, remembered and forgotten over the 20thcentury and note that basic assumptions of early theories survived several paradigm shifts of psychology and epistemology. Beyond folk psychology and its naïve theories of learning, psychological learning theories can be grouped into some basic categories, such as behaviorist learning theories, connectionist learning theories, cognitive learning theories, constructivist learning theories, and social learning theories.
Learning theories are not limited to psychology and related fields of interest but rather we can find the topic of learning in various disciplines, such as philosophy and epistemology, education, information science, biology, and - as a result of the emergence of computer technologies - especially also in the field of computer sciences and artificial intelligence. As a consequence, machine learning struck a chord in the 1980s and became an important field of the learning sciences in general. As the learning sciences became more specialized and complex, the various fields of interest were widely spread and separated from each other; as a consequence, even presently, there is no comprehensive overview of the sciences of learning or the central theoretical concepts and vocabulary on which researchers rely.
TheEncyclopedia of the Sciences of Learningprovides an up-to-date, broad and authoritative coverage of the specific terms mostly used in the sciences of learning and its related fields, including relevant areas of instruction, pedagogy, cognitive sciences, and especially machine learning and knowledge engineering. This modern compendium will be an indispensable source of information for scientists, educators, engineers, and technical staff active in all fields of learning. More specifically, the Encyclopedia provides fast access to the most relevant theoretical terms provides up-to-date, broad and authoritative coverage of the most important theories within the various fields of the learning sciences and adjacent sciences and communication technologies; supplies clear and precise explanations of the theoretical terms, cross-references to related entries and up-to-date references to important research and publications. TheEncyclopediaalso contains biographical entries of individuals who have substantially contributed to the sciences of learning; the entries are written by a distinguished panel of researchers in the various fields of the learning sciences.