Home » , , » Learning: Definition

Learning: Definition

The term 'learning' is one of those concepts whose meaning is crystal clear until one has to put it in actual words. "Learning is when you learn something". "Learning is learning how to do something". A more useful definition is as follows: Learning is any  relatively permanent change in behaviour brought about by experience or practice.

What does "relatively permanent" mean? The "relatively permanent" part of the definition refers to the fact that, when people learn things, some part of the brain is physically changed to record what they have learned. This is actually a process of memory. Without the ability to remember things, learning process will not take place effectively or people cannot learn anything. Although there is no conclusive proof as yet, researches suggest strongly that once people learn something, it is always present somewhere in the memory. They may be unable to get to it or retrieve it, but it is there somewhere stored in the memory.

As for the part about experience or practice, think about something that you have done and caused a lot of pain. Are you going to do it again? Of course not. You don't want to experience that pain again, so you change your behaviour to avoid the painful consequence. This is how experience or practice bring changes in our behaviour and help learn new things. Every action or behaviour has a consequence. If the consequence of that action or behaviour is painful or unpleasant, we do not repeat that action or behaviour in order to avoid the painful or unpleasant consequence. However, the consequence of an action or behaviour is pleasant or pleasurable, we repeat that action or behaviour again and again in order to get the same consequence or pleasure. 

Therefore, these changes in behaviour which is relatively permanent and which are brought about by experience or practice are called learning.

Share this article :

Post a Comment

Fathimath Sama
Copyright © 2012. Oscar Education - All Rights Reserved