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"Consider the view that adults learn differently than children. Relate your answer to personal experience and theoretical work."

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Introduction

"Consider the view that adults learn differently than children. Relate your answer to personal experience and theoretical work." All human beings go through the process of learning. It is the gain in skill or knowledge. Learning can be described as a relatively permanent modification of responses as a result of experience. A relatively permanent change in behaviour. Learning varies with different individuals. It varies in time, depth and many more aspects. Learning is the method by which an individual senses and responds to its surroundings, remembering its experience in the process. D. Kolb suggests that learning is 'the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience'. There are many different perspectives in psychology that are express on learning. Learning is a very complex process, even though it so frequent. N. Hayes proposes that research shows that expectations, imitations and identification are all segments of a child's learning process. Behaviourists believe learning to be achieved through being receptive to stimuli from the environment. Behaviourists argue that it is impossible to study mental experiences and processes such as learning, since they are essentially private and therefore cannot be observed. Hence, behaviour is observed and studied. Biologists mainly concern themselves with brain and the nervous system and their relation to our behaviour. Cognitive theories stress the active process involved in learning, whereas the phenomenological perspective concerns the active nature of the learner. It is important that learning is viewed in a holistic way so that the foundation of the way of thinking lie in the individual having grasped the conclusions from their own perspective. ...read more.

Middle

When faced with new situations I may seek out information to better equip my powers of reason and application. Knowledge acquired through study and changes in behaviour acquired through experience. Research evidence on deprived children not exposed to language in early childhood show that language learning if far less efficient after the first 4 to 5 years of life. Children often display the two functions of egocentric speech, thinking out loud. According to Piaget 1959, the child and adult language is different. Vygotsky 1962, mentions language and cognition to be independent functions in the child, which can be combined with experience i.e. thought and language can join together after 2 years of age. Thereafter, language has two functions; internal thought, and external communication. Research on language acquisition shows that as a child we have full use of a language at the age of 5 - the speed by which children acquire language is much greater in comparison to learning a new language as an adult. Furthermore, grammatical correction is rare in adults. Since in childhood, much information is relatively new, the notion of enactive, iconic and symbolic stages of learning may be applicable much of the time whereas in adults Bruner's theory may be applicable when learning unfamiliar material. According to Knowles, Adults use experience as a key learning resource, they must feel motivated, self-directed and problem-centered and need to see the practical usefulness of learning. According to Rogers, in order to learn the adult must be involved which gives meaning though problem-solving. ...read more.

Conclusion

University has been a continuation of my studies and a great learning opportunity. It is a learning environment and therefore encourages me to use my present skills and build on them to learn new ones. It stimulates me to stretch myself intellectually, to reflect and evaluate, to pursue activity, and increases my motivation. These are all factors that aid the learning process as mentioned in the theory. I have learnt social skills, study skills, time management, the ability to critically analyse, stress management, taking on responsibilities and teamwork skills which I will need for my working life. Learning is improved when I want to learn, am aware of it's importance, believe in the real-life significance of what is to be learnt, feel supportive, feel good, am able to conduct it in several ways, do, practice, feedback, praised. Learning can occur in any environment and is affected by various environmental factors. In my opinion, learning abilities can always be improved. Learning always requires some level of motivation. . Learning is improved when I want to learn, am aware of it's importance, believe in the real-life significance of what is to be learnt, feel supportive, feel good, am able to conduct it in several ways, I am doing rather than just observing, with practice, feedback and appraisal. Learning theory as developed by Piaget, Vygotsky, Kolb and Bruner seem to be consistent with my particular experiences as a dynamic learning individual. I feel that learning is continuous with life and is always an ongoing process. To better those learning abilities is in my opinion an improvement what one gains from life and is progress in itself from childhood to adulthood. ...read more.

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