What is Learning, Definition, Characteristics and Domains of Learning

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 08:36 -- Umar Farooq

What is Learning

The whole educational process is directed for learning. What exists in any educational structure is for learning both for students and teacher. Humans start learning process since their birth to death and various experiences enable them to acquire new skills and information about the surroundings and to plan in the light of previous experiences for the future possibilities.

So experiences, a person encounters, give feedback to him or her. The feedback that is taken through experience is term learning, in common language.

Definitions of Learning

The term has been defined by well-known scholars. The definitions are as follows:

  1. According to Gardner Murphy “The term covers every modification of behavior to meet environmental requirements”. 
  2. Kingsley and Garry defines it “The process by which behavior is organized or changed through practice or training.”
  3. According to Gates “It is the modification of behavior through experience and training.”
  4. Skinner argues that “It is an acquisition and retention.”

Characteristics of Learning

Following are the characteristic

  1. It is the change with or acquired or adjustment of behavior.
  2. It is doing and practice.
  3. It is continuous process till death.
  4. It is goal directed i.e. to fulfill some basic needs.
  5. It is continuous reconstruction i.e. replacing the old with the new experiences.
  6. It outcome may or may not be positive.
  7. It is the products of activity.
  8. It helps in proper growth and development.
  9. It is universal irrespective of color, creed, language etc.

Domains of Learning

The followings are the three domains.

1. Cognitive Domain

In this domain an individual thinking, mental, intellectual and intelligence capacities are modified and developed through educational process. There are six sub categories i.e. knowledge, compression, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation

2. Affective Domain

In this domain an individual feelings, emotional aspects are modified and developed like anger, hate, love, prejudice, phobias etc. Affective domains have five sub categories which are receiving phenomena, respond to phenomena, valuing, organization, characterization

3. Conative domain

In this conative domain an individual motor abilities (how to play a particular game or run a machine etc.) are modified and developed through training process.