Under Learning is defined as the deliberate (intentional learning) and casual ( inzidentelles and implicit learning ) acquisition of skills . The increase in learning can occur in a mental, physical, character or social area. From a learning psychological point of view, learning is understood as a process of relatively stable change in behavior , thinking or feeling based on experience or newly gained insights and understanding (processed perception of the environment or awareness of one's own impulses).
The ability to learn is a basic requirement for humans and animals in order to be able to adapt to the realities of life and the environment , to act sensibly and, if necessary, to change them in one's own interest. For humans, the ability to learn is also a prerequisite for a reflected relationship with oneself, with others and with the world. The results of the learning process cannot always be put into words by the learner ( implicit knowledge ) or clearly measurable.
Etymologically , the word "learn" u. a. related to the words "teach" and "cunning". It belongs to the group of words “to accomplish”, which originally means “to follow a lead, to trace, to sniff”. In Gothic , lais means “I know”, or more precisely “I have traced ” and laists for “trace”. The Indo-European root * lais- means "track, path, furrow".
Scientific sub-disciplines concerned with learning
Various scientific sub-disciplines deal with learning. This includes:
- the anthropology ,
- the ethnology (also in English-speaking anthropology , recognized worldwide as regards science as learning in different nations takes place)
- the ethology or behavioral research,
- the cognitive science ,
- the Artificial Intelligence Research , the neuro computer science and computational neuroscience ,
- the neurosciences ,
- the education , particularly the teaching (teaching art) and the mathetics (learning Art),
- the philosophy , especially epistemology , the philosophy of science and logic ,
- the psychology , particularly the general psychology , educational psychology , educational psychology , behavioral therapy and developmental psychology ,
- the school pedagogy .
In the scope
Philosophy of science directions with particular reference to learning are
Physiological foundations of neural learning
The neurobiological , physiological and medical foundations of learning are initially based on simple animal models of conditioning . The animals and especially natural to man is the ability of association of sensations (and so far what has been learned) own. Associations in nervous systems arise through the formation or strengthening of neural connections ( synapses ) with simultaneous activity ( action potentials ) in two neurons or groups of neurons. This principle also makes it possible to unlearn what has already been learned. If capabilities remain unused, the connections between the corresponding synapses become weaker or are completely lost. To do this, proteins remodel the stimulus-receiving synapse: The so-called mRNA brings the blueprints of the proteins to the synapse, which is currently in need of restructuring. The ability to (re) connect neurons is summarized under the catchphrase neuronal plasticity . The temporal contingency of stimuli as a prerequisite for learning and as a consequence of the cause-and-effect principle makes it clear that learning is always time-dependent, that is: it is a process, the term “learning process” is strictly speaking a pleonasm .
The type of information storage depends on the particular memory. In the ultra-short-term memory , they are processed as electrical impulses and linked to previously stored information. This information is lost after a maximum of 20 seconds, as the electrical impulses subside. When information is stored in short-term memory , the principle of (early phase) long-term potentiation comes into play. When storing in the long-term memory , additional cellular mechanisms are assumed that z. B. as a result of the late phase of long-term potentiation in the respective neurons involved, cause cytoskeletal changes that lead to the multiplication of synapses, which then anchors the information structurally. In other words, it is assumed that, in the course of synaptic activity, newly formed proteins of different types are permanently stored in the nerve cells and thus the information about the learning process is stored in the long term.
Anatomical basics of neural learning
The macroscopic anatomy provides several places in the brain that have to be preserved in order to enable learning. All of these brain areas are grouped together in what is known as the Papez neuron circle . In short, it can be assumed that the evolutionarily old paleo- and archicortical limbic system was sufficient to enable essential learning processes and is therefore still the basis for higher memory performance today.
Cellular Foundations of Neural Learning
Especially in the hippocampus neurons are recruited in the learning process, as engram cells (germ .: engram cells store) the memories. This happens through the formation of synapses with other engram cells, which are the actual carriers of memories. A trigger, a reactivation, is required to call up a reminder. A synapse is "strengthened" through more frequent activation and thus protected from degradation and oblivion. A Chinese working group was able to describe processes of conditioned learning and active forgetting at the cellular level of the engram cells in adult laboratory mice , this had already been shown in the growing brain. "Weak" synapses, which are rarely activated, are actively broken down by glial cells. For this purpose, the synapses are marked beforehand, which requires two proteins from the classic complement system: C1q and C3 . After the docking of C1q on the synapse membrane during normal forgetting, the complement protein C3 follows, which is recognized by the C3 receptors of the microglia and leads to phagocytosis of the synapse. Both a weakening of the microglia z. B. by minocycline as well as switching off the complement system z. B. Viruses that express the complement inhibitor CD55 , active forgetting can be prevented or delayed. To what extent excessive C1q labeling, excessive complement activation or increased microglial activity lead to pathological forms of forgetting, e.g. B. lead to dementia has not yet been clarified.
Cornerstone of the concept of learning
In addition to the learning process , the basic tools of learning also include the ability to remember ( memory ) and to recall (application of what has been learned or learning transfer ). However, learning is more than just storing information . Learning includes the perception and evaluation of the environment, the connection with the known ( experience ) and the recognition of regularities ( pattern recognition ).
Learners do not start learning as a blank slate ( tabula rasa ). All learning is based on a learner type , an innate characteristic, previous experience or current characteristics in the use of sensory channels or the ability to enter into various learning arrangements (e.g. in an experiment as a learning starting point, experimental learning ). Those who learn (see learning curve ) can also forget ( forgetting curve ), for example if they do not practice or use regularly .
Learning is not necessarily a conscious or intentional process (see also incidental learning and implicit learning ), but is often incidental and unplanned (see informal learning , model learning ). Learning can be structured according to plan with the help of teaching methods and learning strategies (see also teaching ).
Different forms of learning are known and are described by different learning theories . However, the exact functioning of learning has not yet been scientifically clarified and is quite controversial, which is why different learning theories can definitely contradict each other in approaches and approaches.
The course of a learning process was already an issue in ancient philosophy. Research has spawned numerous theories over the centuries and is still based today on various controversial epistemological assumptions. The spectrum ranges from the basic assumption that the processes in the human brain remain hidden in a black box and, at best, can be researched using medical examination methods and quantitative-empirical methods, to research on the subject in which the learner's statements are about his own feelings and processes in the learning process through self-observation to be made (introspection) the basis for the research.
The cornerstones for a model of the learning process are
- Starting from what has been learned so far: Learning takes place on the basis of the experiences and skills already acquired and follows on from them.
- the experience of a need to learn: this may have arisen from the desire to expand the possibilities of access to the world . Fundamental for this is the experience of a fault in a desired process ( Klaus Holzkamp 1984). These experiences are based on perception , attention, and attention control. The need for learning can also be specified externally.
- The testing of possibilities to remove this experienced handicap: In this phase the learning resistance has to be overcome.
- Negotiating the meaning of what has been learned: The results of experimenting with yourself and other people are assessed.
- the resulting restructuring of an interpretation base: Against this background, further world experiences can be made.
A number of models take up elements of this basic idea:
- Kolb's learning cycle is based on the assumption that starting from experimentation, the learning process can lead to an abstraction across stages, which in turn provides the basis for experimentation. This model has been criticized by Phil Race, among others, because it does not take into account the negotiation of meaning in the social environment.
- Phil Race posits a model in which feedback from a more experienced learner plays an important role.
- Miller, Galanter, Pribram already presented a model in the 1960s that takes up the basic features of a control loop (see learning control ).
Learning arises from actions and actions develop in social situations. Learning is therefore tied to the situation and context. Learning can be understood as the ability to correct previous patterns of action, take up new patterns and adapt to changing conditions. Accordingly, the process of learning can be divided into the areas of learning process and learning outcome. The term learning process includes the question of “how is learned”. The “how” can be thought of as processing information. For individual and collective learning processes, it is important that information is recorded, interpreted, stored and conclusions drawn from it.
Knoepfel, Kissling-Näf and Marek assume that at the beginning “there are triggers for learning processes, e.g. B. in the form of a catastrophe, an event, an official instruction or the emergence of new options or instruments for action. ”In order for learning processes to get going, these triggers must arouse consternation in the actors involved and pressure from the problem that prompts them to act. In the case of recurring disasters, an intended reduction in uncertainty can be seen as a trigger for learning processes:
Moreover, learning processes frequently occur in attempts to reduce uncertainty by means of planned interventions into reality.
The actors must also have common views on how to solve the problem.
Max Miller sees the term "learning process" in a similar way:
A learning process and some outcome of a learning process can only be attributed to a group of human beings if at least a majority of the individuals members constituting that group can be said to have performed that learning process.
The learning outcome shows “what has been learned.” What knowledge could be gained and what improvements resulted from it. Successful learning results in permanent adaptation or learning in both the individual and social systems. This is not intended to describe a purely reactive learning scheme. In the best case scenario, learning is proactive: Individuals and systems anticipate future developments and act accordingly.
Different ways of learning
Learning processes are classified according to various criteria:
If the criterion is the type of behavior learned , you can choose between learning movement sequences (motor learning), learning linguistic content (verbal learning), learning strategies - including learning strategies (metal learning ), learning social norms ( socialization ), etc. can be distinguished.
Another criterion for classifying learning processes is the complexity of the learned behavior . Simple adjustments are acquired through sensitization and habituation . Associative learning is a more complex form . Two events are linked to one another (associated). In the so-called SS learning these are two stimuli, in the SR learning one stimulus with a reaction. Two well-known types of associative learning are classical conditioning and operant conditioning . Further forms of associative learning are imprinting , learning from success as well as generalization and discrimination learning. More complex behaviors are acquired through learning through insight , learning through learning, and through structural learning.
Another criterion for classifying learning processes is the role of the learner. A distinction is made between incidental learning , intentional learning , discovering learning , self-determined learning , expansive learning , resistant learning , etc.
Unlearning, extinction, degradation of behavior
You can unlearn a language that you have learned as a child, but later no longer speak or cannot speak because the corresponding social environment has changed; you can also partially unlearn them. If you lose your knowledge of certain facts, you have forgotten it. If you can no longer react in a sporting discipline (tennis, soccer, etc.) as you could in the past, you have forgotten how to react appropriately to certain submissions from your partner or opponent. A skill or competence has been (partially or completely) lost. They have been forgotten.
In certain (social, intellectual and emotional contexts) unlearning is also called extinction, extinction, weakening or diminution of behavior.
The deletion (or the extinction) of behavior relates to e.g. B. on the efforts of an educator, teacher, therapist to reduce a learned behavior of the child or adolescent for educational or therapeutic reasons or to reduce it and reduce it in a targeted manner. According to the ideas of EL Thorndike and R. and A. Tausch, social, intellectual or emotional behavior that is no longer reinforced or observed by the educator can be reduced. If it is no longer observed, according to the ideas of these psychologists, the behavior no longer has any value (meaning) in the social structure for the child or young person and will no longer be realized. Ideally, it will be deleted. Behaviors that are no longer strengthened in parenting situations, in the opinion of the parenting person, no longer fit into parenting, are no longer appropriate, are (according to the educator's opinion) inappropriate or unsuitable in a certain social situation. Unsuitable z. B. Be aggressive towards other children.
However, no reinforcement from the parent can also mean: He no longer pays attention to the child's behavior. With disregard one can encounter a child who is crying or crying. The parent withdraws the attention (reinforcement). CD Williams (1959) was able to reduce the prolonged crying of a child by ignoring the loud crying.
Fears can be reduced in therapy or, ideally, be erased (extinction).
A popular method in parenting is trying to break down undesirable behavior through punishment. Strictly speaking, such an education is not based on a learning theory, but rather on an (outdated) ideology of education that believes in something but cannot prove an alleged effect. After exchange and exchange, punishments are not suitable models for reducing social behavior.
- Basic biological forms
In this form, meanings are assigned to certain stimuli. These learning processes determine how I deal with a stimulus and with what intensity. Here again there is a distinction.
- Cognitive links
Here we are dealing with cognition in the broadest sense. Certain events, symbols and terms are linked to our previous experience. So there is an assignment of meaning to individual stimuli, and connections between stimuli are established.
Models and concepts of learning
Along the learning process and with regard to the learning locations and their methods, different models and terms of learning can be distinguished, which take a closer look at individual sections in the learning process.
Scheduled learning takes place using teaching methods that are intended to support learning in the education system , i.e. through attending school , adult education offers or e-learning . It is now generally recognized that not everyone learns the same way in every way, there are different types of learners . Even planned learning can be interpreted as self-directed, depending on the theoretical basic position in relation to human learning. The basic assumption here is that even if the framework is given, the individual ultimately has to organize his learning process himself.
Primarily self-directed learning: Assuming that the most effective learning impulse is the desire for growth in access to the world and not on an externally planned learning sequence, Klaus Holzkamp has developed the model of expansive learning , which takes a subject-scientific approach from the self-interests of the learner goes out. A particular focus in this model is the consideration of learning resistance (model of resistant learning ). In this model, the learning success is not a formulaic combination of the learning objective and the learning method. This is in the institutionalized education system u. a. also because, in addition to the official learning goals, secret curricula also work. Above all, Holzkamp criticizes the fact that the common learning and motivation theories do not start from the interests of the learning subject, but only deal with the problem of how something can be brought closer to the learner from outside. Such self-directed learning can also be systematic.
The whole life span is included today with the concept of lifelong learning . Social learning , global learning and intercultural learning are special approaches to learning and teaching with regard to the educational goals they have named . The term organizational learning refers to guided change processes in operational management or entire organizations (“ learning organization ”).
There are currently efforts to implement the findings of brain research more strongly for the methodical design of teaching. Neural networks offer a fruitful model for such a transformation ; this understanding of learning finds its way into the teaching method learning through teaching (LdL). Neural ensembles (people involved) learn when stable constellations arise between the neurons. In relation to a learner group, it means that stable connections are established between the learners through substance-related intensive and long-term interactions. Furthermore, these neural networks are supposed to collectively construct knowledge themselves.
Other special learning terms
When a science such as pedagogy develops and matures, then it goes through typical stages in which niches of the topic are examined more closely and, e.g. B. by changing the paradigm , completely different perspectives on the situation and its interpretations arise (see also the model of scientific revolutions according to Thomas Samuel Kuhn ). In addition, people summarize (new) thought models under generic terms for simplification ( Dietrich Dörner ).
The concept of learning has been theoretically discussed in a large number of sub-disciplines:
- An idea of learning was developed for the advancement of groups of people. Such groups can e.g. B. Groups in the classroom, but also entire companies. Collective knowledge construction ; Cooperative learning ; Organizational learning ; Organizational learning ; Community based learning ; Learning in communities of practice ; Cooperative open learning
- Many discussions attempt to identify the basic operational processes and basic principles that make up human learning. This is done above all with a view to identifying guiding principles and guidelines for the design of the context for learning processes. This includes situated learning ; Brain-friendly work ; Learning on the model ; Learning through teaching ; Learning by speaking ; Learning through insight ; Conditioning ; Learning by doing (= learning by doing ); Problem based learning ; Resistant learning ; genetic learning
- The emergence of Internet technology and with it learning platforms made specifically tailored measures necessary for the educational design of teaching / learning situations. This includes blended learning ; E-learning ; Rapid e-learning ; Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning ; Live e-learning ; Computer based learning ; E-COOL Cooperative open learning with e-learning support
- Since there are always efforts to explain human learning through allegories with machine processes, a discussion in computer science started especially in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, attempts have been made to get to the bottom of human learning in order to derive the basic features that a machine should have. The terms artificial intelligence come from the field of computer science - furthermore, terms such as monitored learning as an example of machine learning . In the 1960s in particular, computers were seen as an asset or a replacement for teachers. Here was an idea of programmed learning . The development of programs and programming languages also has its own specialist didactics .
- According to many theories, learning begins on the basis of a perceived problem that needs to be brought to a solution. In this way, a concept of learning has also developed in other scientific domains. World peace and the living together of cultures can be found in terms such as intercultural learning and global learning
- Concepts for the pedagogical implementation include a learning laboratory , mnemonics , station learning ; Suggestopedia ; Open learning ; Implicit social learning ; Weekly plan work ; Action orientation ; Learning cabinet , learning network , learning conference
- Moshé Feldenkrais shaped a form of physical learning with his Feldenkrais method
- From a pedagogical and phenomenological perspective, learning is understood as a process of experience that not only includes the linear acquisition of knowledge and information, but also encompasses the circular confrontation with resistance, prejudices and previous experiences. In this sense, a distinction is made between additional learning and relearning (cf. Buck 1989), in which the learners come to a new experience about the subject, about the previous experience horizon and about the type of experience and learning.
Political science perspective
Political processes are not only driven by interests and power, but also relate to solving problems. Political actors can learn about tactics and strategies in dealing with their political opponents. But you can also learn related to solving problems. In political science research, since the 1990s, approaches that deal with learning have become increasingly differentiated.
Political learning is often seen as an ongoing change in political knowledge, skills and attitudes. A distinction is made between different forms of learning:
- political learning, for the construction and implementation of political strategies, for example when it comes to forming coalitions during votes,
- instrument-based learning, which involves improving existing policy instruments, such as the design of subsidies or the level of a tax rate,
- social learning, about the goals of politics, which can be revised under the impression of failure, for example, but also assumptions about the way in which certain political instruments work that can be reconsidered,
- reflective learning that affects the mechanisms of learning itself, for example the formation of new international networks that deal with transnational political learning.
In many cases the individual forms of learning do not occur alone, but in relation to one another. For example, (social) learning related to new goals can often only come into play through new arguments and types of decision-making.
Play and learn
The game is the original form of learning in all more highly developed animals and in humans. Playing is not purpose-oriented, but (precisely because of this) it is indispensable for the training and further development of all higher cognitive skills. Play is the most creative form of learning. Children have to play from day one, because this is the only way they can discover the world and make it their own. With some animals, the play phase is limited to childhood, the animals with the most pronounced intelligence (e.g. some corvids, parrots, dolphins, monkeys) and humans continue to play well into old age. Even games that adults like to dismiss as "nonsense" have a learning effect.
Humor plays a role in learning that should not be underestimated .
Learn by heart
The learning technique of memorizing dispenses with knowledge of the inner complexity of learning content and corresponding conclusions. The focus is on the faithful reproduction of the learning content. The basis for memorizing is frequent repetition . But there are also a number of very effective learning techniques for memorizing .
Dialogical learning is the result of an equal dialogue based on various, justified arguments and not on claims to power. In the western cultures there is the widespread view that the Socratic conversation and the didactic procedure of maeutics associated with it are to be regarded as the original form of dialogical learning.
E-learning and augmented learning
E-learning is a general term that refers to computer-aided learning using the Internet. A specific form of application is mobile learning or m-learning , which is becoming increasingly important due to the spread of smartphones. The interaction of a learner with the e-learning environment is referred to as augmented learning. The learning content can be dynamically adapted to the needs of the learner. Extended digital content can be provided with text, images, video and sound. After personalizing the learning content, augmented learning was able to demonstrate an improvement in learning performance.
Enculturation is a process in which cultural norms, values and behaviors are learned that are desirable or necessary in one's own culture. Parents, other adults and peers are key influencing factors for this process. Children and adolescents usually learn more easily, more readily and sustainably from their peers than from adults. Older people often oppose learning from the younger generations with considerable learning resistance. In addition to the need to forget obsolete parts of what has been learned earlier, the difficult task of overcoming prejudices that prevent them plays a role. A strong bias in the norms of another cultural socialization (for example among migrant groups who isolate themselves from the outside world) can represent a considerable obstacle to learning.
Episodic learning is behavior change that occurs as a result of an event. The storage of events is done in episodic memory , which is part of explicit memory. Together with semantic memory and autobiographical memory, episodic memory forms the three forms of explicit learning.
Informal learning takes place through experiences from everyday life situations. Learning in contexts of life takes place outside of the formal education system.
Cognitive theory of multimedia learning
The cognitive theory of multimedia learning describes the linking of text and image presentations for learning content. This type of learning is based on Allan Paivio's dual coding theory .
The meaningful or cumulative learning (meaningful learning) refers to a concept to understand the learning content completely, so that the context can be established to the already available knowledge. For the understanding of the cumulative learning concept, the demarcation to memorization is helpful. Memorization only requires the faithful reproduction of the learning content and does without understanding the content.
Multi-dimensional learning includes, on the one hand, in the methodological area the use of several interconnected learning processes and, on the other hand, the activation of various learning potentials for the learner.
Non-formal learning results from the distinction between formal and informal learning. It is learning in a formal learning environment that is not formally recognized.
Project learning is a form of teaching and learning in which the characteristics of the complexity of the task, the tension of the needs of those involved in the lesson, reference to the living environment, interdisciplinary approach, multi-dimensional learning, joint planning and implementation as well as goal and process orientation of the lessons are decisive for the choice of method.
Distributed vs. Massive learning
How one should distribute learning so that it shows maximum success with a minimum of effort has been discussed in learning research since at least 1885. A distinction is essentially made here between massed and distributed learning. What speaks in favor of distributed learning is that what has been learned can be retained better, with massed learning new things can be learned more easily and, above all, relearning is carried out more successfully. The optimal distances ( spacing ) depend on the learner. This also applies to questions of motor learning, where this has recently been particularly discussed in connection with block training .
- Reinforcement learning , integrated learning , smart learning , self-directed learning
- Civic Education
- Extinction (psychology)
- Göttingen catalog
- Learning coaching , learning history , learning control , learning competence
- Teaching evaluation
- Nativism (psychology)
- Self-Determination Theory (SDT): Autonomy support and optimal learning environment
- Self-learning skills , service learning
- Web based training
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