Module A - Learning Theories (online)

is the first out of three modules and is a prerequisite for attending any of the six Module B courses.

Learning Theories is an online module designed for 10 participants per course only. The course is 6 weeks long (60 learning hours) with 3 online meetings held every other week on Tuesday at 19:00 CET. At these meetings participants can discuss matters and ask questions.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To brief overview educational theories and their application in health education.
  • To explore in greater depth behaviourist concepts of conditioning; and the cognitive and constructivist concepts including schema generation Vygotsky’s social constructivism.
  • Different learning styles will be discussed with an emphasis on meta cognition.
  • To give an introduction to aspects of the neurobiology of learning.

Learning outcomes:

  • The candidate should be able to:
  • To discriminate between the key concepts underpinning a range of learning theories and to evaluate how these may be applied within osteopathic education.
  • Reflect on different learning styles and apply them within their teaching practice.
  • To discuss some basic principles of the neurobiology of learning.


Jon Parsons, MSc. (Ost) D.O. PGCHE

Having graduated from the European School of Osteopathy (ESO) Maidstone, UK in 1989 he decided to divide his time between Osteopathic practice and osteopathic education.
He was the Head of the International Department at the ESO and has been involved since 1989 in all aspects of education (lecturing examining, tutoring, conference presentation, management) in the UK and throughout mainland Europe.
As well as delivering osteopathic lectures he has a great interest in education itself; its pedagogic underpinnings and its practice. He is a qualified teacher and is currently part way through his Doctorate in Education. He has been involved in running educational workshops on many aspects of osteopathic education and has run several workshops for OsEAN on tutors training.
He has contributed to Clinical Audit, RCCM 1998; Osteopathic Medicine, Gustav Fischer 2002 and co-authored Osteopathy: Models for Diagnosis, Treatment and Practice, Elsevier 2006.


  • Educational Theories in Practice;
  • Behaviourist Concepts in Education;
  • Cognitive and Constructivist Concepts;
  • Learning Styles;
  • The Neurobiology of Learning.


The module consists of 4 key tasks: work collaboratively with another course member on one of the individual topics to create a personal summary of your understanding of this area of study; read the 5 chapters that underpin each of the topics and respond to the questions at the end of each section; submit a personal summary of the process as a portfolio entry; give a minimum of three definitions of educational terms.

Required Reading:

  • Pritchard, A. (2008). Ways of Learning - Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom (2nd Aufl.). London: David Fulton Publishers Ltd : [distributor] Taylor & Francis, c/o Bookpoint.
  • Swanwick, T. (2013). Understanding Medical Education: Evidence,Theory and Practice (2. Auflage). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
Recommended Reading:
  • Cantillon. (2010). ABC of Learning and Teaching in Medicine (2 edition). BMJ Books.
  • Schunk, D. H. (2000). Learning theories: an educational perspective. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill.

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