Defining learning

13 March 2014

I have come across some engaging material by Terry Doyle that is intended to help faculty “in moving from a teacher centered practice to a learner centred one”. What stands out for me is the way he draws on contemporary neuroscience understanding of learning. His definition of learning (given below) is a more developed version of what I have been using for many years, and I think I prefer his over mine. It is:

Learning is the ability to use information after a significant period of disuse

and

It is the ability to use the information to solve problems in a context different (if only slightly) from the context in which the information was originally taught learnt.

The change to the final sentence is mine rather than Terry’s.