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Monday, 4 January 2016

Define learning and also discuss its basic characteristics of learning


Learning has been defined and explained in a number of ways. A few of the views regarding the nature of learning are presented here. Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience. Learning is a relatively enduring change in observable behavior that occurs as a result of experience.


  • Learning is a change in an individual caused by experience. 
  • Learning is a relatively permanent change in mental associations due to experience. 
  • Learning is a process through which experience causes permanent change in knowledge or behavior.
  • Learning involves the acquisition of knowledge, habits, skills and attitudes.
  • Learning refers to both acquisition and retention. 
  • Learning is more or less permanent incremental modification of behavior which results from activity, special training or observation.
  • Learning is modification due to- energies of organism and the environment influencing on the organism itself. 
  • Learning refers to more or less permanent change in behavior’which occurs as a result of practice. 
  • Learning implies a fairly permanent change in a person's behavioral performance
Learning can take place in many forms. Sometime, it is intentional and at another time, it is unintentional.
Learning is not time-bound. It can take place anywhere and at anytime. At this time, we are reading the chapter ‘learning’. We are learning about the concept of learning. We are in the process of learning. To me, the process of learning involves the following essential characteristics :

Learning is a dynamic process : 

The active role of the individuals is very important in the process of learning. When an individual has a particular goal in his/her mind, he/she actively participate in some activities. He/she repeat the activities which help him/her in achieving his/her goal. He/she does not repeat those acts which do not help him/her in achieving his/her goal. This chain of activities remains to continue throughout the individual’s life. In this respect, we may say that learning is a dynamic process.

Learning is conducive to behavioral changes : 

Learning refers to the modification in behavior. When, an individual learns a skill or activity, he/she gets some sort of experiences. These experiences bring about behavioral changes in the individuals. So to say, change is the basic learning condition if no change occurs, there is no learning to be happened. There is no concept of the learning process without the existence of change. Learning leads to behavioral changes. And these changes enable the students to cope with the environmental needs.

Learning is a progressive process : 

The process of learning is progress and evolutionary. It is lifelong process which ranges from birth to death. An individual experiences news skills situations which consequently change his/her behavior. The pace of learning steps up at a particular span of life. The human learning expands and deepens as he/she grow/s old. At a particular period of human life, we can visualize the elements of maturation in the conduct and behavior of the individuals. This is all due to the process of learning that is an essential part of individual’s daily life affairs.

Learning is a mental activity : 

Learning is such an activity that requires the active participation of the mental abilities of the individual. We can easily observe that mental attention is necessary for learning how to drive a car and how to learn typing.
A person can learn nothing without the application of the cognitive abilities on the process of lcarning. The cognitive abilities are essential for making use of the learned skills in future. So to say, mental abilities are directly concerned with the process of learning. No learning can occur without the participation of mental abilities.

Learning is a purposeful process : 

Learning is a process which is conducted for the acquisition of predetermined goals. No learning activity can happen without the determination of explicit objectives. Only the needs and goals persuade the individuals to learn new skills, attitudes and habits. Goal is the only vital motivational force which provides necessary persuasion for learning. According to the experts, the more explicit goal of the individual, the more enthusiasm for learning would be observed in the individual.

Learning is an intentional process : 

The process of learning is dependent on the intention of the individual. To me, intention is the basic condition for learning new things. The process of learning cannot produce the required results in the absence of well-directed intention. The unintentional and incidental learning is short-lived and transitory. Such learning has no permanent effects on human behavior. According to the psychologists, no durable learning can be ensured in the absence of well-defined intention.

Learning is associated with practice : 

According to the experts, the process of learning. is associated with different types of practices. Repeated drill is the prerequisite of the mastery over certain skills. It is, generally, said that practice makes a man perfect. Near me, repeated drill is the only element which is behind this popular proverb regarding the process of learning. The excess of practice decreases the possibility of mistakes in the learned skills. An individual has to undergo practice sessions following the learning of typing skills. Likewise, only the learning how to drive a car is not sufficient. The driver has to practice driving for turning into a competent driver.

Learning is a continuous process : 

Learning is lifelong process. There is no break found in the process, of learning. The chain of learning begins from the birth and extends to the death of the individual. There is no beginning or end of the learning process. The whole life of an individual is a combination of learned experiences, observations, skills and attitudes. All these things rightly affect the behavior and conduct of the individual. The individual modifies his/her behavior in the light of the learned experiences and observation. All the experiences and observations of the individual are termed as learning that is the essential part of his/her life.

Learning is a development : 

Learning is a developmental process. It brings about emotional, cognitive and social changes in the individual, This is the learning which affects the attitudes, trends, approaches, social habits and so on. This formation of attitudes and habits reshape" the ideals and beliefs of the individuals. At last, the learning process leads the individual to the destination of comprehensive development.

Learning is a gradual process : 

Learning is a process of changes but these changes take place gradually and at a slow pace. Soto say, an individual learns a skill step by step. This is the natural style of development observed in the phenomenon of
nature. There is a fixed order of change on account of the learning process. For instance, as in the case of language learning, the child first learns the alphabets of the language, then he/she learns how to form words and ultimately, he/she learns to form sentences. In this way, he/she learns the various segments of language according to the fixed gradual order.

Learning is bound to take place in environment : 

Most of the learning psychologists hold that learning is essentially an adaptation and adjustment to the
environment. Thus, environment has heavy influences upon the environment. We cannot separate the process of learning from the conditions of environment. Learning needs an environment to take place. Here, it comes out that environment is one of the determinants of the process of learning. In the circumstances this is the responsibility of the teachers to maintain a friendly learning environment for the students so that the learning objectives may be achieved.

Learning is intelligent and creative : 

Learning involves some intelligent interpretation of the situations and conditions. It is also concerned with some selectivity in the response. This necessarily involves intelligence and creative thinking on the part of the learner. To me, intelligence and creativity are two basic elements of the process of learning. The dullness slows down the pace of learning. On contrary, intelligence and creativity step up the pace of learning. The pace of learning is directly concerned with the intellectual and creative decisions during the process of learning.

Learning affects the conduct of the individuals : 

Learning positively affects the learners to adjust him/herself to the environment. This is an agreed fact ,that all
learning reforms and modifies the behavior and conduct of the individuals. The process of learning is, in fact, the process of change which affects the conduct of the learners . If there is no effect of learning on the conduct of the individual, there is no existence of the process of learning. I hold that conduct of the individual undergoes changes on account of the process of learning.

Learning is active : 

Learning requires activity and involvement on the part of the individual. It can take place only if the learner is actively engaged in the learning process. To me, active participation of the learners is the basic conditions for the success of the, learning process. Activity ensures the smooth running of the process of learning. The interaction between the learner and the activity itself results in valuable experiences which allow the individual to decide his/her course of life.

Learning is universal : 

Both men and animals learn from their experiences and observations; Learning is the fundamental capacity with which both are born. The human beings possess as much developed brain as the animals do not. Still the
animals learn though their pace of learning is slow. The circus animals can learn the tricks to exhibit in the public show. On contrary, human beings learn at a quick pace though there are some slow learners among the human beings too.

Learning is need-based : 

To me, much of human learning is need-based. It is the result of Some particular needs of demands of the time. Human learning is subjected to the internal and external needs and requirements of the individual. These needs motivate the individuals to pass through the process of learning. According to some distinguished psychologists, the pace of learning largely depends on the intensity of the needs which are the motivational forces for the process of learning. In our daily life, we can observe that the children learn quickly near the examinations.

Learning is adjustment : 

Learning is a process which involves adjustment of the individuals to their environment. An individual learns to adjust him/herself to the changes that take place around him/her. To me, adjustment is the outcome of the
learning precess. Since adjustment to the surrounded environment is the primary aim of education, attempt is made for adjusting the students to their environment by means of the learning process.

Learning is organizing experience : 

Learning does not aim at gathering disarrange experiences and put them in a warehouse. It aims at connecting the previous experiences with the new-ones and thus gives rise to new form of behavior. To me, learning involves the proper organization of the series of experiences in an intelligent manner. If the human experiences are not organized, the individuals would not reap the benefit of these experiences. Only the organized experiences can lead to the organized personality.

Learning is transferable : 

Learning is one area may be got transferred to another areas. This transfer of learning occurs when there is similarity of task, content and methodology. The amount of this transfer may vary from time to time, situation to situation and place to place.

Learning is hypothetical construct : 

Learning cannot be directly observed but can only be inferred from observable behavior. So, for example, if the performance of a student on a task at Time I differs in any particular way from performance on the task at Time 2, we may infer that learning has taken place. This observable difference clearly indicates that there are some signs of learning.

Learning involves permanence : 

Learning is concerned with permanent Chang in individual’s behavior. The temporary fluctuations in behavior as a result fatigue, drugs and temperature are not included in the concept of learning. To me, permanence is the minimum requirement for saying that learning has taken place.

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