Theory Name: Advanced Organizers (Subsumption Theory)
Authors: Ausebel, David
Associated Learning Theory
Cognitive Learning Theory
This theory prescribes a way of creating instructional materials that
help the learner organize content in order to make it meaningful for
Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions
Reception (expository) learning – Basically, this is the meaningful
background knowledge that a learner needs to have before being able to
1. General content should be present before increasing the detail and
2. Instructional materials should try to integrate what has already been
learned and relate that to new learning.
(c) Condition of learning
1. Different advanced organizers produce different results.
(d) Required media
Yes, this theory leads to the development of instructional materials.
Instructional materials can serve as a generic term, however, because
advanced organizers could exist in several formats.
(e) Role of facilitator
Provide a meaning organizer that subsumes, or bridges, the gap between
what has been learned and what is going to be learned.
(f) Instructional strategies
Create a textual or graphic organizer that links new learning to prior
knowledge and experience. Advanced organizers should always be given
in advance of instruction.
There are four types of advanced organizers:
1. Expository – describes new knowledge
2. Narrative – presents new information in story format
3. Skimming – skimming through information
4. Graphic Organizers – pictographs, descriptive or conceptual patterns,
Building an advanced organizer includes the following heuristics:
1. Present information at a higher level of abstraction than the future learning
2. Bridge the gap between previous and new learning
3. Higher level advanced organizers (more abstract) produce better results
than lower level organizers (more concrete).
4. Preview new learning.
5. Use familiar terms and concepts to relate to new terms and concepts.
6. Do not review information unless it is relevant to new learning.
(g) Assessment method
Formative Research & Application
(a) Tested context - K-12, Language Learning
(b) Research method
(c) Research description