People are unceasing in their quest for knowledge. But how sure are we that they have reached the spire of erudition and have acquired depth and not merely superficial learning. Some people would argue that learning is objective in nature and others are stringent in their definitions who would only rely to grades and final reports. Does it follow a cyclical or a linear process?
It is only necessary to understand that people learn differently. With all the myriads of technological innovations and educational reforms in teaching methodology – one has to say that the process of getting to it is more arduous than the end itself. This I believe, that to delineate someone in one approach is impossible. Someone’s learning style is different from the other. Thus, learning is not all-exclusive to one approach tailored for all, the opposite is likely to be true that it is all- inclusive. Preferences in learning either inductive and deductive ways should also have to be considered. This is in consonance to the notion that people are diverse. It is likely that a problem based style is preferred to a subject based style. With all this diversity, we find unity in learning.
Learning for learning sake is futile. People learn to impact yourself and others. For one to do so, change must occur within you and the others. Behaviorists would solely rely on overt outcomes but Im more inclined to a balanced view. This is not to totally disparage behavioral theory but to see it working with other point. A balanced view that change can happen overtly and covertly, related to what you are currently learning.
The argument is not only limited to styles and outcomes, but also in how learning is acquired. Whether something is learned through a natural acquiring process regardless of maturation and time or learned something through deliberate understanding of a concept and in a structured and taught environment doesn’t matter.Both routes can have a significant impact to the learner.
Learning never follows a linear approach. I believe that it always undergo a cycle. This is to say that your knowledge to a one concept has no finality. This could be repelled by another scientific result in the future. It always has to be amended if science and research dictates.
To answer the question – How do we know if a person has successfully learned? , entails considering the person’s preferences and styles in learning, the outcome ( covert or overt evidences ) he is exhibiting and how he acquired learning ( learned or unlearned ). When all these factors are considered, we can then evaluate if one person truly learned or not.
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