2. •One of the most important characteristics of human beings is
their capacity to learn.
•An individual starts learning immediately after his birth or in a
strict sense even earlier in the womb of the mother.
•Our personality–our habits, skills, knowledge, attitudes, interests
and character is largely the result of learning.
•It is the key process in human behavior. All our adaptive as well
as maladaptive, our cognitive as well as affective behavior are
formed by learning processes.
The change in behavior brought about by experience is
commonly known as learning.
•The term learning covers every modification in behavior to meet
environmental requirements. (Gardner Murphy—1968)
•Learning is the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitudes. It
involves new ways of doing things and it operates on an
individual’s attempts to overcome obstacles or to adjust to new
situations. It represents progressive changes in behavior. It enables
him to satisfy interests to attain a goal. (Crow and Crow—1973)
4. Nature and characteristics of Learning
•Learning is a process and not a product.
•It involves all those experiences and trainings of an individual
(right from his birth) which helps him to produce change in his
•Learning brings changes in the behavior, but it does not necessarily
mean these changes always bring improvement or development in
the positive direction.
•Learning prepares an individual for the necessary adjustment and
•All learning is purposeful and goal-oriented. In case there is no
purpose, there would hardly be any learning.
5. •Learning is universal and continuous. Every creature that lives
learns. In human beings it is not limited to any age, sex, race or
culture. It is a continuous never-ending process that goes from
• Learning is transferable from one situation to another.
• Learning helps in the proper growth and development.
• Learning helps in the balanced development of personality.
Learning is a process which brings relatively permanent changes in
the Behavior of a learner through Experience or Practice.
6. TYPES OF LEARNING
•Stimulus response learning
•Learning of motor skills
•Problem solving learning
•Paired associate learning
7. LEARNER AND LEARNING
Who is learner?
Everybody on this earth as a living organism may be seen to
demonstrate its urge to learn.
Our learning helps us –
•For seeking harmony with ourself and environment
•Developing our abilities & capacities to maximum in contributing
to the welfare of ourself, society, humanity
•Improving our performance
8. FACTORS INFLUENCING LEARNING
A.FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH LEARNER
•Learner’s physical & mental health
•Basic potential of the learner- ability to learn things, maturation level,
general intelligence, basic interests etc.
•The level of motivation
•Goals of life
•Readiness and will power
9. B.FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TYPE OF LEARNING
•The nature of learning experiences- formal, informal, incidental,
well planned, direct & indirect.
•Methodology of learning
C.FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH AVAILABLE RESOURCES
AND EXPERIENCE(MEN & MATERIAL)
•Quality of teaching
•Availability of appropriate learning materials & facilities
•Availability of conducive environment
10. LAWS OF LEARNING
•Law of readiness
•Law of effect
•Law of exercise/use
•Law of frequency
•Law of disuse
•Law of recency
•Law of primacy
•Law of purpose
•Law of association
11. THEORIES OF LEARNING
Trail and Error theory of learning
This theory was propagated by Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949). According to
Thorndike, learning consists of making bonds or connections between stimuli and
responses. These bonds are made in the nervous system.
This experiment sums up following stages of learning-
• Goal (food)
• Block (Box)
• Random movements
• Chance Success
• Selection of movement
12. Laws of learning-Law of Readiness, Law of Effect, Law of exercise & law of
Educational implications of Thorndike’s Theory
• When a child is ready to learn, he learns more quickly and effectively(not forced to
• The task of the teacher is to motivate the students by arousing their attention, interest
and curiosity, so that they want to learn (law of readiness).
• Try to strengthen the bonds or connections between stimuli and responses, through
repetition, drill and practice. Other- wise, the bonds get weakened through disuse and
learning fails to occur (law of practice/exercise).
• Learning gives him a sense of satisfaction. The child must be suitably rewarded to
make learning effective (law of effect).
• The learner should try to see the similarities and dissimilarities between the stimuli.
• The learner should be encouraged to perform his task independently.
13. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
The theory of classical conditioning was proposed by Ivan Pavlov
(1849-1936) a Russian physiologist.
A type of learning, in which a neutral
stimulus comes to bring about a response
after it is paired with a stimulus that
naturally brings about that response.
14. The experiment brings 4 essential elements of the Conditioning
Natural Stimulus-Unconditioned stimulus(US)-Food
Natural response- Unconditioned Response(UR)
Artificial Stimulus-Conditioned stimulus(CS)-Bell
15. Educational Implications of Classical Conditioning Theory-
• Fear, love or hatred towards a particular subject is created through conditioning.
• Interesting and effective methodology in teaching along with sympathetic
treatment can have a desirable impact on the students through the process of
• The theory of classical conditioning emphasizes that the students should be
exposed to positive stimuli in order to develop desirable habits, interests and
attitudes in them.
• Conditioning can also be used to remove unhealthy attitudes, superstitions and
fears from the minds of the students by exposing them to positive stimuli
16. Theory of Operant Conditioning (or) Instrumental Conditioning
The theory of learning by operant conditioning was given by BF Skinner
Skinner focused on the consequences of rewards in repeating and maintaining
behavior. Man is not victim of the environment.
A dog or individual does something or behaves in some manner, it operates
on the environment and in turn the environment
responds to the activity. How the environment
responds to the activity, rewarding or not largely
determines whether the behavior will be repeated,
maintained or avoided.
17. Based on experiments he concluded that “behaviour is shaped &
maintained by its consequences. It is operated by the organism and
maintained by its results.”
•Reinforcement-The process, by which a stimulus increases the probability
that a preceding behavior will be repeated .
•Reinforcer-Any stimulus that increases the probability that a preceding
behavior will occur again.
•Positive Reinforcer-A stimulus added to the environment that brings about
an increase in a preceding response.
• Negative Reinforcer-An unpleasant stimulus, whose removal leads to an
increase in the probability that a preceding response will occur again in
18. •Punishment-A stimulus that decreases the probability that a previous
behavior will occur again.
• Schedules of Reinforcement- Objects or events, which provide
reinforcement are called as reinforcers.
A.Primary reinforcers are those, which possess inherent reinforcing
Ex-food, water, physical comfort, etc.
B.Secondary or conditioned reinforcers are those which acquire their
reinforcing qualities through close association with a primary reinforcer.
Ex-include money, attention, affection and good grades.
19. •Continuous reinforcement (CR) schedule is 100 percent reinforcement
schedule, where every correct response of the individual is rewarded or
•Fixed-interval (FI) reinforcement schedule, the individual is rewarded for a
response only after a set interval of time.
Ex-Paying salaries for the work done on a weekly or monthly basis.
Conducting examinations periodically for the students.
•Fixed-Ratio Reinforcement Schedule
•In fixed-ratio (FR) reinforcement schedule, the more they respond, the
more reinforcement they receive. Example: Paying employees depending
on the number of units they produce or sell.
20. •Variable-ratio (VR) reinforcement schedule, reinforcement is intermittent
and irregular. The individual does not know when he is going to be
rewarded and so he remains motivated through out the learning process.
The most common example of this schedule is human behavior in
gambling. Here rewards are unpredictable and keep the players
motivated, though returns are occasional.
21. Educational Implications of Operant Conditioning Theory
1.The key concept in Skinner’s theory is reinforcement.
2. The principle of operant conditioning may be successfully applied in behavior
3. Operant conditioning emphasizes the importance of schedules in the process of
reinforcement of behavior.
4. This theory advocated the avoidance of punishment for unlearning the undesirable
behavior and for shaping the desirable behavior.
5.Learning proceeds most effectively
- learning material designed to create less opportunity to face failures & more
opportunities gaining success.
- Learning at own place.
22. Theory of Insightful Learning (Gestalt Psychology)
•Gestalt psychology was founded in Germany by Max Wolfgang Kohler
and his colleagues.
•The word ‘Gestalt’ means Configuration or form or shape or a particular
arrangement of elements.
•The basic idea behind Gestalt learning is that ‘the whole is more than the
sum of its parts’.
•Gestalt psychology is primarily concerned with the nature of perception,
i.e. perception is always related to the total situation.
•Gestalt psychology used the term ”Insight” to describe the perception of
the whole situation by learner and his intelligence in responding to the
24. •Gestalt psychologists tried to interpret learning as a purposive,
exploratory and creative process, rather than mere trial and error or even
25. Gestalt psychologists concluded that insight depends on the
•Repetition and generalization.
26. Educational Implications of the Theory of Insightful Learning
•This theory emphasizes that trial and error learning must be minimized.
•The age-old mechanical memorization and drill with lack of basic
understanding and use of creative mental abilities, must be stopped.
•A subject should not be treated as the mere collection of isolated facts
or topics. It should be integrated into a whole.
•This theory has brought motivation to the forefront. The child should be
motivated by arousing his interest and curiosity, in order to make
learning goal-oriented and effective.
•The learner must be given plenty of opportunities to use his mental
abilities. (classroom and environment)
27. Humanistic theories of learning
This theory was proposed by Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers psychologists
belonging to the School of humanism.
Maslow Coined the term ‘the third force’ to describe humanistic approach.
Maslow proposed 5 sets of basic needs for understanding human motivation to
29. Cognitive Theory of Learning
• Learning through imitation (social learning theory).
• According to psychologist Albert Bandura and colleagues (1977), a major
part of human learning consists of observational learning; learning through
observing the behavior of another person called a model.
• According to Bandura, observational learning takes place in 4 steps:
1.Paying attention and perceiving the most critical features of another person’s
2.Remembering the behavior
3.Reproducing the action
4.Being motivated to learn and carry out the behavior.
30. Learning Process
According to HP Smith the learning process involves following steps:
Motive: These are the dynamic forces that energize behavior and compel the
individual to act.
Goal: The setting of goal helps in making the learning purposeful and
interesting. The goal attracts the individual to learn.
Block to the attainment of the goal: If the individual faces no difficulty in
attaining the goal, he will not change his present behavior; this means there is
no necessity to learn.
Reinforcement: If the response is successful in action in satisfying the
need, that response is reinforced and on subsequent occasions the
individual will tend to repeat it.
31. •Integration: In this process the individual integrates the successful
responses with the individual’s previous learning, so that it becomes a part
of a new functional whole.
•Learning situation: The quality, speed and effectiveness of learning
depends much upon the kind of learning situation and environment
available to the learner.
32. Transfer of learning
• Transfer refers to the transfer of knowledge, training and habits acquired in one
situation to another situation. (Sorenson—1948)
• The carry-over of the habits of thinking, feeling or working, of knowledge or of
skills from one learning area to another is usually referred to as the transfer of
training. (Crow and Crow—1973)
• Positive Transfer-Transfer is said to be positive, when something previously
learned benefits performance or learning in a new situation.
• Negative Transfer-When something previously learnt hinders performance or
learning in a new situation.
• Zero Transfer-In case the previous learning makes no difference at all to the
performance or learning in a new situation.
33. Factors influencing learning-
•When both the stimuli and responses in tasks are similar, learning of one
facilitates the learning of the other.
•When both stimuli and responses are different, the learning of one has no
effect on the learning of other.
•Maximum negative transfer is observed, when the stimuli are the same
but the responses are different.
• Degree of transfer is closely related to the learner’s intelligence.
•Proper study habits have to be developed so that students try to see the
relationship between various situations and try to apply what they know
to other situations.
34. Theories of Transfer of Learning
The Theory of Identical Elements or Identical Components-
This theory propagated by Thorndike, the transfer positive or negative from one
situation to another is possible to the extent there are common or identical elements in
Theory of Generalization-
This theory proposed by Charles Judd, According to the theory of generalization,
transfer occurs, when a person learns a principle or an idea in one situation and then
is able to apply it in another situation.
Transposition Theory of Transfer
Transposition theory of transfer has been propagated by Gestalt field psychologists;
they emphasized the role of insight in the mechanism of transfer of learning.
Theory of Mental discipline (Faculty theory)-
It’s the oldest of all transfer theories. This theory believes that mind is composed of so
many independent faculties like memory, attention, imagination, reasoning, Judgement
35. Educational Implications of Transfer of Learning
• Emphasizing the similarities between the current subject and the situations, to
which the new learning will transfer.
• Transfer takes place because of similarity of content, technique, method or
generalization.(Transfer of learning does not take place automatically.) We
have to teach keeping transfer of learning in mind.
• Specific facts must be taught, with arriving at meaningful generalization.
• Teachers should provide varied experiences. As much as possible learning
experiences must be made similar to life-like situations.
• Emphasis should be given on developing ideas and attitudes.
• Teachers are ordinarily advised not to present in close succession methods or
ideas, which might easily be confused and thus cause negative transfer.
36. How to achieve maximum Positive Transfer?
•What one already knows should form a base for one’s present learning.
•While engaging in learning, the learner should try to have integration of
the theoretical studies with practical experiences.
•Learning should be properly correlated with life experiences,
environmental surroundings and other areas of study and knowledge.
•The learner should identify identical components between the two
•The learner should avoid rote learning. He must develop the habit of
learning through proper understanding and insight.
•The learner try to take help of multi-media.
37. •Learner should never hesitate to utilize the learning of one field in the
learning of other fields.
•Instead of learning discrete and isolated facts, the learner should
concentrate on the learning of the principles, generalizations and rules.
•Learner should try to gain proper knowledge and insight into making
distinctions between positive and negative transfer of his learning.
•As far as possible, he should try to learn through his own efforts.
38. Study Habits
One’s habitual way of doing his study in a particular way and style may
be termed as his study habit.
Good study habits for the intended learners-
1.Establishing proper time schedule for studying.
2.Observing desirable healthy habits for carrying out study in the planned
•Attention to study material.
•Try to follow the Learning principle.
•Span of time.
•Body posture and positions.
39. Implications for Nurses
•Wide useful implications for nurses both at personal & professional
•Help to know the secrets of successful learning.
•Try to play a role of appropriate observer and imitator of her role
•Use of learning theories and transfer of learning in the for the care and
treatment of patients.