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Understand the learning process- theories of learning

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Introduction

Task 1: Learning Styles affect individuals and their ability to learn. Each individual has a preference of a learning style whether this is visual, listening, touching or performing; these ways will affect an individual understanding and processing information. As we develop in life our learning styles may change due to the environment we are exposed to. We may be required to use different techniques none the less we may still hold the preference of the particular learning style in which we obtain information easily. There are two relevant learning theories which can categorise learners to ensure their learning style needs are met in professional development. Personal Professional Development (PPD) "is learning you will acquire from experience before you qualify as a professional" (B.Stretch, M.Whitehouse (2007) BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care Book 1. Page 272). Whereas Continuing Professional Development (CPD) "is learning you will acquire after qualifying as a professional" (B. Stretch, M. Whitehouse (2007) BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care Book 1. Page 272). We never stop learning or using learning styles, we just have the ability to apply knowledge and experience more easily as we age; as adults we are aware of other learning styles and when to apply them in a way which benefits us. Kolb's Experimental Learning Cycle (1984). David Kolb's learning cycle is a theory that is widely know of and used. ...read more.

Middle

Reflectors are reserved. They like to think before they speak, look from different perspectives and have a considerate nature. Reflectors like time to think and being able to observe, but dislike taking the lead or not being prepared. Theorists are logical, rational thinkers who like to look at things with a different point of view; they work well in clear structured environments where knowledge and skills can be applied in complex situations yet dislike lack of structure or purpose and working with others. Pragmatists are practical and prefer to work alone yet welcome feedback. They like to be able to experiment but with a positive outcome. Pragmatists do not like guidance or unclear benefits. These four learning style preferences were identified from a questionnaire conducted by Honey and Mumford in the workplace; they discovered that individuals tend to use many of the learning styles depending on the environmental situation, yet the preferred style of learning is easier. There is a similarity between Kolb's learning theory and the Honey and Mumford Theory; this is the styles correspond. Activist learners show the same characteristics to the Accommodating learners. Reflectors are the same as Diverging learners. Theorists are assimilating learners and pragmatists are the same as converging learners. Knowing which is your preferred style of learning, based on either theory, means that you can reduce the influences on how you learn. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lifestyle can seriously influence your ability to learn. If you are caring for someone, spend your weekends getting drunk, live in a situation which doesn't offer support and so on, your ability to learn can be influenced negatively due to lack of concentration, increased pressure or environmental issues. Yet lifestyle can also positively influence your learning if the environment around you is supportive and encouraging you will be more motivated to study. Funding for study is also another factor which can influence your learning. For example, living in an environment which means you have to work to pay for your lifestyle, or not being able to go to your place of education because transport is expensive, or you are on a course which you have to pay for like university, means that you are under pressure to be able to create the funds which allow you to study. Not having enough funds means you may take on extra employment to cover the cost of your expenses. Yet having funding for study can influence your learning positively because you can go further in education to learn in a more in depth way without having to worry about the cost. Each of these six factors I have identified and explained can influence your learning positively and negatively, it is up to you as the learner whether you let factors like these influence your learning and if they do, do you let them influence positively or negatively. ...read more.

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