What is learning: Definition and 21 Discussions

Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, and some machines; there is also evidence for some kind of learning in certain plants. Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event (e.g. being burned by a hot stove), but much skill and knowledge accumulate from repeated experiences. The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be "lost" from that which cannot be retrieved.Human learning starts at birth (it might even start before in terms of an embryo's need for both interaction with, and freedom within its environment within the womb.) and continues until death as a consequence of ongoing interactions between people and their environment. The nature and processes involved in learning are studied in many established fields (including educational psychology, neuropsychology, experimental psychology, cognitive sciences, and pedagogy), as well as emerging fields of knowledge (e.g. with a shared interest in the topic of learning from safety events such as incidents/accidents, or in collaborative learning health systems). Research in such fields has led to the identification of various sorts of learning. For example, learning may occur as a result of habituation, or classical conditioning, operant conditioning or as a result of more complex activities such as play, seen only in relatively intelligent animals. Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness. Learning that an aversive event cannot be avoided or escaped may result in a condition called learned helplessness. There is evidence for human behavioral learning prenatally, in which habituation has been observed as early as 32 weeks into gestation, indicating that the central nervous system is sufficiently developed and primed for learning and memory to occur very early on in development.Play has been approached by several theorists as a form of learning. Children experiment with the world, learn the rules, and learn to interact through play. Lev Vygotsky agrees that play is pivotal for children's development, since they make meaning of their environment through playing educational games. For Vygotsky, however, play is the first form of learning language and communication, and the stage where a child begins to understand rules and symbols. This has led to a view that learning in organisms is always related to semiosis, and is often associated with representational systems/activity.

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  1. enthusiast_q

    Physics enthusiast

    I am not a student, nor my everyday work is related to physics in any way. Basically I am an enthusiast on physics, and I have question whose answers I like to find.
  2. Gifovaco

    Hi, I'm new here.

    I like learning. Electrical engineer background. Now lets try Chemistry.
  3. TGV320

    Python Question about learning programming

    Hello, I am currently learning Python as a basis for further studies in programming. The course that I took at college was quite basic, teaching us the basic concepts required for programming, and some web oriented concepts like data scraping, APIs, automated tasks using bots. As I delved...
  4. gleem

    Studying Handwritten Notes Improve Learning

    More research is confirming that taking handwritten notes improves learning. The discussion of this research appeared in https://www.newsweek.com/neuroscientists-reveal-trick-help-study-1863968.
  5. doctor_no_

    A theoretical nuclear physicist is on board!

    Hi all, I'm a theoretical physicist (by training) who now works on machine learning projects (mostly) but also app and 3D development. I go back to physics whenever I have the chance!
  6. BillTre

    Studying "Useful" vs. "Useless" Stuff in School

    I recently found this on facebook. It makes sense to me and addresses some common complaints on what one might study:
  7. A

    How Can a Beginner Excel in an Introductory Physics Class?

    hello! I'm currently in an Intro to physics class, and I'm not the most physically inclined. I look forward to learning from you all!
  8. Mr B Jones

    What is the Purpose of Science and How Can We Enjoy It?

    I'm here to learn and have fun.
  9. X

    What Benefits Await New Members of a Science Forum?

    Hello everyone, my name is Jordan, I'm french Canadian, 29 y/o eager to learn more about science. Not for academic purposes (as of yet), but trying to feed my hunger for learning !
  10. A

    Mathematica Good Online (or Other Free) Resource for Learning Mathematica?

    Like the title says, simply looking for a good guide to learning Mathematica? Ideally, a website or other free resource, as with Christmas coming up and being a father, money is extremely tight.
  11. khrypchenkoa

    How Can a Complete Beginner Start Learning Physics?

    Hi. My story is weird and I need help. Brief backstory: I'm 21 and my brain is completely empty. As a kid, I didn't realize how interesting it was to do science and learn about anything, so I was weird. I'm the same way now. I can talk and talk endlessly about some unusual and difficult topic...
  12. jazzywatermelon

    Just a physics student trying to grasp a little more!

    So excited to learn more about physics and to further my understanding! :partytime: This seems like a nice little corner of the internet. :]
  13. S

    How can we inspire curiosity and understanding in our students?

    Always looking for answers. Wanting to help my students discover the curiosity about the world. Would love to enable a desire for understanding all around us.
  14. Alistarco

    How should I choose and begin learning about certain research fields?

    Hi, im in my third year in physics, and ive been wanting to look for a research field in which i can begin learning about it, such as high energy, or statistical physics, and maybe present my bachelor tesis in any of these fields, but i dont know how to approach these subjects or where to begin...
  15. yucheng

    Style of teaching/learning mathematics: by proofs of theorems only?

    I remember there was a method of learning/teaching mathematics where all they do in class is to force students to prove the theorems themselves. What was this method again? It was named after someone.... @fresh_42 ?
  16. Y

    Studying Advice on self studying material

    Hi. Looking for general advice on self studying math, physics, programming etc. What happens often with me is either I go too fast and encounter for which my basics aren't clear enough and going back and forth between chapters/modules boggs me down. So, I erase my overall progress and just...
  17. P

    How Can I Relearn Misunderstood Concepts in Physics?

    My understanding of certain topics in physics has been flawed so now trying to learn it all over again. The internet is a fantastic place to relearn misunderstood concepts.
  18. L

    Ready to Learn? Join the Scientific Community at PF!

    Hi PF! I am a new member and looking forward to learning new things here. Thanks!
  19. pinball1970

    How do I learn 14 rock numbers (drums) in two weeks?

    I did not want to bump max in biology, so I stuck this here. So, my dilemma. I have a short time to learn 14 tracks, specifically for an Ozzy/Dio Sabbath tribute on drums. It is not that I have never played these live or never played them at all, my problem is I do not know the tracks! So...
  20. C

    What is the importance of being a well-rounded scientist?

    Greetings, I am here to "brush up" on my general physics knowledge and more as a life long learner. My background is in biochemistry, but I believe in being well rounded as a scientist, a student and a educator.