What teachers need to know about some principles of learning

Learning is said to have occurred if there is a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potentials of an individual as a result of practice or experience. The effects of that change must persist and re-occur over a long period be such that it is strengthened by repetition or practice. Learning also includes the acquisition of skills, attitudes, knowledge, or other forms of new experience.

However, any change in behavior that results from the use of drugs or illness, or even as a result of fatigue cannot be termed as learning. Also, behavioral changes caused by reflexes, maturation, growth, or aging which do not result from experience or practice cannot be termed as learning; they may either be native or natural responses or even temporal responses.

Some examples of principles of learning


What do you do when you pose a question to your class and the pupils give you the wrong answer? Will you give them another chance? As a teacher, when you do this, you are applying the principle of multiple responses. You are giving them the chance to try and get the correct answer to a question or problem by making several responses.

The principle of multiple responses states that man or even animals may try many responses before getting the right response through the process of try and error. Thorndike, E.L. is credited with the theory of trial and error learning. In an experiment, he found out that an animal by trying several responses in an attempt to satisfy a need finally hits upon one that satisfies the need at the time.

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