Learning

Learning

From Old English leornian “to get knowledge, be cultivated”; “study, read, think about and read”, from Old English, also Iore.

Learning is an active, on-going, experiential process, through which our cognitive, emotional and social behaviour changes in response to environmental stimuli. In fact, learning involves all our personal faculties: senses, feelings, intuition, beliefs, values and will, and determines changes in the way we act, think and feel about ourselves, as well as other people and the world around us. Such changes may be permanent or temporary depending on our perception of the importance and relevance of the knowledge acquired.

Learning is a complex process; it is not linear accumulation of knowledge and content. It proceeds like a spiral, with spurts of growth provided by insights and leaps forward and tumbles backward, arising out of misunderstandings and errors. Yes, we may learn through study, experience, observation, listening, association and mistakes.
Mistakes are, in actual fact, a key factor in the cognitive process. They are not only essential to stimulate our creativity but necessary for shaping our personality and our mindset. Being aware that we may make mistakes and that learning is not only the product of positive and exultant experiences therefore represents the fundamental condition for being able to learn.

Not only that; our individual learning ability varies greatly and depends not only on such ability but also on motivation, personality, style and awareness of our learning processes. Working on the latter means “learning to learn”, that is, seeking out information when necessary, learning how to use it appropriately, learning to ask questions, learning from our own mistakes and those of others and it means persevering in the learning process to grasp its deeper meaning.