What is Learning?

Learning is a self-adjusting, continuous process of inputs, processing, and response. Each movement in the process takes place across one or more knowledge categories. Four such categories are cognitive, somatic, affective, and volitive.

A Model

Cognitive knowledge consists of ideas communicated via symbol/language. Ideas enter the soul/mind and cause some level of cognitive dissonance. The learner creates and/or adjusts patterns of thought, and then implements and evaluates those patterns. The results of evaluation are fed back in to the process as new inputs (in one or more knowledge categories). The learning process continues. This basic process occurs across each category of knowledge. Somatic inputs consist of physical skills and abilities, resulting in new patterns of movement and perception. Affective inputs consist of challenges to emotions and values, resulting in new patterns of feeling and valuing. Volitive inputs consist of challenges to decided ways of thinking and acting, resulting in new patterns of thinking and acting.

Some Conclusions

The learning process is not linear and knowledge categories are not set in stone. While educational theorists wade through the mass of details and interactions, we need not join them. We need only remember that learning is a self-adjusting, continuous process. Each individual is responsible for his or her learning. Each community is responsible for its learning. Learning is an internal process and teachers and facilitators can create environments in which learning is more or less likely to happen, providing inputs and encouragements necessary to the process, but they cannot force learning. We must all cooperate to do that.

Original posted on Laura’s (Tangential) Writings, Thursday, June 21, 2007, as Re-Thinking Learning. I am Laura: I can copy myself. You shouldn’t.

© Laura Springer and Who in the World Are We?, 2005-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura Springer and Who in the World Are We? with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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