Fundamentals of Education

LEARNING: It’s meaning, nature and types


Learning is relatively permanent change in behaviour resulting from conditions of practice or experience.  Also it is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviour, skill or value or preferences.

According to Edward Gates, ”Learning is the modification of behaviour through experience and training.

Erikson similarly opines that, “Learning is a process which improves our efficiency of working and making adjustments.

Therefore, we can say it is a process which can be inferred from the change in performance. Furthermore it does not  happen all at once, but builds upon, and this is saved by their previous knowledge. There are some basic factors of it which includes-

(a)  Arousal

(b)  Motivation

(c)  Reinforcement

(d)  Stimulus response association.


“You cannot open a book without learning something.”


Nature of Learning:

  1. First of all learning is a continuous process that starts at mother’s womb and continues throughout the life of an individual.
  2. So it involves all those experiences and training of an individual that’ll help him to produce changes in his behavior or modifications of behavior.
  3. Since it is purposeful and goal oriented activity, therefore in case there is no purpose or goal there is also no learning.
  4. Furthermore, it  is a very comprehensive process which covers all domains of human behaviour- cognitive, affective and psycho motor.
  5. It is certainly a universal process. In human beings it is not restricted to any particular age, sex, race or culture. Hence it is for all.
  6. It is also an adjustment process.
  7. Lastly it is meant for solving problems.

Types of Learning:

Individual behavior is manifested at three levels such as cognitive level, affective level and psycho motor level. As such there are three types of learning and these are cognitive, affective and psycho motor learning.


               Cognition refers to the processing of information about the environment that is received through our senses. Accordingly, cognitive learning process involves learning of concepts, principles, rules etc. Moreover cognitive learning is concerned with the intellectual aspects of the mental process. The six levels of learning in this domain are:

  1. Knowledge:  It is the ability to recall or recognize or identify facts, ideas as well as information available in the surrounding.
  2. Comprehension:  Comprehension or understanding is the ability of a child to know how does a thing works.
  3. Application: It is the practical level of knowledge as well as understanding.
  4. Analysis: In this stage student analyse what he knows, understands and found through application.
  5. Synthesis: In this stage what is analysed is synthesized in sequential and meaningful manner.
  6. Evaluation: In this stage the value of the process and product is assessed.


It is concerned with ones feelings as well as emotions. That is to say it refers to the changes in interests, attitudes, and values and development of appreciation and adequate adjustment.

Read also:

  1. What are the best methods of learning for a child?

  3. An Essay on Education



It deals with abilities and skills which are physical in nature but activated by mental process. For example- touching, using tool, drawing, swimming and cycling etc.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

-Nelson Mandela

Learning together

Factors affecting learning:

                        A number of factors affects the learners learning. Among these the most important are:

1)    Personal factor:Various personal factors of a person that affects the learning process are-

(a)  Personal fitness

(b)  Free form fatigue as well as boredom,

(c)  Drill and practice,

(d)  Age and experience

2)    Methods of Teaching: Methods of teaching also affects the learning process. Therefore, methods are designed in accordance with the individual difference and needs of students would be more fruitful.

3)    Psychological or temperamental factor: Psychological or temper mental factor affects learners learning includes-

(a)  Goal or interest of learner to learn

(b)  Interest and motivation

(c)  Attitude and aptitude.

(d)  Emotional Conditions,

(e)  Guidance and counselling, and

(f)   Mental Health

4)    School or environmental factors: Various environmental factors also affects learners learning. For instance-

(a)  Physical facilities

(b)  Teaching method

(c)  Administrative skills,

(d)   Method of discipline

(e)  Coordination between home and school.

5)    Society: Since man is a social animal. Hence, every society posses certain aims, objectives, ideals, values, custom and tradition, culture etc. Therefore, we can say the society helps an individual in the socialization process. It helps an individual to acquire certain qualities and values such as mercy, love, honesty, truthfulness, ethics cooperation etc.


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