Nature of Learning Meaning & Concept
Learning is a term frequently used by people in wide variety of contexts yet despite its diverse use, at the academic level, its concept has been recognized in only one way, or at the most two in which behavior can be required or changed.
Learning can be defined as permanent change in behavior or potential behavior as a result of direct or indirect experience. There are two primary elements in this definition that must both be present in order to identify the process of learning. First, is the element that the change must be permanent.
Nature of Learning
From the above definition of learning, we find out the following Important Implications in the Process :
- Change in Behavior : Learning involves change in behavior, although the change may be good or bad from an organisation’s point of view. The change in behavior need not be an improvement over the previous behavior, although learning usually can notes improved behavior. For example, bad habits like smoking, prejudice and stereotyping are often learned by individuals.
- Change in behavior Must be Relatively Permanent : All the changes do not reflect learning. To constitute learning change should be relatively permanent. Temporary changes may be only reflective and fail to represent any learning. Any temporary change in behavior caused due to fatigue or drugs or temporary adaptations are not covered in learning.
- Change Must be Based on Some experience, Practice or Training : The behavioral change must be based on some form of practice, experience or training. Any change in behavior due to physical maturation, any disease or physical damages do not constitute learning. This change may not be evident until a situation arises in which the new behavior can occur.
- Reinforcement : The practice or experience must be reinforced in order for learning to occur. If reinforcement does not accompany the practice or experience the behavior will eventually disappear.
- Learning is Reflected in Behavior : A change in an individual’s thought process or attitudes not accompanied by behavior is not learning. Further learning needs to result in behavior potentiality is not necessarily in the behavior itself. For example, if a person is thinking of using drugs, but has not actually used them and he finds out that a friend of his has died because of drugs., he will never get involved with drugs. The experience has changed his behavior potential.