Can You Analyse The Impact Of Key Influences On Personal Learning Processes?


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David Gill answered
The process of learning is best described in David Kolb's 'Learning Cycle'. The learning cycle shows the four steps in encountering, assimilating and using new information:

  • Concrete Experimentation
More or less what Kolb is describing in this stage of the cycle is a practical experience.
  • Reflection
This is where we look back at our experience and think about it, how it went, what could have been done better and what we can discard.
  • Abstract Conceptualization
In other words, taking previous experiences or knowledge, either first hand, or from secondary and/or tertiary sources and applying it to the situation at hand.
  • Actual Experimentation
After looking back, thinking about and applying other knowledge this stage looks at repeating the behavior with modifications based on what we have found.

There are different influences that have an impact on our learning, these include the common five senses, environmental, cultural and familial factors as well as feedback:

  • Sensory
Our first hand experiences of what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell.
  • Environmental
This would include such factors as family influences, religious influences and societal influences such as status, class or common consensus.
  • Feed back
Making mistakes is a huge part of learning, it is something that most infants tend not to give much thought to, however, through societal influences as we grow older making mistakes are seen as a weakness, and people expect themselves to be infallible. This isn't realistic and trial and error is one of the most fundamental aspects of self-education.

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