Gestalt (pronounced ge-SHTALT) is a German word that means
roughly means “shape”, “form”, “essence”, or “whole”.
Gestalt is a psychology term which means "unified whole". It refers
to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists
in the 1920s
One of the most important theories of perception is the Gestalt Theory.
Gestalt Theory “The Whole is different from the sum of its part”.
It was developed about 1910by Max Wertheimer and carry on by
Wolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka at Frankfurt University.
Born April 15, 1880
Died Oct 12, 1943
Born in Prague, Czech
Father of Gestalt
Born in Jan 21, 1887
Died in June 11, 1967
Born in Reval (now
Another of the founders
of Gestalt psychology
Born March 18, 1886
Died Nov 22, 1941
Born in Berlin,
Another of the founders
of Gestalt psychology
Max Wertheimer,Wolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka
concluded that learners were not Passive,but rather
active.They suggested that learners do not just collect
information as is but they actively process and
restructure data in order to understand it.This is the
Perceptual Process,Certain factors impact on this
perceptual process.Factors like past
experiences,needs,attitudes and one’s present
situation can affect his perception.
Law of Proximity
Law of Similarity
Law of Closure
Law of Good Continuation
Law of Good Pragnanz
Law of Figure/Ground
The law of proximity
states that when objects
appear close to one
another they tend to be
perceived as a group.
The law of similarity
captures the idea that when
we look at objects that are
similar to each other, we
tend to group them together.
We are prone to notice
matching shapes, colors,
and forms (as opposed to
looking for what isn’t
similar). Our brains quickly
identify patterns faster than
the separate parts of the
The law of closure
captures the idea that
when we see incomplete
elements in a visual, our
brains tend to fill in the
gaps and see it as a
The mind continous
The eye continues in the
direction it is going.
The principle of
continuity predicts the
preference for continous
The word pragnanz is a
German term meaning
"good figure." The law of
Pragnanz is sometimes
referred to as the law of
good figure or the law of
This law holds that objects
in the environment are
seen in a way that makes
them appear as simple as
organization is a type of
which is a vital
Wolfgang kohler was the first psychologist who
developed the insight learning in which he described
an experiment with apes that could use boxes and
sticks as tools to solve the problem.
In his experiment, Kohler hung a piece of fruit just out
of the reach of each chimp. He then provided the
chimps with either two sticks or three boxes, then
waited and watched. Kohler noticed that after the
chimps realized they could not simply reach or jump
up to retrieve the fruit, they stopped, had a seat, and
thought about how they might solve the problem. Then
after a few moments, the chimps stood up and
proceeded to solve the problem.
In the first scenario, the
problem was solved by
placing the smaller stick
into the longer stick to
create one very long
stick which could be
used to knock the
hanging fruit down.
In the second scenario,
the chimps would solve
the problem by stacking
the boxes on top of each
other, which allowed
them to climb to the top
of the stack of boxes
and reach the fruit.
The important aspect of learning was not reinforcement,but the
coordination of thinking to create new organizations. Kohler
referred to this behavior as insight or discovery learning.
Insight learning is the abrupt realization of a problem's solution.
Insight learning is not the result of trial and error, responding to
an environmental stimulus, or the result of observing someone
else attempt the problem. It is a completely cognitive
experience, which requires the ability to visualize the problem
and the solution internally, in the mind's eye so to speak, before
initialing a behavioral response.
1. Law of Proximity
Related concepts or lessons should be taught aligned or
closely to each other.This is the reason why subtraction is
taught after addition,multiplication after subtraction then
division after multiplication. Imagine teaching addition then
jumping directly to polygons.
2. Law of Similarity
Similar lessons or contents should be grouped together to
make learners develop understanding more efficiently and
effectively.This is the reason why lessons are grouped into
units: Unit I is for human body, Unit II is for energy and
motion,so on and so forth.
3. Law of Closure
When a concept or topic is incomplete thus isn't "closed",
incomplete information may make learners want to discover
what’s missing, rather than concentrating on the given
instruction. If students find a math algorithm confusing
because a certain question is left unanswered or a step isn't
clear, they will tend to concentrate on that confused part of
the process rather than the total process as a whole.
This is why students get "lost".Thus,make the lesson
complete.Present it clearly,simply and always be ready for
4. Law of Good Continuation
Lessons should be presented in such a way that learners
will see these as connected and continuous. Now you know
why we have the "Review" part of the lesson plan.This way,
students will realize that their new lesson actually has
continuity and is related to what they already know or to the
5. Law of Pragnanz
Pragnanz states that when things are grasped as wholes, the
minimal amount of energy is exerted in thinking. In short,
make your lesson holistic, complete and most of all simple.
6. Law of Figure/Ground
For a figure to be perceived, it must stand out from the
background.Emphasis should be done on important aspects
of the lesson. For example,teachers should vary the tone of
their voice or write boldly or underline the important key
words of the lesson.