Friday, November 1, 2019

How the environment plays a role in learning Research Paper

How the environment plays a role in learning - Research Paper Example (Dr. Maria Montessori) INTRODUCTION The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines learning as â€Å"the act or experience of one that learns†, â€Å"Knowledge or skill acquired by study† or modification of a behavioral tendency by experience (as exposure to conditioning). The two ideas central to the process of learning are one that knowledge is inborn and two, that it is acquired through experience. Though the relative contribution of these two factors still remains debatable, there is no doubt to the fact that an individual’s environment does influence the learning process (Ireson, 2008). For a child the major environmental factors in order of appearance in his life are parents or family, media, peer group, and classroom or school. The author intends to discuss the influence of each of these factors on the learning process in this paper. EFFECT OF ENVIRONMNET ON LEARNING The major factor determining the influence of environment on learning is related to observational and imitative learning which emerges in the early stages of child development. Beyond imitation, children are also seen to assess the implication of behavior and more likely to imitate behaviors which are rewarded. Thus factors such as thinking and reason come in to force in determining the path of learning process. However, environment remarkably influences these aspects of learning as well. Home environment: Parents & Family It is well recognized that home background effects learning process by exercising a multidimensional influence on the child. The four major variables that render the home environment educative, non educative or anti-educative are socioeconomic variables, family configuration (structural and educational aspects) as well as achievement levels, parental characteristics and home process variables ( The importance of home environment is underlined by the fact that the initial period of child development with exclusive and later predominant influence of home is the most rapid phase of development. Interventions at this stage are likely to have more impact on learning process compared to similar interventions at later stages. Even at later stages home remains a determining factor with continuous influence on social, nutritional, and emotional aspects of the child, thus affecting the learning process. Media Media in form of television, internet is knocking at the doors of childhood long before the child is introduced to any of his real friends. The animation characters and the advertisement jingles lure and influence them more than any of the peer group. The influence in some aspects is immediate and obvious such as vocabulary building and introduction to violence. Certain aspects may be gradual such as learning the technology and making children inquisitive as well as better informed. The creative use of media for imparting education, offering audio visual aids facilitating the learning process is being explored and exploited for m ainstream as well as special needs children. The optimal use of these aids is repeatedly stressed in researches. Caution needs to be exercised in the excessive use of media since it might lead to distractions and thus decelerate the learning process. Researchers such as Richard Clarke have argued against the effect of media on learning, declaring it as mere means of communication, thus considering the content as influencing the learning p

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