Learning, thinking and doing
Learning, thinking and doing

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Learning, thinking and doing

2.5 Back to your definition

Now you have worked through this section, reflect on your own version of what learning is, as you drafted it for your learning file at the start of this section. Did you give more emphasis to the outcomes of learning, or to the process? Or did you find a way of balancing the two? Try to revise your own wording to your own satisfaction.

Learning is …

Do remember that definitions of learning often reflect the kinds of learning that were most important to us at the time, or were in the forefront of our minds when we drew up our definition. A realistic goal is to give yourself a definition which works for a particular purpose, such as the tasks you will be working on for this course. My own version of a definition, for the limited purpose of providing a working definition for this course, is as follows:

Learning is an interactive process between people and their social and physical environment which results in changes to people's knowledge, attitudes and practices.


Beaty, E., and Morgan, A. (1992) 'Developing Skill in Learning', Open Learning, vol. 7 no. 3.

Downs, S. (1993) 'Developing learning skills in vocational learning' in Thorpe, M., Edwards, R., and Hanson, A. (eds) Culture and Processes of Adult Learning, London, Routledge.

Downs, S. (1995) Learning at Work: Effective Strategies for Making Learning Happen, London, Kogan Page.

Laurillard, D. (1993) Rethinking University Teaching: a Framework for the Effective Use of Educational Technology, London, Routledge.

Sloboda, J. (1993) 'What is Skill and How is it Acquired?' in Thorpe, M., Edwards, R., and Hanson, A. (eds) Culture and Processes of Adult Learning, London, Routledge.


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