“Learning is the lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes.” Jeff Cobb www.missiontolearn.com
Learning is something that takes place everyday for most people in some way, shape or form and varies depending on certain circumstances. The principles can be simple or radical depending on opinion, some you may agree with while others you might discount straight away. Whether it is in the classroom or sat at home, it is important to understand that learning takes place all the time and people can learn new things everyday regardless of age, culture or background. The education system is the best example to connect these theories as it is so varied in its delivery depending on factors such as again age, skill sets and ability in particular. Overall it is important to understand that by following some of these theories and principles it will help all tutors in performing better within the classroom and delivering better sessions which means that you will enhance the experience for the learner.
Theories and Principles of Learning
It is important to understand the significance of learning theories and principles as it is important for tutors to understand them, which will then help ensure that effective learning is taking place. It can support the tutor and the learner through the process which allows for success within the taught subject. I believe that certain theories such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Motivation and Personality, Third Edition, Harper and Row Publishers are not relevant in regards to all learning sectors today, in particular not in the lifelong learning sector. I agree with Geert Hofsteds’s (1984). "The cultural relativity of the quality of life concept". Academy of Management Review that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs neglects to illustrate and expand upon the difference between the social and intellectual needs of those raised in different societies. I think that with our society as it is today, due to such a huge and diverse range of cultures now within the United Kingdom that it is impossible for this to still completely apply.
Within the lifelong learning sector I think that andragogy is perhaps the best principle to apply. Malcolm Knowles researched and penned the four crucial assumptions to his theory which are as follows:
1. Self-concept: As a person matures his self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being 2. Experience: As a person matures he accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning. 3. Readiness to learn. As a person matures his readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of his social roles. 4. Orientation to learning. As a person matures his time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly his orientation toward learning shifts from one of subject-centeredness to one of problem centredness. He later added a fifth assumption in 1984:
5. Motivation to learn: As a person matures the motivation to learn is internal.
Within the post 16 sector individuals are more geared up to follow in what they want to do and have the experience and hopefully the right mindset to try and achieve this. Therefore this theory is one that can support a tutor by simply understanding why the learners are there, which is normally through choice rather than in the school system were pedagogy seems to take precedent and is a legal requirement. Analysing such theories will always help towards my own personal development and will hopefully allow myself to develop and improve the experience for the learners.
“The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium: The Oxford Dictionary”...