Concept of Learning

July 30th, 2008 by Jashodhara Purkayastha

Define learning. Discuss the characteristics of learning.

Learning is the modification of behavior & experience. It is of a lasting nature & relatively permanent. It is not brought by biological or physiological factors.

According to Gates & others: “Learning is the modification of behavior through experience”.

According to Kingsley & Garry : “Learning is the process by which behavior is originated or changes through practice or training”.

According to Peel: “Learning is a change in the individual following upon changes in his environment”.

Learning is a life long process. It takes place throughout the life, from womb to tomb. The unborn child which is in the womb also starts learning .eg. Abhimanyu learnt about chakravyu from inside mother’s womb

Learning is modification of behavior but all modification of behavior is not learning. For example: Undesirable modification of behavior i.e. bad habit, immoral conducts, behavioral changes due to maturation, fatigue, influence of drugs, alcohol etc. Changes brought by these processes are unstable. Without adjusting & adapting to a surrounding, we can not survive. Learning proceeds in a step by step manner.

Characteristics of Learning.

1) 1.Learning is co- terminus with life: From the beginning to the end of the life , the individual goes through the process of learning. It is the life long process. (e.g. child cries – gets food, repeats whenever hungry.)

2) 2.Learning is change/ modification of behavior: All learning is the modification of behavior but all modification of behavior are not learning.

3) Learning implies cumulative improvement: Initial attempts are crude & exploratory in nature. Actions are undifferentiated & often the response is wrong. With proper training the child learns to reduce his errors & performs his task with ease. E.g. child learns writing—scribbles— write—alphabets

4) Learning is universal: Learning does not require a place to acquire knowledge At every moment of life an individual learns through his experience, changes in environment. E.g. when a child goes to circus and learns about different animals.

5) Learning is purposeful: All our actions are governed by purpose & motive. The expectation may be

· Self expectation e.g. one’s desire to get first rank in the class.

· Parental e.g. parents expectation about his child

· Teacher e.g. Teacher expectation for the students

6) Learning is growth but never ending growth: It is continuous not restricted to childhood. A person continuously acquires new vision & new ideas e.g. During childhood, we learn alphabets & numbers, but as we grow we learn different languages & we keep on learning.

7) Learning is goal oriented: Learning involves goal/ motive. e.g. If an individual wants to become a teacher the goal may be to provide the best to the students by creating interest for studies.

8) Learning may be right or wrong: Change of behavior may not be always directed towards improvement or positive development e.g. learning gambling, cheating —bad behavior.

9) Learning is transferable : Transfer occurs when there is similarity of content, techniques, procedures ideals & attitudes. E.g Knowledge of playing sitar helps to play guitar, knowledge of playing harmonium helps to play Casio.

10) Learning is intelligent: Meaningless efforts do not produce permanent result. E.g. when a child learns something unintelligent way, he is likely to forget it very soon.

         There is no age, time,place of learning.Degrees or diplomas may not provide you real learning but needs perseverance, persistence and pertinacity.

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