For this activity we were asked to come up with our own definition of learning. My initial definition was “The process developing skills, knowledge and wisdom.” An initial Internet search came up with a number of definitions which referred to the acquisition of properties including memories, behaviours, skills, understanding, values, wisdom,knowledge and attitudes. Some definitions referred to the methods of gaining these properties. These methods included study, experience and instruction. Some definitions stated that learning may lead to changes in the brain or behaviour.
In their paper “Adaptive co-management and the paradox of learning ” Armitage,Marschke and Plummer define learning against three learning theories:
• Experiential learning “Learning as a process of creating knowledge through the transformation of experience, learning-by-doing.”
• Transformative learning “Learning as a reflective process that enables an individual’s perceptions and consciousness to be altered. Transformative learning includes instrumental (task-oriented, problem-solving actions to improve performance of current activities) and communicative (ability of individuals to examine and reinterpret meanings, intentions and values associated with actions and activities) learning.”
• Social learning “Learning as a process of iterative reflection that occurs when we share our experiences, ideas and environments with others.”
The verb reflecting, as used in two of the definitions from the paper by Armitage,Marschke and Plummer, suggest that learning is a continuing process compared to the verb acquiring used in many of the initial definitions. The reflective definitions do not focus on things which learning may give the individual, such as knowledge or wisdom, but on what learning may do to the individual, altering perceptions and consciousness.