A number of definitions exist for the term “learning” and these definitions differ in the way they are put forward in different theories. However, the fundamental is the same. Learning refers to the process of increasing ones knowledge through the process of reading and the use of senses. There are several learning theories but one in particular that we will be going over is sensory stimulation theory. INTRODUCTION
Tamez and Surles (2004) described learning as an active process that starts with the learner. ‘It consists of a relationship between the learner and the environment, their present and past experience, a natural or innate curiosity to know and the social interaction between each of us. They also speak of how these things also play a role in how people learn best. Which sense do people favor when they are learning? Depending on the environment that a person is in, does the sense in which they learn change? LITERATURE REVIEW
In the 1960s and 1970s, learning was usually referred as a change in behavior, that is learning is discussed as the end product of some process. Thus learning was closely associated with change. However this approach to learning has been subjected to some debate and most interestingly from Merriam and Caffarella who raised the following critical questions. Does a person need to perform in order for learning to have happened? Are there other factors that may cause behavior to change? Can the change involved include the potential for change? These queries have triggered a number of reactions among theorists and some have looked to identifying relatively permanent changes in behavior, or rather the potential for change, as a result of experiences. But a number of other theorists have been less concerned with behavior but rather with changes in the ways in which people understand, or experience, or conceptualize the world around them. They argued that not all changes in behavior resulting from experience involve learning. The focus for them, is gaining knowledge or ability through the use of experience. An interesting research by Säljö on what adult students understood by learning yield the following responses which shed some more lights from an empirical sense on the above. 1.
Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge. Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot’. 2.
Learning as memorizing. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced. 3.
Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary. 4.
Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world. 5.
Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge. The views are clearly different and the author argued that conceptions 1 to 3 imply a less complex view of learning. Learning is something external to the learner whereby people go out and buy knowledge. Conceptions 4 and 5 look to the 'internal' or personal aspect of learning and learning appears something that one does in order to understand the real world. Learning as a process
The above also leads us to view learning appearing as a process as well as there is a concern with what happens when the learning takes place. Maples and Webster 1980 (quoted in Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 124) posited that learning is 'a process by which behaviour changes as a result of experience'. Central to this has been has been the issue of the extent to which people are conscious of what is going on, that is if they are awared that they are engaged in learning. One important contribution is that of Rogers (2003) who set out two contrasting approaches namely the task-conscious or acquisition learning and learning-conscious or formalized learning. The author described acquisition learning as going on all the time. It is 'concrete, immediate and confined...
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