Definition of Learning

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Learning is the acquiring of knowledge or skill; teaching is providing another with knowledge and insight. These definitions are deceptively simple.
Popular magazines, textbooks, library shelves are full of theories and explanations about how these processes take place. Yet no one can say learning will always take place under certain conditions or teaching will never take place under certain conditions. In spite of myriads of information, people with their unique minds and personalities are always modifying the existing theories.
In actually, teaching and learning cannot be separated, for while a person is teaching he is also learning, or at least should be. Perhaps the substandard use of learn, as in the sentence, “I`m going to learn you something”, has more accuracy than people have thought. Both of these terms cannote a lifelong process, an internalization (learning) of thoughts, attitudes, facts, and a consequent externalization (teaching) of those thoughts, attitudes, and facts. Teaching and learning can be conscious and formal, as in the announced situation, “Today we are going to learn about the digestive system”. Or they can be unconscious and informal, as when a mother frowns and says with a certain tonal emphasis, “What is that smell ?” The listening and watching child combines a certain smell with a negative mental attitude.
One word that cannotes a chilly, stiff learning process is pedagogy. Originally the word meant teaching children, but today it refers generally to teaching. Unfortunately, most knowledge about learning has come from studies of children and animals, and most knowledge about teaching has come from teaching children who are in compulsary attendance. Thus many times adults are taught as though they were children. To combat this erring process, knowles has coined a new word, andragogy : helping adults learn.
The word education has traditionally meant a process that transmits the culture. But the word originally came from a Latin word meaning “to draw out”. Although we are more familiar with education as a cramming full of facts and information, the other side of the definition is to draw out the mysterious hidden qualities within a person. The amount of education a person has gained and retained has long been measured by IQ (intelligent quotient) tests. But many qualities cannot be measured this way. The IQ cannot measure how much creative imagination a person has, how much ambition, perseverance, or willingness to cooperate. And these qualities are significant, though previously not often considered of given priority. Thus a balanced definition of education is the continuing process of using immeasurable inner resources to gain external information.

References :
Guralnik, David, ed., Webster`s New World Dictionary of the American Language (2nd college ed.). New York: The World Publishing Company, 1972.
Knowles, Malcolm S., The Modern Practice of Adult Education. New York: Association Press, 1970.
Pardue, Austin, “Don`t Be Frightened by Failure,” Guideposts, May, 1973.
Murray, RB and Zentner JP., Nursing Concepts for Health Promotion, Second Edtion, Prentice-Hall, Inc, Englewood Cliffs, N.J, 1979

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