INTRODUCTION TO AUSUBEL THEORY
Introduction to Ausubel's theoryYou probably noticed that Ausubel's theory has at least one thing in common with Gagne's: that it concerns itself primarily with intentional, or "school" learning. In that way, both theories differ from behaviorism and cognitive information processing, which attempt to explain aspects of all human learning or memory. Thus, Ausubel's theory, like Gagne's, suggests how teachers or instructional designers can best arrange the conditions that facilitate learning for students.
The overarching idea in Ausubel's theory is that knowledge is hierarchically organized; that new information is meaningful to the extent that it can be related (attached, anchored) to what is already known.
Ausubel stresses meaningful learning, as opposed to rote learning or memorization; and reception, or received knowledge, rather than discovery learning. (Ausubel did not contend that discovery learning doesn't work; but rather that it was not efficient.)