Definitions And Different Ways Of Learning Education Essay

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According to the conception of our institutes that learning is an individual process, it has nothing to do with the rest of the activities of our life; it starts at one point and ends at the other point, and is derived from teaching, many learning issues are addressed separately. And for learning, schools, classrooms and other arrangements have been formed to promote individual work rather than collective learning which is assumed to be cheating according to our institutes' conception of learning. And only because of this reason, institutionalized learning is considered as inappropriate and boring.


According to Etienne Wenger:

Learning comes through experience, through participation and through socializing. It is not an individual process. It highlights our nature and capability of gaining knowledge. Learning is a social phenomenon and it is a blend of four components which talk about experiencing life as meaningful, social frameworks, social configurations as encouraging participation and how learning changes what we are and creates personal identity.

According to Domjan:

People tend to understand behaviors, either their own behaviors or behaviors of other. We participate in different activities of life and experience things which are shaped by what we have learned from our lives. Learning helps us adapt new environments and adjust with different people and cultures.

(Domjan M. 2010)

There are two basic ways of learning i.e. learning from the past and learning from future as it emerges. You learn through acts performed in past i.e. past experience. For example, all major learning methodologies.

Many people disagree with the idea of learning from future as it emerges, but as seen in many organizations, leadership teams come across with situations when past experience is not enough to meet challenges, or they are itself problems.

(Scharmer C. 2009)


Different people have different meanings of learning. Some people learn through listening and some people learn through reading. But question arises that when can we say that learning has taken place or what type of learning has taken place. Is there any way to check how to acquire better learning? Different people lie in different categories of learning and the categories are as follows:

Cognitive: learning based on information, facts and knowledge.

Affective: learning based on feelings and emotions.

Psychomotor: learning based on acquiring a skill and utilizing it.

(Kaufhold J.A. 2002)


Ongoing learning is necessary for organization as a whole to face changing environment, global challenges, increasing demands and dissatisfaction of human resources with traditional management model.

Organization needs continuous learning for at least four reasons:

They have to deal with diversity and uncertainty.

Ready to adapt to unpredictable changes.

Dealing with global dispersion of team members.

To be knowledge oriented, continuous learning is necessary.

(Sessa V. 2006)


The main purpose of an organization is to see the results i.e. performance. Learning helps in some ways to achieve that level of performance. There are three types of learning necessary to derive performance at the workplace and that are:

Instrumental learning: this is basically on the job learning. It answers how to perform a job after certain standard has been achieved. Here you learn from your own job while working.

Dialogic learning: learning through interaction. Socializing here will help understand organizational culture and the employee would perform better towards organizational goals.

Self-reflective learning: it encourages developing new knowledge through new ways of thinking, understanding and acting. It involves unlearning and new learning and is concerned to look at the root cause of problem that why something wrong happened.

(Harrison R. 2005)


Every individual is comfortable on certain place and gives best result at that point. Although every individual performs best at one point, it is necessary for him to pass through all four steps of the cycle.

Imaginative learners: they learn through past experiences

Analytical learners: they try to learn something new

Common sense learners: they see what sense their learning is making.

Dynamic learners: they try to be creative in putting into practice what they have learned.

(LeFever M. 1995)


Kolb's experiential learning cycle comprises of four phases and according to him, an individual if wants to learn maximum, should move through all four phases of this cycle which are:

Concrete experience: it involves in new activities to learn with the help of past experience.

Reflective observation: learning through observation. A person observes what is happening around, goes through journals, readings etc and reaches a conclusion.

Abstract conceptualization: learning through thinking. These types of people use their logic and plan systematically.

Active experimentation: learning by practice/application. These types of people learn through getting things done.

(Martin, cashel, wagstaff, breunig 2006)


VAK model, also known as perceptual modalities refer to how we get and retain data and information from our surroundings. According to Steve Garnett there are three ways or sensory modalities involved in learning i.e. visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses or we can say seeing, listening and doing. The idea of this model is to convey a message that individual should opt those ways of learning which suit them. (Garnett S. 2005)

Classical conditioning:

According to Domjan, classical conditioning is the simplest mechanism where people learn through relationship between two events. Through Classical conditioning organism can follow a predictable sequence of what is upcoming. Hence it is learning through association between two stimuli. For example: Pavlov experiment of Dog.

(Domjan M. 2010)