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Journal of the
Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association
Volume 12, Number 1 (2012)

A Focus on Robert Gagné’s Instructional Theories: Application to Teaching Audio Engineering

David Tough
Belmont University
Introduction
   
    The learning theories of Robert M. Gagné have made a lasting impression on the fi eld of education, especially in terms of efforts in curriculum design. His contributions are now widely recognized and have been integrated into the education discipline’s broad conception of ideas important to learning and instruction in several fi elds including the military, instructional design, the medical fi eld, engineering, and leadership (Smith and Ragan 1996).

    Gagné’s major theories include his taxonomy of learning outcomes, conditions of learning, and his nine events of instruction. These theories are known more as instructional theories, as traditional learning theory is more behaviorist in nature. It is the job of instructional theory to elicit a set of rules on how changes in human performance come about. Gagné’s instructional theories seek to arrange conditions of learning to provide for specific performance outcomes, which makes them more related to the field of curriculum design (see Figure 1) (Driscoll 2000).

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