What is Noam Chomsky education theory and how to translate it to online learning



Most people agree that Noam Chomsky is credited with founding contemporary linguistics. He is one of the most significant linguists of the 20th century. His important “transformative-generative grammar,” which tries to quantitatively characterize the syntactical processes shared by all human languages, is his main contribution to the discipline of linguistics. Chomsky’s scholarly work and political activism have stirred debate and inspired others to challenge authority figures and our current social structures.


The Noam Chomsky education theory

The Noam Chomsky education theory can be split into multiple sub-theories. With that in mind, we can define the theory of value by defining what knowledge and skills are worthwhile learning, as well as what are the goals of education. Knowledge is defined as the abilities attained by a person through education, experience, and the application of knowledge in real-world situations. Schools have traditionally been employed as a means of disseminating knowledge, but Chomsky believes that frequently the skills and knowledge acquired are not valuable.

Instead of assisting students in developing higher-level thinking skills on their own, education is limited to teachers passing along knowledge to people who are in the dark. These results suggest that education should focus on fostering a child’s innate abilities rather than teaching them to repeat, obey, and follow directions.

One of the Noam Chomsky education theory sub-theories touches on the theory of knowledge, generative grammar, and cognitive theory. Although it is continually changing, Chomsky’s theory of generative grammar serves as a microcosm of his ideas about how the human mind processes and stores information.

There is more than enough material here to show his main points about education and the development of human thought and knowledge, even though most of it is particularly relevant to the study of language. Chomsky contends that for knowledge to be maintained, there must be prior knowledge to which the new information may be connected. Although he frequently refers to this process as “building” on existing information, it has similarities to the “networking” that Information Processing Theory describes.

According to Chomsky, the study of language is a gateway into the study of the human mind since language defines what it means to be a person. Regarding the learning theory and learning language, Chomsky claims that while some characteristics of language, such as spelling rules for written language and types of specialized vocabulary, are expressly taught in schools, the most basic features of the language are universal.

Chomsky contends that language acquisition has a genetically predetermined “window of opportunity.” In addition, according to Chomsky, there is a biological entity, a limited mental organ that develops in children along one of several predetermined courses before any experiences during childhood.

Chomsky first proposed the idea of a language acquisition device (LAD) in 1957 as a way to explain how humans are capable of learning languages. According to Chomsky, everyone is born with a collection of language-learning resources known as a LAD. Language acquisition and production are made possible by the LAD, an abstract component of the human mind. Children can learn linguistic rules through hypothesis testing because they have LAD. Basic grammar is created by LAD using these rules.

Educational implications of the educational theory


What is special education in this context? The following are the effects of Chomsky’s theory of language development on schooling.

Teachers must foster development and maintain student interest. Since students come to class with a want to learn, teachers must work hard to maintain that desire and keep students interested.

Teachers must place a strong emphasis on student learning, placing less emphasis on their professional development.

Applying a teaching strategy that can foster natural curiosity and interest among students will help them instill a love of studying.

They must also keep in mind that personal opinions are not equivalent to expert knowledge. Teachers must distinguish between their reflection, experience, and judgment and their professional knowledge.

How to translate the above-mentioned to online learning

According to Chomsky, technology is essentially neutral, like a hammer that can crush something or be used to build a house. The context in which the tool is used makes a difference. However, when we talk about education software and the technologies attached to it, they can rarely be neutral. Technology does not emerge out of thin air. When technology is developed, the worldviews, values, and beliefs of the developers are ingrained in the software.

The practical applications of the technology are intricate and subject to negotiation. We need to introduce them to the abilities and attitudes that enable them to use tools in imaginative and inspiring ways if we want to prepare instructors to use technology in education and designers to envisage ways that technology may support/enhance education.


Noam Chomsky asserts that education should generate people who value free interaction on an equal footing rather than acquisition and dominance. According to Chomsky, the importance of education should be emphasized in the development of students’ critical thinking abilities as well as their quest for relevant knowledge. Unintentionally, students are encouraged to memorize facts rather than develop their critical thinking skills.