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Introduction to Learning and Its Types

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Introduction to Learning and Its Types


Learning is most commonly defined as a process that makes changes in ones knowledge, skills, values and views about the world and how they see it. In easy terms learning is something that we do in order to understand the world around us. According to Mapels and Webster in 1980, " learning is a process by which behavior changes as a result of experience." This is mores likely to be a definition that defines the true essence of learning. But the nature of changes that take place are different from individual to individual, Saljo a researcher in 1979 carried out an interesting research regarding the process of learning and the changes that take place due to experience. He asked a number of students of what their point of view about the learning process is? What they think , learning is? And he came up with the following stated responses:

1. Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge.

2. Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot'.

3. Learning as memorising.

4. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced.

5. Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary.

6. Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning.

7. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world.

8. Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way.

9. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge.

These few definitions by different individuals, about what they perceive of learning to be defines learning through different perspectives and identifies the complexity of learning process. By virtue of these definitions we can divide learning into two major types. Rogers in 2003 said that, " Learning is seen to be going on all the time, it is concrete, immediate and confined to a specific activity, and is not concerned with general principles."

According to this statement, the first type of learning we identify is :

Acquisition Learning or Task-Conscious Learning, in this type of learning the learner may not be conscious of the learning process but conscious of the task that he/she is performing. This type of learning usually is said to take place during our daily day-to-day activities. Examples that have been quoted include, house-hold chores, parenting or some technical job that becomes a part of the persons very being.

Formalized learning or Learning Conscious, is the second type of learning. This type of learning takes place through structures systems of education. The main task here consciously or unconsciously remains one and the same, and that is acquiring knowledge, by learning. In this type , learning itself is considered the task.


Psychology is the branch of science that studies human behavior and mental activities of human beings and the composition and working of human personality. In Psychology Illeris in 2000 and Ormorod in 1995 defined learning as, "it is a process that brings together cognitive, emotional and environmental influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing or making changes in ones behavior, knowledge, skills and values."

Neurosciences which particularly deal with the complex activities of the human brain suggest that " the primary component for learning of our brain is pattern recognition, not processing of information." The acknowledgement that learning is not only processing information, we gather through experience involves to creating a definition that would define learning in all terms of formal and informal contexts of learning activities.

Some learning experiences are there to build skills, yet some build attitudes or beliefs, and yet others might be able to build soft knowledge. The goal of learning remaining the same, being able to do something or to achieve something. Keeping in consideration all the above stated thoughts on learning and combining them, we can safely say that, "Learning is actuated or actionable knowledge."


Learning theory, is a process that attempts to identify what happens when learning takes place. The learning theories identify and describe how people tend to learn and help us to understand how the complex process of learning

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