Learning is the acquisition and development of memories and behaviors, including skills, knowledge, understanding, values, and wisdom. It is the product of experience and the goal of education. Learning ranges from simple forms of learning such as habituation and classical conditioning seen in many animal species, to more complex activities such as play, seen only in relatively intelligent animals.
For small children, learning is as natural as breathing. In fact, there is evidence for behavioral learning prenatally, in which habituation has been observed as early as 32 weeks into gestation, indicating that the central nervous system is sufficiently developed and primed for learning and memory to occur very early on in development.
Learning has also been mathematically described as a differential equation of knowledge with respect to time, or the change in knowledge in time due to a number of interacting factors (constants and variables) such as initial knowledge, motivation, intelligence, knowledge anchorage or resistance, etc. Thus, learning does not occur if there is no change in the amount of knowledge even for a long time, and learning is negative if the amount of knowledge is decreasing in time. Inspection of the solution to the differential equation also shows the sigmoid and logarithmic decay learning curves, as well as the knowledge carrying capacity for a given learner.
Pat Wyman is the best-sellling author of Learning vs Testing, and founder of the award winning website http://www.howtolearn.com. She is an international learning consultant and coach, and highly sought after speaker, known as America's Most Trusted Learning Expert. Wyman conducts seminars and coaching workshops on her Instant Learning strategies, helping people learn at lightening fast speed while overcoming any learning blocks they may have. Get your FREE personal learning style and 52 Instant Learning tips at http://www.howtolearn.com.