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Science Sample
Spoken English
Spoken English




Carl Rogers said in 1983 that   Learning is a powerful incentive for many employees to stick to certain organizations. Learning has a significant impact on individual behaviour as it influences abilities, role perceptions and motivation. Along with its role in individual behaviour, learning is essential for knowledge management. Knowledge management enhances an organization’s capacity to acquire, share and utilize knowledge in ways that improve its survival and success.



Learning is defined as “a relatively permanent change in behaviour  that occurs as a result of prior experience.”Learning is understood as the modification of behaviour  through practice, training, or experience. This is supplemented with five important components of learning:

1. Learning involves change: a change may be for good or bad. Change may not be evident until a situation arises in which the new behaviour  can occur. Learning is not always reflected in performance

2. Not all changes reflect learning: to constitute learning, change should be relatively permanent. Temporary changes may be only reflective and fail to represent any learning. This requirement, therefore, rules out behaviour al changes caused by fatigue or drugs.

3. Learning is reflected in behaviour : a change in an individual’s thought process or attitude, not accompanied by behaviour , is no learning. It should be further clarified that learning needs to result in behaviour  potentiality and not necessarily in the behaviour  itself. The reason for this distinction lies in the fact that an individual may learn but owing to lack of motivation, may not exhibit any changed behaviour .

4. The change in behaviour should occur as a result of experience, practice or training: this implies that behaviour  caused from maturity, disease, or physical damages does not constitute learning.

5. The practice or experience must be reinforced in order for learning to occur: if reinforcement does not accompany the practice or experience, the behaviour  will eventually disappear.

6. Though not implied in any standard definition of learning: contrary to popular belief, learning is not confined to one’s schooling. Learning occurs throughout one’s life



Principles of learning are highly useful for trainer in order to impart maximum knowledge and skills to the trainees. However, blind adherence to these principles can cause more harm than good. Each principle should, therefore, be interpreted and applied carefully in full consideration of the particular task being learned and the most important of them are

• Motivation

• Reinforcement

• Whole versus part learning

• Learning curves

• Meaningfulness of material

• Learning styles


The concept of motivation is basic because, without motivation learning does not take place or, at least, is not discernible. Motivation may be seen at different levels of complexity of a situation. A thirsty rat will learn the path through a maze to a dish of water; it is not likely to do so well, or even more purposefully at all, if it is satiated. On a broader level, a college student must have the need and drive to accomplish a task and reach a specific goal.

Reinforcement, punishment and extinction

Reinforcement, punishment and extinction play a key role in learning process. Reinforcement is used to enhance desirable behaviour ; punishment and extinction are employed to minimize undesirable behaviour .


is the attempt to develop or strengthen desirable behaviour . There are two types Sof reinforcement: positive and negative.

Positive reinforcement

Strengthens and enhances behaviour by the presentation of positive reinforcers. There are primary reinforcers and secondary reinforcers. Primary reinforcers satisfy basic biological needs and include food and water. However, primary reinforcers don not always reinforce. For instance, food may not be a reinforcer to someone who has just completed a five course meal. Most behaviour in organizations are influenced by secondary reinforcers. These include such benefits as money, status, grades, trophies and praise from others. These include

Within itself, positive reinforcement has several principles.

The principle of contingent reinforcement states that the reinforcer must be administeredonly if the desired behaviour has occurred. A reinforcer administered when the desired behaviour  has not been performed becomes ineffective.

The principle of immediate reinforcement states that the reinforcer will be most effective if administered immediately after the desired behaviour has occurred. The more time that elapses after the behaviour occurs, the less effective the reinforcer will be.

The principle of reinforcement size stated that the larger the amount of reinforcement delivered after the desired behaviour, the more effect the reinforcer will have on the frequency of the desired behaviour. The amount or size of reinforcer is relative. Are inforcer that may be insignificant to one person may be significant to another person. Thus, the size of the reinforcer must be determined in relation both to the behaviour and the individual.

The principles of reinforcement deprivation states that the more a person is deprived of the reinforcer, the greater effect it will have on the future occurrence of the desired behaviour . However, if an individual recently has had enough of a reinforcer and is satisfied the reinforcer will have less effect.



An individual starts learning as soon as he is born. He continues learning throughout his life. Learning is the acquisition of habits, knowledge, attitudes and skills. It involves new ways of doing things and attempts to adjust to new situations. It shows progressive change in behaviour  as the individual reacts to a situation. It is an effort to adopt his behaviour  effectively to demands made upon him. It thus enables him to satisfy interests or to attain goals.

Learning may be both vertical and horizontal. It is vertical in so far precision in increased or information is added to that already learned. It is horizontal in so far as what is learned is integrated and organized as a part of a functioning unit of expanding experience. Thus the former means qualitative and the latter is quantitative in nature.

Learning is expected to bring about more or less permanent change in the learner's behaviour . This change may range from the acquisition of a relatively simple skill, item of information to the mastery of complicated mechanical performance and application of difficult and abstract reading material, change in response or behaviour  is caused partly or wholly by experience. It includes behaviour  change in the emotional sphere, refers to the acquisition of symbolic knowledge or motor skills. It however does not include physiological changes like fatigue, temporary sensory resistance and hunger.

Learning should enable us to make the least use of the things in the world around us. For example, one has to learn the art of living harmoniously with others by learning how to establish good relations with his fellows. Learning not limited to the school alone. It being earlier and continues even after the school days.

Yoakman and Simpson have described the following nine important characteristics of learning.

(1) Learning is growth

The individual grows as he lives. This growth implies i both physical as well as mental development of the learner. The individual gains experiences through various activities. These are all sources of learning. The individual grows through living and learning. Thus growth and learning are inter-related and even synonymous.

(2) Learning is adjustment

Learning enables the individual to adjust himself properly, with the new situations. The individual faces new problems and new situations throughout his life and learning helps him to solve the problems encountered by him. That is why; many psychologists describe learning as "a process of progressive adjustment to the ever changing conditions which one encounters." The society in which we live is so complex and so dynamic that any one type of adjustment will not be suitable for all or many situations and problems. It is through learning that one could achieve the ability to adjust adequately to all situations of life.

(3) Learning is purposeful

All kinds of learning is goal-oriented. The individual acts with some purpose. He learns through activities. He gets himself interested when he is aware of his objectives to be realized through these activities. Therefore all learning is purposive in nature.

(4) Learning is experience

The individual learns through experiences. Human life is fall of experiences. All these experiences provide new knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. Learning is not mere acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes. It is also the reorganization of experiences or the synthesis of the old experiences with the new.

(5) Learning is intelligent

Mere cramming without proper understanding does not make learning. Thus meaningless efforts do not produce permanent results. Any work done mechanically cannot yield satisfactory learning outcomes. Learning therefore must be intelligent.

(6) Learning is active

Learning is given more importance than teaching. It implies self-activity of the learning. Without adequate motivation he cannot work whole-heartedly and motivation is therefore at the root of self-activity. Learning by doing is thus an important principle of education, and the basis of all progressive methods of education like the Project, the Dalton, the Montessori and Basic system.

(7) Learning is both individual and social

Although learning is an individual activity, it is social also. Individual mind is consciously or unconsciously affected by the group activities. Individual is influenced by his peers, friends, relatives’ parents and classmates and learns their ideas, feelings and attitudes in some way or others. The social agencies like family, church, markets, and clubs exert immense, influence on the individual minds. As such, learning becomes both individual as well as social.

(8) Learning is-the product of the environment

The individual lives in interaction of the society. Particularly, environment plays an important part in the growth and development of the individual. The physical, social, intellectual and emotional development of the child is molded and remolded by the objects and individuals in his environment. Therefore, emphasized that child's environment should be made free from unhealthy and vicious matters to make it more effective for learning.

(9) Learning affects the conduct of the learner

Learning is called the modification of behaviour. It affects the learner's behaviour and conduct. Every learning experience brings about changes in the mental structure of the learner. Therefore attempts are made to provide such learning experiences which can mould the desired conduct and habits in the learners.


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