Right from the birth of a child until death, learning continues. Learning is the process of developing new or recasting existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or likings. Learning is not compulsory, it is environmental. It does not take place at all once, but builds upon and is shaped by what we already know. Learning creates changes in the living creatures and the changes are comparatively permanent.
According to J.P. Guildford “Learning is any change in behaviour results from behaviour”.
According to Charles E. Skinner “Learning is the process of progressive behaviour adoptions.”
According to Crow and Crow “Learning is the acquisition of habits, knowledge, and attitudes”.
According to R.S. Woodworth “Learning consists of doing something new provide".
- Learning exists within the school and as well as outside the school environment.
- All learners are naturally motivated to learn and are capable of learning.
- Children learn in several ways through experience, doing things, experimenting, reading, discussion, asking questions, listening, thinking and reflecting, and expressing themselves by speech or writing both individually and as well as with others.
- Learning is regarded as a process of improvement with practice or training. Children learn many things, which helps us to improve our performance.
- Learning is the revision of experience.
- Learning does not exist without a cause and self-activity. In the teaching-learning process, the activity of the learner is more important than the activity of a teacher.
- When the aim and purpose of learning are clear, an individual learns quickly. It is the cause or objective, which decides what, the learner finds in the learning situations and how he acts. If there is no cause or objective then learning cannot be seen.
Types and forms of learning:
- Perceptual Learning: This kind of learning is a learning in which students learn by sense organs and brains can understand and record the various things, events, incideincidentsrience, etc.
- Conceptual learning: This kind of learning is about the subject matter in detail about its principles or ideas but after learning students start thinking in an abstract term. Through this, students learn to organize information and facts about anything in a logical structure.
- Associative learning: It is a kind of learning in which a child frames a new memory about an object, entity, event, incident, experience, etc.
- Appreciative learning: In this type of learning ideas, attitudes, and a mental disposition that are related to a positive feeling of mind play a seminal role. When we appreciate a child for his behaviour, activity, etc. then a positive feeling arises in the mind of a child. Now, a child will tend to repeat this behaviour to be appreciated and feel the same feeling in his mind.
Principles of learning:
- Principle of readiness: It implies a degree of alertness and eagerness. Individuals learn optimum when they are physically, mentally, and impressively ready to learn, and unable to learn well if they find no reason for learning. Making students ready to learn, creating interest by showing the value of the subject matter, and providing continuous mental or physical challenges, are generally the teacher's tasks.
- Principle of exercise: The principle of exercise states that those things which are repeated are best remembered and it is the basis of drill and practice. It has been exhibited that students learn best and keep information longer done practice and repetition and the important part here is that the practice must be sensible. Practice leads to improvement only when it is followed by positive feedback.
- Principle of effect: The principle of effect is based on the expressive reaction of the student and has a direct relation to motivation. The principle of effect states that learning becomes stronger when conducted by a satisfying feeling and that learning is enfeebled when associated with an unsatisfying feeling, every learning experience should have an impact that leaves the student with positive feelings.
- Principle of Primacy: The state of being first, often creates a strong, almost decided impression. Things that are learned first create a long-lasting impression in the mind that is hard to erase.
- Principle of Intensity: The principle of intensity implies that a student will learn more from the real thing than from a substitute.
- Principle of requirement: The law of requirement states that "we must have something to obtain or do something." It can be ability, skill, or anything that may help us to learn or gain something. A starting point or root is required.
- Principle of freedom: The principle of freedom states that things freely learned are learned in the best way. Contrarily, the further a student is forced, the more difficult is for him to learn, grasp, and apply what is learned. Compulsion and force are contrary to personal growth. The greater the freedom enjoyed by individuals within a society, the greater the intellectual and moral advancement enjoyed by society as a whole. Since learning is an active process, students must have freedom: freedom of choice, freedom of action, and freedom to bear the results of action—these are the three great freedoms that constitute personal responsibility. If no freedom is granted, students may have little interest in learning.
Thorn dike's three laws of learning and their educational implications:
Thorn dike's three primary laws of learning are:
- Law of Readiness: The primary law of learning is the ‘Law of Readiness’ or the Law of Action Tendency’, which means that learning takes place when an action aptness is generated through initial adjustment or perspectives. If the child is not prepared to learn, learning cannot be involuntarily infused in him.
- Law of exercise: It is the second law of learning of Thorn dike. The Law of exercise means that drill or practice helps in expanding the effectiveness and strength of learning. For example, learning to typewrite, sing, etc. requires repetitions of various motions and actions several times.
- Law of effect: This is the third and last primary law of learning. In this law, the teacher must take into consideration the tastes and attentiveness of his pupils.
Thorndike's five subordinate laws of learning are:
Law of Multiple-Response: According to this law an organism changes its responses until suitable behaviour is hit upon. Without different retaliations, the solution might never be acquired. Assume an individual wants to solve a puzzle, then he will try to solve it in different ways rather than repeating the same way.
The law of set or attitude: Learning is conducted by a total set or perspectives of the organism, which regulates not only what the person will do but what will please or displease.
Pre-potency of elements: According to this law, the learner reacts particularly to the vital situation and abandons the other features or elements which may be unrelated.
Law of response by analogy: According to this law organism applies old experiences or accessions while learning a new situation.
The law of associative shifting: According to this law, we may get a response of a learner which he is capable of giving, associating with other situations to which he is quick to respond.
Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory:
Social learning theory is a theory of learning and social behaviour that initiates that new behaviours can be obtained by perceiving and imitating others. The theory is called a bridge between behaviourist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses recognition, remembrance, and motivating force.
The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modelling process:
Attention: To learn, you need to pay attention. Any interruption may affect the advertency of learning.
Retention: The ability to store information is the main part of the learning process.
Reproduction: Once recognition is paid to the model and keeps possession of the information, it is time to perform the behaviour you perceive.
Motivation: Lastly, for observational learning to be successful, you have to be motivated to imitate the behaviour that has been modelled. Reinforcement and punishment played a vital role in motivation.
Gestalt theory of insightful learning:
According to gestalt, “Learning is the organization or re-organization of behaviour which arises from the interactions of a maturing organism and its environment".
Insight is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. It is the relationship between at least 3 factors in an agent, a goal, and intercedes conditions or barriers. Gestalt theory focuses on the idea of grouping. The components that determine the group are proximity, similarity, closure, and simplicity.
Gestalt laws of learning:
- Law of similarity: According to this law, homogeneous ideas and experiences get related together.
- Law of proximity: Perceptual groups are recommended according to the closeness of their respective parts. Items form groups if they are spaced together.
- Law of closure: This law states that the brain can perceive forms and figures in their complete appearance.
- Laws of continuity: It says the brain can perceive forms and figures in their complete appearance.
- Law of contrasts: Perception or an idea can suggest its contradictory opposite. Like the heat of summers suggests the cold of winter.
Karl Rogers experimental learning:
Experiential learning is a dynamic process in which students learn facts through discovery and investigation. It is a student-centred approach, labelled each student's needs and desires. Learning takes place from both victories and mistakes and helps students in developing new skills, perspectives, and problem-solving techniques.
Rogers inaugurate the idea of two different types of learning in his theory: cognitive and experiential. Cognitive learning involves memorization and learning of facts, such as vocabulary. Experiential knowledge meets the needs and attentiveness of the learners, with a focus on hands-on experience and real-life conditions.
Characteristics of experimental learning:
- Experiential learning involves the personal involvement of the students
- Experiential learning self-initiated learners or students.
- Experiential learning Self-evaluates the students.
- Experiential learning has an inescapable effect on students.
Pavlov's theory of learning:
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist focused on studying how digestion works in mammals. He detected and noted down information about dogs and their digestive system process.
Classical conditioning refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically powerful stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (e.g. a bell). It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to obtain a response (e.g. salivation) that is generally similar to the one obtained by the powerful stimulus.
The procedure of Pavlov’s theory:
Classical conditioning arises when a conditioned stimulus (CS) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US). Usually, the conditioned stimulus is neutral, the unconditioned stimulus is a biologically powerful stimulus and the unconditioned response (UR) to the unconditioned stimulus is an uninstructed impulsive response. After pairing is repeated the organism displays a conditioned response (CR) to the conditioned stimulus when the conditioned stimulus is entrusted alone. Thus, unlike UR, the CR is obtained through experience, and it is also less perpetual than the UR.
Educational implications of Pavlov’s theory:
- Conditioning creates fear, love, and hatred towards specific subjects.
- A teacher can bring a wise effect on the Learners through a good method and kind treatment.
- Conditioning helps the child in adjustments to various types of environments.
- The theory of reward and punishment is based on conditioning.
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