Bruner’s Theory of Instructor| Features of Bruner’s Theory

Bruner’s Theory of Instructor| Features of Bruner’s Theory

Bruner’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Bruner was one of the founding fathers of cognitive theories. His theory is based on the theme that learners construct and discover new concepts based upon existing knowledge and their ability. According to Bruner, effective learning occurs when individual acquires general understanding of a subject. He said that mind organizes knowledge in a hierarchical manner, with the more general and abstract ideas at the top of hierarchy and the more concrete ideas towards the bottom. This organized knowledge is arranged through coding system in long term memory.

Hence, according to Bruner, “Curriculum of a subject should be determined by the most fundamental understanding that can be achieved of the underline principles that gives structure to that subject.

Features of Bruner’s Theory of Instruction

Following are the features specified by Bruner in his theory of instructions:

  1. Predisposition to learn- This feature specifically states the experiences, motivations, culture, content matter and personal factors which move the learner towards the love of learning in general. Bruner has also emphasized social factors and early teacher, as well parental influence on the child, for the willingness to learn.
  2. Structure of knowledge- It is important to structure the body of knowledge. Knowledge should be structured in a way that enables the learner to readily grasp the information. Bruner viewed that the subject matter is better retained when categorized in structured pattern, which helps in making learning more comprehensive.
  3. Effective sequencing- The theory tells about the sequence in which the matter should be presented. No one sequencing will fit every learner, but in general, matter should be arranged in the order of increasing difficulty level. The sequence of presentation should be specific and effective. It should also have visual, words and symbols. Lack of sequencing can make learning more difficult.
  4. ReinforcementThe nature of rewards and punishments should specified in the process of teaching-learning. Bruner specifies the form and pacing of reinforcement or rewards moving from extrinsic to intrinsic ones. Along with this, he considerably de-emphasizes about the reward and punishments to the child in the learning process.

Motives for learning : According to Bruner, developing interest in the material to be learned, is the best stimulus to learning, rather than external goals as grades, rewards, etc.

Bruner considers learning as a goal centered and knowledge-getting process. He said that inquisitiveness always makes man active. Knowing is a process, not a product. Educators teach a subject, not to produce little living libraries, but rather, to get a student to think scientifically and make him ready to participate in the process of learning that possibly establishes the knowledge. In the books ‘The Process of Education: Towards a theory of instruction’ and “The Relevance of Education’, Bruner put forth his ideas about the ways in which instruction actually affects the mental models of the world, that students construct, elaborate and transform.


According to Bruner, education system should be based on the given stages and should be framed in such a way that it should start with enactive stage and end with symbolic. So, according to him, important outcomes of learning include not jus the concept, categories and ides earlier by the culture, but also the ability to invent’ these things. The aim of education should be to create self-direction learners. Burner has a profound impact on young researchers who worked under him and were much-influenced by his work.

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