Daily Archives: January 22, 2010

Learning – Definition & Scope

This blog is called “The Zen of Learning” and so most of what you will find here would pertain to learning. Through this post, I intend to define the scope of learning and through it, the scope of this blog.

Let us begin by understanding the term learning, and then illustrate its meaning from two different perspectives.

The Webster on my desk defines learning as:

  • “The act of acquiring knowledge or skill” (when used as a verb,) and
  • “The knowledge or skill thus acquired” (when used as a noun.)

This definition, I find somewhat incomplete. So let me introduce another dimension into it, and define it as:
“The act of acquiring or modifying knowledge, skills, and attitudes.”

With this definition of learning in view, we can surmise that the scope of learning is vast. It goes beyond a set of formal activities designed to influence the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of a specific learner segment. Thus, when we speak of learning, we relate to everything that’s got anything to do with personality development, skills acquisition, attitude transformation, instructional design, training, cognitive psychology, self-learning, observational learning…and so on. The list is long – so don’t worry about it.

Just remember this – if you are a human, the concept and the methods of learning are relevant to you.

Check this out:

  • If you are a homemaker, learning about how learning happens and how you can expedite the process of learning could help you raise smarter kids, build a better and stronger relationship with your husband, and make your chores easier and simpler.
  • If you are an engineer, the knowledge of how learning happens can make you analyze your own learning methods and learn faster.
  • If you are a marketing professional, this knowledge to help you market your products better, because you’ll be able to devise the best strategy to help the client learn why your products are the best for him or her.
  • If you are a writer, it could help you make your writing more relevant to your audience.
  • If you are an instructional designer, becoming comfortable with the phenomenon of learning could enable you to create content that always strikes the right chord…in your audience’s mind!

I can go on and on…you tell me who you are, and I can tell you how this knowledge could help you do better in… whatever you do.

And if you are a parent, this knowledge could come in handy when you teach your son, the nuances of skating:-)

Photo by dnamichaud

I’ll try to make short individual posts too, but you’ll often find serial posts on topics that demand space. As the blog evolves, I’ll try to classify the posts and help you navigate. For sometime however, I request you to join me in my exploration of this medium. Use the sidebar categories to find what suits your temperament and learning needs.

On Friday, I’ll return with a post on the different mediums through which learning may be enabled. It will introduce you to the different ways in which learning is imparted in today’s fast-paced environment. I am averse to technological jargon, so if you are looking for someone who could help you catch on with the new fangled methods of learning, without making you feel like you’ve lost your way in a rain forest, be here…on January 26, 2010!


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