Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Functional Perspective on Learning

To understand the practical and useful attitude towards learning, there are certain questions that should be answered.
  1. Why do we learn?
  2. How do we learn?
  3. What can/do we learn?

Why do we learn?

In elementary science, there are certain characteristics ascribed to living things: movement, respiration, nutrition , irritability, growth, excretion, and reproduction. All these are either learned or automatic, but essentially, leaning is life. The process of learning is inbuilt. Again, why do we have to learn? We learn to live and we live to  learn. Remove learning, remove life. Even when we are unconscious of it, we learn.
For man to live out his potential, he has to learn about self, his environment and others around him. He must also learn to live in peace with these.

What do/can we learn?

I would have said human beings can learn all things, but I will safely say: The human mind can learn anything.
Our mind can learn both practical and abstract things.
We can learn things that involve more active use of our brain, and we can also learn things that do not involve much brain work.
What our mind can learn is not limited to the conscious, but include extrasensory perceptions.
The importance of talking about what we can learn, and the functional perspective on learning is to help motivate every individual that is interested in learning, and to make them realize that the reins o learning is in their hand; they can only be limited by themselves.

How do we learn?

Broadly , we learn consciously or unconsciously. The more practical what is being learnt, the more conscious effort is put into learning it. The more abstract knowledge is acquired both consciously and unconsciouly, and sometimes solely unconsciously.
Learning takes place in many ways.  From primitive to more refined ways of learning we have some ways of learning. Learning by :
  1. awareness of instincts
  2. observation
  3. imitation
  4. instructions
  5. remembering experiences
  6. Accidental discovery.
 The foundation form of learning process is through activities we are unaware of. The knowledge of these unconscious learning process lead to better learning and a more advanced learning than  the instinctive learning process.

The eyes is window to the soul. We learn to imitate largely by observation and we observe by seeing with our eyes.

A more refined way of learning is by bodies of instructions. While learning from experience can be  rich and  more personal, to learn by instructions is a more faster way to learn many people's observations and experiences.

An awesome and humbling way to learn is to discover what has always been. This is like finding order and beauty in chaos. No discovery is non-accidental, although using the phrase accidental discovery might sound unnecessary, but the beauty of a discovery is dimmed when we made it appear like we have known about the discovery all along.

Understanding the 'sacredness'  of learning especially of discovery is important in cultivating a practical learning outlook on life.
A practical learning outlook believes he has limited knowledge, but still believes he can learn anything even though he has limited  time and resources  to learn all he can learn. A practical learning outlook is that of  a mind for learning