Introduction to Learning


Learning can be defined as the permanent change in behavior due to direct and indirect experience. It means change in behavior, attitude due to education and training, practice and experience. It is completed by acquisition of knowledge and skills, which are relatively permanent.

Learning is the process of acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, and some machines; there is also evidence for some kind of learning in some plants. Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event (e.g. being burned by a hot stove), but much skill and knowledge accumulates from repeated experiences. The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be “lost” from that which cannot be retrieved.

Nature of Learning

Nature of learning means the characteristic features of learning. Learning involves change; it may or may not guarantee improvement. It should be permanent in nature, that is learning is for lifelong.

The change in behavior is the result of experience, practice and training. Learning is reflected through behavior.

Factors Affecting Learning

Learning is based upon some key factors that decide what changes will be caused by this experience. The key elements or the major factors that affect learning are motivation, practice, environment, and mental group.

  • Motivation: The encouragement, the support one gets to complete a task, to achieve a goal is known as motivation. It is a very important aspect of learning as it acts gives us a positive energy to complete a task. Example − the coach motivated the players to win the match.
  • Practice: We all know that “Practice makes us perfect”. In order to be a perfectionist or at least complete the task, it is very important to practice what we have learnt. Example − we can be a programmer only when we execute the codes we have written.
  • Environment: We learn from our surroundings, we learn from the people around us. They are of two types of environment – internal and external. Example − A child when at home learns from the family which is an internal environment, but when sent to school it is an external environment.
  • Mental Group: It describes our thinking by the group of people we chose to hang out with. In simple words, we make a group of those people with whom we connect. It can be for a social cause where people with the same mentality work in the same direction. Example− A group of readers, travelers, etc.

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