Understanding Learning

What is learning?         2
How do we learn?         3

A critical analysis: examining Piaget and Vygotsky   4

What children need: Why do they fail?         9
Examining current learning processes                           11

Conclusion         13

References         14

Appendices: See assignments 2, 3 & 4.

What is learning?
Learning definitions and theories vary greatly depending on the theorist or definition used. The one thing that is agreed on is the fact that learning is a highly complex aspect of human life, which after years of research is still not fully realised (Pollard, A. 2002).

Learning can be defined as the extension, elaboration or modification of children’s schemata. Children achieve this by using their existing knowledge to make sense of new knowledge (Bourne; J p 51). According to Vygotsky, (1896), (http://www.f2be.com/quotes.htm) it is not just the acquisition of the ability of think but the acquisition of specialised abilities to think about an array of things. It is a ubiquitous process by which knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes are acquired, understood, applied and extended (Pollard, A. p134). This process happens throughout our daily lives as naturally as breathing, yet we take it for granted (Hayes, p10).

In the reading assignment it was clear to see how the children were progressing and learning within their reading, which is the key to education. Further, education is the key to success for the development of children as individuals as well as in a democratic society (Adams, cited in Reading Assignment p1).

How do we learn?
Since education became formalised in school, teachers have been aware that frequently learning is highly unsuccessful. To overcome this issue, professionals in education and psychology proposed various ‘learning theories’. Bigge states that a learning theory is ‘a systematic, integrated outlook in regard to the nature...