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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Learning:

List the priority tasks needed to improve this article[edit]

  • Improve referencing (add links).
  • Types of learning should give a complete and phylogenetic summary of the various forms of learning (from those that evolved earliest to the most recent (see Instructional theory).


I would like to see more attention to social constructivism. Vygotsky has taught us much about learning. Also it would be helpful to point out the ideological consequences of learning, and discussing Freire's pedagogy of the oppressed, Brookfield's learning as ideology critique, and Mezirow's transformative learning would lead to a more complete discussion of learning.Finally, learning and development are much the same thing. There needs to be discussion of epistemological, cognitive, moral, and other types of human development, which co-occur with other types of learning (see reading list).

Learning is a complex umbrella topic that might be well suited to several subcategories for example: historical thoughts on learning (from caves to early agriculture- teaching the next generation required skills through dance, song, and narrative history). Ancient Greek thoughts on learning. Islamic Scholarships influence and thoughts on learning. Middle Ages-From Dark to Enlightened learning. Psychologies impact on learning- does behavior matter? Social Constructivism and Activism views on Learning- Pablo Friere- Pedagogy of the Oppressed? What role does emancipation of our perspective and view play in learning and education. Mezirow and Associates (2000) Transformational Learning- are events that shift our beliefs and systems of our beliefs really transformational learning? -to me a Wiki page on Learning should cover all of these issues within development and change in people. We are oppressed sometimes by our own limiting beliefs or perspectives- getting past that in written form for an encyclopedia would be a good thing- be inclusive in perspective and view. I saw some value ladden statements and name calling in the section- learning is many things- and very broad overall as a topical area.

I disagree, your wants seem to be more about the philosophy, politics, or history of learning/education. You also confuse learning with instruction or education, a common error. This page can provide links to such pages, but it should stick to a scientific perspective of learning--what is it, what kinds are thought to exist, what variables are thought to affect learning. The concept is large enough without including related information.Robotczar (talk) 18:04, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Suggestions from SvenAERTS[edit]

  • Shouldn't we link the pages on Formal Learning and Formal Education and Non-formal learning and Non-formal Education ? -- SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't the intro mention the link to education and learning? -- SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't "Education" mention next to "Formal Education" a paragraph on "Non-formal Education? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • How to link Formal learning and Formal Education and Non-formal learning and Non-formal Education? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't it be mentioned that in Agenda 21, education is defined as a major topic to help humanity make it beyond the year 2100? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't it be mentioned that Millennium Development Goal nr. 2 is Universal Primary Education by 2015? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Where to mention the link to the OLPC or One-Laptop-Per-Child Universal Education Initiative by the Open Community? And shouldn't there be any links back? Who's the best team to look at that? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Where to mention the links on Agenda 21 /Section IV: Means of Implementation / Education / Bringing money from the Low Carbon Economy transition to the Education Sector? Agenda 21 and shouldn't there be any links back? Who's the best team to look at that? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:58, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Where to mention the links on Agenda 21 /Section IV: Means of Implementation / linking the Plan of Actions of Education, International Institutions and Mechanisms and Financial Mechanisms / Bringing money from the Low Carbon Economy transition to the Education Sector? and shouldn't there be any links back? Who's the best team to look at that? --SvenAERTS (talk) 07:58, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The Wikipedia motto is be bold - if you think things should be mentioned, mention them yourself. The best "team" to create back links is you. — RHaworth (talk · contribs) 18:17, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Various (2005)[edit]

The first sentence seems very long, I am removing "either individually or collaboratively" which doesn't seem to add anything. Also, the statement "Whatever you learn should be commited to memory" appears pretty random and doesn't really fit in, so I'm taking that out too for the time being.

Go right ahead, this article still needs a lot of work. I'll look into it, but help me out. This seems a failed CotW in any case, but we can improve it all the same. -- Cugel 20:40, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

To limit learning to a measurable change in behaviour is highly problematic and rooted in the very dated behaviourist perspective. Behaviourism is useful when physical behaviour is the focus such as learning to cook and learning to control a class, but when abstract knowledge and understanding is sought, theories of Piaget (constructivism) and Vygotsky (sociocultural theory) are essential, as well as situated learning theory and others. If this sort of stuff included on this site, then i withdraw the complaint, but the definition of learning itself must certainly be changed.

I don't understand this sentence: "Learning is sense making that enables manifestation of purpose". Since an encyclopaedia should be intelligible to the 'intelligent layman', I would hope that some elucidation of the sentence might be added to the article.

I don't understand that sentence either, and learning is my area of study. I'm going to delete it. Furthermore, is this paragraph neccessary or useful?

Harnessing learning as process is becoming very important to large scale innovation management. An individual's personal purpose is key to that person applying learning to new behavior in their work or their life. As they are exposed to new information, their willingness to apply their newfound knowledge is key to creating sustained value. Organizational change results from behavior potential being realized.

In the neuroscience section, while it is true that an intense experience may prevail over a less intense experience, in terms of learning, it is also true that we are pre-disposed to make certain associations over others. So, saying that a stronger experience will always prevail is not altogether true.

Improvement drive[edit]

Public education is currently nominated to be improved on WP:IDRIVE. You can support the article by voting for it there.--Fenice 20:47, 5 August 2005 (UTC)


Please indicate which sections need work. Simply to add the tag is not as helpful as giving some indication where to start. This article was a wiki-wide collaboration so good faith was clearly involved in its production. I will leave this note for 1 week before rm'g the tag if no response is had. --Ancheta Wis 09:53, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

The section on non-formal learning definitely needs a cleanup the links should have been placed in the external pages section and the writing was not in the proper style Mytchill 23:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


"Most people will smile back at babies who gaze at them and smile."

this caption made me grin - I like to scowl at babies to test their reaction :p

--Froth 20:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Possibly broaden the topic to include animals learning behaviour and how its similar to humans?[edit]

This article seems to be very human orientated and focuses a lot on using examples of schooling as in teacher in a class teaching students. Would it be possible to user broader examples, such as how animals learn to hunt, and their techniques, including how some other animals are using tools (eg Ravens, Apes, Dolphins, etc) and how that could have possibly come to be and the processes they would have likely learnt by? The article I find starts off using a lot of complex terminology and its hard to follow, possibly tone it down a bit so its bit more lamen in the first paragraph explaining the very basics of learning and what the article is likely to outline? Feel free to delete this bit from the discussion in the future. (currently march 2007) --Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC) I know that those individuals who operate primarily or perhaps even exclusively fromt he Left-Hemisphere of their brains [hereafter referred to by the symbol "[L-H]"] are quite serious when they suggest that animal learning has some relevance to the learning of human beings. I also know they are not capable of cognizing the difference between animals and human beings relative to the evolutionary status of the two.... simply because this difference cannot be comprehended by using the [L-H] alone because the difference is Esoteric, and the [L-H] is physically limited to the physical plane of reality.

That there is a growing number of us capable of operating within the Esotericv realms of Man, and thus capable of perceiving both the MIND and Spiritual realms of Man, the topic of "learning" must be expanded to include the acquisition of Knowledge as DEc, or Direct Esoteric communication [which means use of the faculty of "intuition"]. This is a new concept for many individuals, and one that is beyond the grasp of a substantial number of individuals. It is not something that one can, by reading more, studying more, or expanding ones vocabulary and thinking capacity do anything about. The degree to which one can or cannot perceive the sublte concepts relative to the Esoteric dimensions of the human being has to do with ones level of Apapsyche [a new and more viable substitute for the old term "consiciousness" which is no longer useful].

I would like to offer the following for consideration:

--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC) There is another form of acquiring Knowledge [capital "K" indicates this type of Knowledge is of an absolute nature] which comes through "intuition", which is possible when the Attn Aspect of your Apapsyche [new term to replace that of "consciousness" because "consciousness" no longer refers to the Esoteric and non-physical planes exclusively, whereas Apapsyche does refer to (and with one exception only), operates within the Spiritual realm exclusively].

That one exception is the Attn Aspect of your Apapsyche. Apapsyche is defined as: The Operational Energy of your Soul. It operates using two Aspects: The Attn Aspect, which has the ability (since it consists of Neutral Spiritual Energy -same Energy as your Soul) to instantly enter any of the three realms which make-up the whole of Man by simply adopting the vibrational energy of the realm it is entering. The Awar Aspect has the ability to "experience", and the Awar Aspect always follows the Attn Aspect, and what the Attn Aspect is focused upon is what the Awar Aspect is experiencing.

When you are "thinking" the Atten Aspect is fixed within the Left-Hemisphere of your brain. What the Awar Aspect of your Apapsyche is experiencing while your Attn Aspect is in the [L-H] of your brain is physical phenomena. In order for you to "intuit", the Attn Aspect of your Apapsyche must shift into your Apapsyche KE [the Knowledge/Empathy aspect of your Apapsyche] and while focused within your Apapsyche KE, one or more "bits" of Knowledge may be Known... but as soon as your Attn Aspect of Apapsyche shifts into the [L-H] of your brain [which is our "habit"] what you were experiencing as "Knowledge" is gone.

What one intuits is not accidential, nor capricious, but is intended to "guide" one and enhance ones understanding by applying ones own stored Knowledge to some aspect of ones present life to which such Knowledge is pertinent.

Everything within the physical plane of existence is linear, accumulative, and builds... one item upon another. Within the Astral plane [the immediate inner plane within oneself], within the Causal plane [the second inner plane within oneself], and within ones Spiritual realm [at ones Core], all communication is of direct perception and in the form of a whole concept. That is, everything one needs to fully comprehend something is contained in the concept of which one becomes aware. Unfortunately, when one intuits such a "concept" and then instantly ones Attn Aspect shifts into the [L-H] of ones brain...[the reason for this is fear of the "unknown"] the only parts of the concept one can comprehend are those for which some physical plane terms may "sort of" apply. For this reason, and other reasons, it would be both evolutionarily beneficial and life altering for us as a species to encourage and focus children upon the development of their Apapsyches relative to the faculty of intuition.

Of course to do this, we must first encourage adults to commense dealing with their little known fear of the "unknown" within themselves... because it is this fear that prevents them from allowing children to naturally develop this ability to access and utilize intuition.... via the [R-H] of their brains. That this little known fear of the unknown has been permanently incorporated into mental health as denial of the Esoteric within Man largely prevents the West from evolving naturally. --Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC) --Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC) More on this can be found at[[ <>]] which is my website, and anyone may quote from or copy any part thereof.≤± --Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)--Docjp 15:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Go easy on the signatures my friend, you only get so many. Richard001 09:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Learning (animals) should be a topic in of itself, and this article should include a notice it's human-specific. J. Hall(Talk) 05:11, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

It's a bit of both at the moment. Shouldn't the animals banner be kept until it is changed from that? Richard001 06:48, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Your right it is... and since this really falls under the purview of animal behavior (and there seems to be a lot of interest in the topic) I'll leave it at your discretion. J. Hall(Talk) 15:27, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Put it somewhere in "Play"[edit]

I found this piece from the article that I think should belong in the play section rather than the Observation section, as it talks about how children can play to learn:

The sandbox (sandpit) in a playground is an example of a location where children can learn by experience. It is instructive to watch smaller children on a merry-go-round, for example, who naturally push it more slowly than the larger, older, more experienced ones. In order for a little one to get on the merry-go-round, they might simply grab a bar and drag their feet in the sand, while holding on. This slows down the rotation, which allows the little one to climb on, under the oversight of a supervisor, to ensure their physical safety.

Gross Bias[edit]

Good job on the construction so far everyone, but the scope of what classifies as "learning" seems limited here. I think this page should stay limited to a general definition, and that more dense topics associated with learning should have their own pages. DrBrunson (talk) 01:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC) P.S. my HTML is rusty, so please edit my post for any errors and discrepancies; thank you.

>>I agree. The scope needs to be broadened, and the sub-topics need to be specified. The article focuses on different implications of the word, yet doesn't specify them as different areas. e.g. Learning as a cognitive/biological process requires a very different conception from the conventional sense of "acquiring knowledge/skill," and that is not conveyed at all here. - (talk) 09:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Neuroscience of learning[edit]

The introductory section on physiology was unseemly - I've changed it but it is still wanting. It alluded to the current hypothesis about how learning is implemented in the nervous system. Although it has some support, it by no means should be stated as fact. The entire "pathway forming" spiel is just quasi-scientific prattle. The current dogma is that learning is effected mainly by tweaking the efficacy of synapses (such as in LTP and LTD). While there is some evidence of synapse formation (and elimination!!!) during learning (e.g. - Kandel's seminal work on the Aplysia) this has not been proven to be the case in mammals (and currently cutting edge research employing 2-photon imaging is conducted in hope of unravelling this mystery). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tomerfekete (talkcontribs) 18:49, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Reversal (2008)[edit]

I have reverted the article to the revision of 5 August 2008. The current one has a fraction of past content. After 5 August, an anon increased the size to 26,000 bytes, after which the article suffered. A person better acquainted with this article could find a different revision to be the best backup point. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:43, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


AFAICS, the scope of the article is human learning. Out of scope: animal learning (a redirect to ethology), machine learning. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:04, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Rereading the introductory sentence "In the fields of neuropsychology, personal development and education, Learning is one of the most important mental function of humans, animals and artificial cognitive systems", I may be wrong. It seems like someone has added "In the fields of neuropsychology, personal development and education" to the sentence later. From what I can see, the article has mainly been devoted to human learning, with the exception of one section on machine learning, but what do I know. In any case, the scope should better be clarified here at the talk page, I suppose. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:06, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

world's oldest university[edit]

The eLearning wiki mentions Bologna as the world's oldest unversity. In India, Takshila and one other were existing long before Bologna.Nnandish (talk) 15:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Do-Talk-Read-Write > Learn[edit]

I made the following file. Use if you feel appropriate.


--Nevit (talk) 16:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

neuroscience and theory of learning[edit]

Given the central importance of learning, the coverage of both the relevent neuroscience and formal models (eg neural networks and machine learning) seems very inadequate. At the very least there should be links to the relevent Wikipedia articles. Formal learning models play a huge role in theoretical neuroscience, neural networks, cognitive science and machine learning, and much of the present article seems to focus instead on minor and controversial issues.Paulhummerman (talk) 18:57, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Learning (Psychology and Biology)[edit]

Learning has different types. There are simple forms of learning which included, Habituation and Sensitisation and also more complex forms such as Classical and Operant conditioning.

Habituation & Sensitisation Habituation is a simple for of learning. In This form of learning the stimulus has to always cause a response and the response has to be a reflex. After a few times of repeated stimulus the subject learns that the stimulus is harmless therefore s/he shows less (or no) response to the stimulus anymore. During Habituation what happens is that the amount of Calcium ions decreases therefore less calcium will travel to the presynaptic membrane. Consequently the reflex response reduces.

In Sensitisation very similar situation happens. Stimulus causes the response and the response is always a reflex. However after repeated presentation of the stimulus the subject learns that the stimulus might be harmful therefore the response increases and that's the difference between these two simple types of learning. In fact in Habituation there is a reduction of Calcium whereas in Sensitisation there is a reduction in Potassium ions. With less Potassium there is more chance for the presynaptic terminal to be depolarised therefore there is a strong depolarisation to cause action potential which increases the response.

In classical conditioning which also called Pavlovian Conditioning, the stimulus elicit a response however the response is not a reflex this time. In fact an unconditioned stimulus which will naturally produce a response is used in order to get the same response when using another stimulus. The other stimulus is called a Conditioned Stimulus because we have conditioned a stimulus to get a response. Therefore the response if a conditioned response. There are different ways to use this type of learning. Some of these ways don't require any memory involved therefore we can use those type to teach new tasks to people with Amnesia (memory problems). Delayed conditioning is one of these type in which the we present the conditioned stimulus (CS) and while it is presented the unconditioned stimulus is to be presented. Therefore there is need of a high level of cortical control.

Operant Conditioning however is all about the consequences of the behaviour. In other words rewards will increase the behaviour whereas punishment will suppress the behaviour. Rosa Rahin 02:19, 3 October 2011 (UTC)Rosa Rahin 3 Oct 2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rosa Rahin (talkcontribs)

Clearly, people do learn things. The article presents many classifications about learning. Jim learns the taste of food by sensitisation, but if Bob who has done criminal things and goes to jail, then Bob's learning is classified as operant conditioning. Jim learned something, Bob (in theory) learned something, but these classifications do not measure how well either learned. The article is so much about classifications of learning that little useful information regarding effective learning gets to the page. Today, there are a number of international studies done mostly with students in schools. And done because education is proving to be a competitive advantage for countries who do it better than other countries. Rather than disperse our reader's attention by classifying various learning situations into 100 fractions, would it not be more useful to point to countries with successful education, whose students learn well, apply well, and whose economies are therefore doing better? Jim Bough (talk) 18:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, the issues you raise are about formal education, not learning. Note that your assertion that "effective learning" (whatever that is) provides a "competitive advantage" (whatever that is) is about education, not learning. Yes, the educators do confuse the terms often. Robotczar (talk) 17:55, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Transfer of Learning[edit]

Continued updates to ToL. Lots of work to do, as the original section was essentially unsubstantiated and backed by weak referencing. Fascinating history that dates back to the early 20thC. Research since has sought to clarify, but has not actually identified, what ToL is. Will continue to expand. Can I remove the 'Buzzwords' box? Buzzword box removed. Daveplml (talk) 14:35, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Great job! I did some minor copyediting, but I was impressed. Lova Falk talk 07:03, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

the lede of the article needs to summarize the key points of the article...[edit]

...and this part of the lede...

While this article describes the different environments in which learning happens, there seems as yet to be no description of how a collection of neurons learns nor where, exactly, in this collection of neurons "memory" is located.

does not seem to encapsulate anything in the article, but instead to mention what is not in the article. therefore a new section needs to be created in the article to address this subject, or the sentence simply removed without relocating it to the article proper, and not the lede.

makeswell (talk) 05:38, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I've simply removed the blockquoted sentence. If you're interested in replacing or relocating the sentence then please contact me at my Talk page rather than this page, which I will likely not check up on in the future. makeswell (talk) 05:41, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

After two years, I think the lede is still lengthy and not straightforward. I just deleted this sentence Learning is based on experience. And there are many points we can improve.

New worl (talk) 09:40, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps the "expert needed in neuroscience" is POV. After all, there is a video clip on robots learning as the lede illustration. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 22:02, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Concerns about the encyclopedic tone of the article[edit]

Having stumbled upon this article (while playing a Wiki game involving clicking your way to Philosophy from Special:Random -- try it!) I noticed the lede reads very much like an essay as oppposed to an encyclopedic article. The structure is incredibly different compared to the ledes of the vast majority of articles on Wikipedia. I propose it should be rewritten to better reflect the structure of encyclopedic articles as opposed to the structure of a first-year college essay. --Kazinsal (talk) 01:06, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Reading list[edit]

I've expanded the reading list on this article. It is much more likely that people will search for the key word 'Learning' than 'Epistemology.' Stmullin (talk) 23:11, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Further reading[edit]

This section has grown out of control, so I have moved it out of the article into this talk page. Please see Wikipedia:Further reading and put only entries that are topical, reliable and balanced, and please, keep the section limited in size. "Wikipedia is not a catalogue of all existing works." Please, if you add an entry back into the article, motivate why. Thank you! Lova Falk talk 14:10, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

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Additions and Edits[edit]

I'm adding some examples to the enculturation section of this article. I'd appreciate if someone would look over it.Mhirahara (talk) 08:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

I'd also like to add some more examples to the Informal Learning section of this article, but I'm unsure of whether or not it would fit better on the main page. Thoughts?Mhirahara (talk) 08:30, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Factors affecting learning[edit]

The content on the other page is definitely just an expansion of the content on this one. Eventhorizon51 (talk) 05:37, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

It's been a while; I think I'm going to assume silent consensus on this one. Eventhorizon51 (talk) 05:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

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