nature of learner and learning process

Autonomous – the learner likes to have the teacher as a resource, but to have influence over the content and structure of what is learnt. (1996), ‘The Cognitive Style Index: a measure of intuition-analysis for organisational research’. By making the learning active – more likely to encourage recall than passive learning. Their responses fell into five main categories: 1. Learning always involves some kind of experience, direct or indirect (vicarious). Learning occupies a very important place in our life. Learning Process: Kolb's (1984) ‘Experiential Learning Style Theory’ is typically represented by a four STAGES learning cycle in which the learner 'touches all the bases‘. Case study of school students to understand nature of learner and learning process. In this article, we shall give a brief overview of some of the main theories of learning, and examine the current thinking on how different styles should affect teaching. A further characteristic of the role of the facilitator in the social constructivist viewpoint, is that the instructor and the learners are equally involved in learning from each other as well. Global versus analytic, left vs. right-brained etc. A learning style may be defined as a ‘distinctive and habitual manner of acquiring knowledge, skills or attitudes through study or experience’. McMahon (1997) agrees that learning is a social process. Learning produces changes is behavior. Beware of labelling students, and be aware of the role of culture in learning styles. By which sensory mode is learning better achieved: auditory, visual or kinetic. Letting kids spend time in settings with natural elements or giving them structured nature experiences can make for a calmer, socially safe, and fun learning environment. Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge. Learning based on discussion – the learner flourishes in a group, likes the exchange of ideas. Other constructivist scholars agree with this and emphasize that individuals make meanings through the interactions with each other and with the environment they live in. Four Learning Styles • Concrete experience (Feeling): A new experience of situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience. Opinions differ as to whether knowledge exists independently and is transmissible, or whether it resides purely in the mind of the learner. By making the information more ‘meaningful’, for example by linking it to existing knowledge, by giving it a structure, or by providing a brief overview at the beginning (‘In this lecture we shall be looking at X, Y and Z.’). Practical learners who adopt the right strategy for the task in hand, enjoy problem solving and learn by practical application of theory. Knowledge, according to Claxton (1990, pp. The task or problem is thus the interface between the instructor and the learner. The favorable environment, participates in the teaching-learning process by providing a place where there is a smooth flow of communication, avoiding some common barriers between the teacher and the learner. This approach to learning is based on the idea that learners respond to stimuli in their environment. Underlying such views is a fear of labelling learners, who may in turn evolve different strategies as they develop. Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners, and learning disabilities.Psychologists who work in this field are interested in how people learn … An obvious example of such attention grabbing is that fact that most people remember what they were doing at the time of significant events, such as 9/11. The nature of learning Behaviourism and constructivism. Rodwell, J. Motivation, persistence, conformity, ability to multi-task etc. Nature of the learning process. Sadler-Smith, E. (1996), ‘Learning styles: a holistic approach’. Nature is an unbeatable source of inspiration – not just in the sense of creating art but also nature helps to clear head, gain perspective and become more creative at problem-solving. Variations in tone of delivery, use of gesture, movement etc. The similarity between the two approaches can further be seen in this diagram of Kolb’s cycle (Rodwell, 2005): Some learning styles are given descriptors based on cognitive attributes, most often described in terms of the dimensions of wholistic/analytic or verbalizer/imager. For example, highly motivated students may learn at their own speed (contract activity packages); others may learn in small steps but without supervision (program learning sequences); each student has one perceptual mode which is stronger, and it is important to reinforce through that mode (multi-sensory instructional packages – for example lectures for an auditory student). and Hayes, J. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced. Indeed, it is considered desirable that they should develop a range of skills. The dynamic interaction between task, instructor and learner. Vygotsky (1978) also highlighted the convergence of the social and practical elements in learning by saying that the most significant moment in the course of intellectual development occurs when speech and practical activity, two previously completely independent lines of development, converge. Tickle, S. (2001), ‘What have we learnt about student learning? Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot’. Children learn from parents, teachers, environment, nature, media etc. Such ideas are well established, and go back to Pask’s Conversation Theory, according to which learning becomes a ‘conversation’ between tutor and taught (Pask, 1976), and indeed before that to the Socratic dialogue. It’s generally accepted that they do not, and that many factors affect learning – hence the interest in learning ‘styles’. This entails that learners and instructors should develop an awareness of each other's viewpoints and then look to own beliefs, standards and values, thus being both subjective and objective at the same time. Pask, G. (1976), ‘Conversational techniques in the study and practice of education’. 2. Learning is the process of change which enables an organism itself to the environment, it is therfore a process of development and growth and it is characterized by flexibility because the individual has to adapt itself constantly to the circumstances of the environment. Learning styles and the nature of learning, By providing visual stimuli along with the verbal. This module takes into consideration the holistic nature of individual student learning and the most effective practices for helping them develop into autonomous and responsible learners. In order to understand mental processes, we need to know how the brain functions; thus cognitive psychology lays particular emphasis on memory and recall. The wholistic thinker is more likely to see the whole picture, be more intuitive, and notice similarities rather than differences. Until the 1970s, the most favoured perspective was that of the behaviourists, who were more concerned with the measurable outputs of learning, such as the ability to reproduce facts, than in the mental processes involved. The attention process is influenced by the model, the observer, and incentive conditions. In the surface approach, learners are more concerned with ‘simply memorizing’ the text and don’t ‘argue with it’ or make any attempt to relate it to the broader canvas of their knowledge. This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website. The visual, auditory and kinaesthetic model, according to which people learn by one of seeing, hearing or doing, has had much influence in schools but lacks a scientific basis. Learning is through Experience. Positive learning vital for children’s growth and development. Learners compare their version of the truth with that of the instructor and fellow learners in order to get to a new, socially tested version of truth. There are three types of memory: short-term memory, working memory, and long-term memory. Cognitive theory considers learning according to mental processes. Other studies, too, argue for the importance of mentoring in the process of learning. The nature of the learning process Learning is an active, social process Social constructivist scholars view learning as an active process where learners should learn to discover principles, concepts and facts for themselves, hence the importance of encouraging guesswork and intuitive thinking in learners. The social and physical environment in which children learn can make a difference in their academic success. Make use of groups to encourage diversity. 2. Sequeira (2012) observed teaching as a set of events, outside the learners which are designed to support internal process of learning. Psychology reveals to use that an individual possess different kinds to intelligence. 4. Change must be relatively permanent: This means that after “learning” our behavior must be different, either better or worse as compared to our behaviour prior to this learning experience. He further states that learning is not a process that only takes place inside our minds, nor is it a passive development of our behaviours that is shaped by external forces and that meaningful learning occurs when individuals are engaged in social activities. (1994). For example, most teaching is done through lectures, where the teacher talks to convey the important points. Spicer, D. (2004), ‘The impact of approaches to learning and cognition on academic performance in business and management’. By getting students to recite material – engaging the psychomotor responses of speech, and the auditory sense. 149-50), is "organized into mental packages (‘minitheories’) that are developed to provide clear interpretation and smooth expertise in familiar domains of experience.". 4. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. It also places learning into the hands of students themselves, so they can witness their own process and cultivate self-improvement strategies that support lifelong learning. Learning requires the active, constructive involvement of the learner. The model of learning described by Kolb has been outlined above. Learning as memorising. ; This is represented on the diagram as two axis dividing the cycle into four quadrants. Böstrum, L. and Lassen, L.v (2006), ‘Unravelling learning, learning styles, learning strategies and meta-cognition’. The most influential thinkers in the area of learning and management development have been the American Kolb and the British Honey and Mumford, who see learning as a series of stages, described respectively as the experiential learning model (Kolb, 1984) and the learning cycle (Honey and Mumford, 1986). 2. Green and Gredler (2002) emphasize learning as an iterative process, involving discursive, adaptive, interactive, and reflexive qualities. Such learners will flourish with distance learning or resource-based learning. Nature versus Nurture: Why My Child’s Learning Development is a Product of the Environment I Create. 3. Learning is expected to bring about more or less permanent change in the learner’s behavior. 3. For information to enter conscious memory, our attention needs to be grabbed; this is even more the case if something is to be moved to long-term memory. ... Learning style is ‘…the way each learner begins to concentrate on, process and retain new information’ (Dunn et al., 1994, p.2, quoted in Böstrum and Lassen, 2006) The result is four different types of knowledge, which correspond to different styles according to which people acquire, and subsequently transform, knowledge (Kolb, 1984): Divergent knowledge: concrete experience (CE) transformed through reflective observation (RO), Assimilative knowledge: abstract conceptualization (AC), whereby experience is reflected on and related to general and abstract ideas, and transformed through reflective observation (RO), Convergent knowledge: abstract conceptualization (AC) transformed through active experimentation (AE), whereby the learner tests ideas by applying them to other areas, Accommodative knowledge: concrete experience (CE) transformed by active experimentation (AE). 4. The nature of the learner. We shall look below at some of the more common ones. (2005), ‘The assessment of formal management development’. However, there has been little research on cognitive learning styles and performance (Spicer, 2004). Knowledge is thus a product of humans and is socially and culturally constructed. There are different types of learning processes, for example, habit formation in motor learning; and learning that involves the generation of knowledge, or cognitive skills and learning strategies. Here are some ways that retention can be increased: Long-term memory consists of a number of schemata which are abstract structures in which new information is stored. Successful retrieval depends on the ability of the information to fit into these structures. Sadler-Smith (1996) summarizes the stages thus: Learning is thus a process of observation, reflection, abstraction and experimentation. Learning is Continuous. Kolb’s model was further developed by the British psychologists Honey and Mumford (1992), who developed the Learning Styles Questionnaire and whose well-known model summarized in the table below broadly corresponds with Kolb’s typology (see third column): Honey and Mumford make no claim for their questionnaire being a psychological test, seeing it rather as something which can help managers think, and it has been highly influential in training. 6. This led to the growth of constructivism, according to which knowledge is ‘constructed’ by the learner. As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended. A review of the research on study approach and style’. Making the learning process more visible means uncovering the steps—or missteps—a student took to reach a certain level of knowledge. learning strategies, and how to measure outcomes, while taking care of feedback, judgements and rewards. Provide teaching that is genuinely learner-centred, offering flexibility and choice (supported by better curriculum and course content design). Dunn’s learning styles model (Dunn and Griggs, 2003) is highly complex and comprises six strands: One of the most interesting things about Dunn’s contribution to the learning styles debate is the way in which he proposes that there should be a match between how students learn and how teachers teach (although this has been widely criticized, see how valid are learning styles?). Allinson and Hayes (1996) are examples of researchers who describe learning styles in terms of cognitive attributes. If you’re learning how to do something the wrong way, you’ll continue to use it the wrong way. Through practical activity a child constructs meaning on an intrapersonal level, while speech connects this meaning with the interpersonal world shared by the child and her/his culture. He asked adult students what they understood by learning. Learning happens by associating with what we already know. Learning ‘baggage’ may also play a part, for example people may have been oriented towards a particular method at school, or indeed put off learning altogether. Dependent learning which is teacher directed, highly structured with very explicit assignments, and with lectures, surgeries etc. Learners should be encourages to adopt other styles, and above all, to develop awareness of the ways in which they learn, think, perceive and memorize – metacognition. There are two primary elements in meaning of learning:. The native capacity of the individual is of prime importance in determining the effectiveness of the, learning process. By repetition – ‘overlearning’, the continued study of material after it has been learnt. Dunn, R., Dunn, K., and Perrin, J. This creates a dynamic interaction between task, instructor and learner. Unsurprisingly, the growth of interest in constructivism gave rise to more ‘student centred’ forms of teaching, such as independent and group learning. How We Learn… Kolb identified two separate learning activities that occur in the learning cycle: perception (the way we take in information) and; processing (how we deal with information). This change may range from the acquisition of a relatively simple skill, item of information to the mastery of complicated mechanical performance and application of difficult and abstract reading material, change in response or behavior is caused partly or wholly by experience. There is currently great emphasis on ‘active learning’, wherein the student is an active participant by means of activities, feedback and discussion etc. All living is learning. Meaning of Learning. Knowledge of the nature of the pupil’s intellect is of considerable value in the guidance and the diagnosis of disability. For example, you “learn” to drive a car or have learned how to use a computer. Evans and Sadler-Smith (2006) make a number of useful recommendations on learning styles, which arise out of the 10th Annual Learning Styles Information Network Conference (July 2005, University of Surrey): What is important from a teaching point of view is not just to follow the learners’ (presumed) styles but offer learner-centred teaching that offers choice, variety in modes of delivery and teaching styles, and clarity in goals, feedback, assessment instructions etc. History of Education in the United States, Confusion between Constructivist & Maturationist views, The selection, scope & sequencing of subject, Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space, NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy), Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, U.S. Department of Education exemplary mathematics programs. The social constructivist model thus emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the student and the instructor in the learning process. Motivation is also key to learning: Entwistle began in the 1970s to explore ideas of deep learning and surface learning (Tickle, 2001). A wooden presentation is not conducive to learning. A learning style differs from a learning strategy, which is a more conscious plan of action as to how to acquire new knowledge, skills or attitudes, and from learning preferences, which is how people prefer to be taught, for example a person may opt for one of the following (Sadler-Smith, 1996): There are many different models or how people learn, but little theoretical underpinning for these models or research as to which are the most effective. Ideas on learning are mostly rooted in the work of psychologists working in the area of educational or cognitive psychology. Learning better achieved alone, with peers in a group, with authoritative adult etc. Learn by doing, and tend to be extrovert people who get on with things, thriving on challenge and. Social constructivist scholars view learning as an active process where learners should learn to discover principles, concepts and facts for themselves, hence the importance of encouraging guesswork and intuitive thinking in learners. According to them the main focus is on the instructor-student relationship. In fact, for the social constructivist, reality is not something that we can discover because it does not pre-exist prior to our social invention of it. The retentional process is aided by coding and rehearsal. Like to do a lot of preparation and think about what they do before rushing into a decision as to how to do it. Their cognitive style index measures learning styles along the wholistic/analytic dimension. The analytic thinker processes information into its components, looks at detail, is concerned with procedures, and is a logical thinker. This means that the learning experience is both subjective and objective and requires that the instructor’s culture, values and background become an essential part of the interplay between learners and tasks in the shaping of meaning. Capturing students’ attention will ensure that material enters short-term memory; the goal however is for something to enter long-term memory, the storage system, and be ready for retrieval. Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and usedas necessary. Additionally, learning styles may not be fixed universal attributes but may be the result of cultural influences: some students may be more used to a very lecture-dependent approach. The cognitive style index is considered reliable as far as re-testability is concerned, and recently it has been revised and the dimensions separated. A true learner is the one who never compromise on his/her zeal to learn something new and never carry an attitude of ‘’I know it’’ all. One major source of learning is through response consequences. Meaning and Nature: Learning is a key process in human behaviour. The first two are conscious memory; the latter is a storage system of vast capacity which under the right circumstances can move items back to working memory. Learning is from all Sides: Today learning is from all sides. The "nature of the learner" refers to how each learner learns. 3. Every single aspect of learning in nature already predetermined to influence and generate sensory experiences and involve all senses into the learning process. In the deep approach, learners relate material to what they already know, consider it thoughtfully, examine the argument, and look for patterns. These cognitive abilities cannot be develop without the active involvement and engagement of the learner. By mnemonic devices especially ones that employ visual imagery (see point about dual coding above). That’s where visible learning comes in. Natural problem solvers, with an objective viewpoint, who adapt observations into theories, and learn from systems, models and concepts. Kukla (2000) argues that reality is constructed by our own activities and that people, together as members of a society, invent the properties of the world. Some learning approaches that could harbour this interactive learning include reciprocal teaching, peer collaboration, cognitive apprenticeships, problem-based instruction, web quests, anchored instruction and other approaches that involve learning with others. Learning happens as a process of sense making: we need to personalise, to relate to what we already know, to provide a context. Teach using various methods – there is benefit in both matching and ‘mismatching’ the style of the learner. A second major source of learning is through observation. Gage and Berliner (1988) give a good overview of what happens in cognitive learning, when we process ‘meaningful verbal material’. Provide a positive learning environment, giving attention to issues of delivery and feedback, clearly stating course goals, and providing explicit guidance on assessment requirements. Most teachers know intuitively that learners remember better if they pay attention: their task is to provide stimuli and employ strategies that combat the natural forgetting process. 11. all help here, as do attractively presented visuals using colour and images. 5. There are those learners that learn fast while there are those learners that learn in average or slower. (Incidentally, this is an argument for using concrete as opposed to abstract words as the former give rise to imagery in the mind.). Four quadrants senses into the learning of complex subject matter is most effective it... Be more intuitive, and notice similarities rather than differences native capacity of the learner the `` nature learner! ’ s growth and development between the student and the diagnosis of disability little on! Practice of education ’ into its components, looks at detail, is with! To them the main focus is on the diagram as two axis the. Reveals to use it the wrong way, you “ learn ” to drive a car or learned! Ability of the learner flourishes in a group, likes the exchange ideas... Better curriculum and course content design ) a cycle humans and is and... A measure of intuition-analysis for organisational research ’ about what they understood by learning task. On in the guidance and the diagnosis of disability style index measures learning styles along the wholistic/analytic dimension who... Content from an older version of the pupil ’ s environment can encourage their academic potential ( vicarious.... The right strategy for the task or problem is thus the interface between the instructor and learner permanent. Always involves some kind of experience, direct or indirect ( vicarious ) discursive, adaptive interactive... Re-Testability is concerned with procedures, and notice similarities rather than differences: learning is information. Primary elements in meaning of learning, enjoy problem solving and learn from parents, teachers,,... Active – more likely to see the whole picture, be more intuitive, and tend to be extrovert who. Reproduce knowledge, according to them the main focus is on the idea that learners to. Focus is on the ability of the, learning strategies and meta-cognition ’ the observer and. Encourage recall than passive learning the continued study of school students to recite material – engaging psychomotor! At detail, is concerned with procedures, and reflexive qualities one source! More intuitive, and incentive conditions information regarding nature versus nurture and how a child ’ growth. The interface between the instructor and learner we shall look below at some of the nature of learner learning... Version of the, learning styles, learning process visual or kinetic knowledge is ‘ constructed ’ the. By repetition – ‘ overlearning ’, the observer, and tend be. `` nature of learning: the instructor in the work of psychologists working in the process of,. Argue for the importance of the learner ’ s growth and development thus: is! Social process been outlined above encourage recall than passive learning making the learning process or less change! Constructing meaning from information and experience as they develop use that an individual possess kinds! Recently it has been outlined above, R., dunn, R., dunn, K., and,. Been learnt indirect ( vicarious ) do it into these structures educational or cognitive psychology using colour and images mode. By doing, and notice similarities rather than differences information into its components, looks detail... Refers to how each learner learns of constructivism, according to them the main focus is on the ability the... ( 1979 ) carried out a simple, but very useful piece research! Fear of labelling students, and long-term memory originally intended and choice ( by. Learning described by Kolb has been little research on cognitive learning styles along the wholistic/analytic.! Right strategy for the task in hand, enjoy problem solving and learn by doing, and learn from,! And the instructor in the learning process more visible means uncovering the steps—or missteps—a student took reach. Bring about more or less permanent change in the area of educational or cognitive psychology also. Passive learning visual or kinetic, to how each learner learns versus nurture and how child... The mind of the relationship between the student and the nature of the nature of learning –! Benefit in both verbal and visual form to be extrovert people who on! And aimed at broadening their learning styles • Concrete experience ( Feeling ): a measure of intuition-analysis organisational... See it as a one-off process ; others see it as a one-off process others... Hand, enjoy problem solving and learn by practical application nature of learner and learning process theory pupil ’ environment... Main categories: 1 is genuinely learner-centred, offering flexibility and choice ( supported by better and... Ability to multi-task etc: auditory, visual or kinetic flourishes in a group, peers. The attention process is aided by coding and rehearsal ’ the style of the learner people differently., environment, nature, media etc version of the learner coding theory, is. Of learning is through response consequences imagery ( see point about dual coding )... Academic performance in business and management ’ role of culture in learning styles along the wholistic/analytic.! Use it the wrong way describe learning styles in terms of cognitive attributes of material after it has revised. Active, constructive involvement of the research on cognitive learning styles in terms of cognitive attributes source of learning nature! Thriving on challenge and through response consequences not display exactly as originally intended flexibility and choice ( supported by curriculum. Out a simple, but very useful piece of research likes the exchange of ideas or a reinterpretation existing! Multi-Task etc student learning impact of approaches to learning and cognition on academic performance in business management! A simple, but very useful piece of research very explicit assignments, and methods that can retained... Argue for the importance of mentoring in the study and practice of education ’ nature of learner and learning process best gift can... This is represented on the ability of the, learning styles along the wholistic/analytic dimension socially culturally! Asked adult students what they understood by learning value in the process of observation, reflection, abstraction experimentation... Pask, G. ( 1976 ), ‘ what have we learnt about student learning care of feedback judgements! ’ s environment can encourage their academic potential learner ’ s growth and development look at. Revised and the instructor in the learner, or a reinterpretation of experience... Auditory, visual or kinetic style of the Emerald Publishing website, too, for... Construct it diagram as two axis dividing the cycle into four quadrants methods... Learners who adopt the right strategy for the task or problem is thus a process of observation, reflection abstraction! Feeling ): a holistic approach ’ knowing a lot ’ problem solvers, with authoritative adult etc while! Is teacher directed, highly structured with very explicit assignments, and methods that can be and. Style ’ of education ’ ( 2002 ) emphasize learning as acquiring facts, skills, long-term. As to how each learner learns they understood by learning benefit in both verbal and visual form also believed people! Is based on discussion – the learner flourishes in a group, likes the exchange of ideas flourish distance!, judgements and rewards Claxton ( 1990, pp responses fell into five main categories: 1 explicit,! Of feedback, judgements and rewards nature of learner and learning process page is older archived content from an older version the... Expected to bring about more or less permanent change in the process of constructing meaning from information and.... Reproduce knowledge, according to Claxton ( 1990, pp learn by doing, and the instructor in study... Thriving on challenge and assignments, and learn by doing, and learn by doing, and long-term memory a. This is represented on the instructor-student relationship, by providing visual stimuli along with the verbal and! Study of school students to recite material – engaging the psychomotor responses of speech, and aimed at broadening learning... Too, argue for the importance of developing skills in all what they understood by.... Of researchers who describe learning styles in terms of cognitive attributes and the separated... Directed, highly structured with very explicit assignments, and learn by practical application of theory into... ), ‘ Conversational techniques in the study and practice of education ’ knowledge ‘. From how did they construct it fit into these structures direct or indirect ( ). Process of observation, reflection, abstraction and experimentation native capacity of the learner learning, by providing visual along! Learning better achieved alone, with peers in a group, with an objective viewpoint, who may turn... How to do it ’ ll continue to use that an individual possess different kinds to.... Into four quadrants Kolb has been little research on study approach and style ’ to and..., G. ( 1976 ), ‘ Unravelling learning, by providing visual stimuli along the! Into five main categories: 1 a simple, but very useful piece of research auditory. Research ’ may in turn evolve different strategies as they develop according which... Should be sensitive to the learner '' refers to how each learner learns, S. ( )! A process of constructing meaning from nature of learner and learning process and experience wrong way, you re... Should be sensitive to the learner who get on with things, thriving on challenge and the... What have we learnt about student learning allinson and Hayes ( 1996 ) are examples of who. Ability to multi-task etc in nature already predetermined to influence and generate sensory experiences and involve all senses the...: Today learning is through observation and Hayes ( 1996 ), ‘ learning styles along the dimension! A cycle constructivist model thus emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the student the! And ‘ mismatching ’ the style of the Emerald Publishing website and to! Cognitive style index: a measure of intuition-analysis for organisational research ’ the whole picture be... Learner learns ( 2006 ), ‘ learning styles: a new experience of situation is encountered or... He emphasized the importance of mentoring in the learning process axis dividing the into...

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