Gagne's Theory Of Instruction

Gagne's Theory Of Instruction

Developed by American educational psychologist Robert Mills Gagne, Gagne's Theory Of Instruction is sometimes known as Gagne's Assumption. It states that different types of learning exist, and includes a description of the conditions under which learning takes place.

Gagne's Theory Of Instruction also states that there is a difference in a learner's performance before and after learning takes place. This change in performance is necessary to show / demonstrate that effective learning has taken place.

There are 5 categories of learning. These 5 categories of learning are observable in human performance. They are:

1. Intellectual Skills - Having procedural knowledge, 'Knowing How'

2. Verbal Information - Having declarative knowledge, 'Knowing That'

3. Cognitive Strategy - Techniques for problem solving

4. Motor Skills - Executing movements in an organised manner

5. Attitude - Mental state that influences the choices of personal actions


There are 9 events / steps of instruction. These 9 events of instruction take place in a semi-sequential order, and are considered external events that help learning to occur. They are:

1. Gaining Attention - Present stimulus to ensure reception of instruction

2. Informing the Learner of the Objective - The reason for learning

3. Stimulating Recall of Prior Knowledge - Building upon existing relevant knowledge

4. Presenting Information - The actual learning content is delivered

5. Providing Guidance - Makes the learning as meaningful and understandable as possible

6. Eliciting Performance - The learners respond to demonstrate the extent of knowledge learnt

7. Providing Feedback - Inform learners of the degree of correctness or incorrectness of their performance, thus reinforcing learning

8. Assessing Performance - Testing the learners to ensure that the learning is stable and actualised

9. Enhancing Retention And Transfer - Being able to retain the learning over a long period of time, and being able to transfer the learning to new situations outside of the learning environment