f) Friends and Companions (Peer-Group) : Besides all of the above, peer
group exercises a good deal of influence on the development of an individual.
3.8 ASK YOURSELF:
Q. Define the term Growth.
Q. What do you understand by the term Development.
Q. Discuss various Environmental factors of Growth and Development.
Q. Discuss various Biological Factors affecting Growth and Development.
3.9 SUGGESTED READINGS:
Walia, J.S. (1996): Foundations of Educational Psychology, Paul Publishers,
Skinner, C.E. (1984) : Essentials of educational psychology, Agra Publishing House,
Sharma, R.N. (2001): Foundations of Educational Psychology, Surya Publications,
Mathur, S.S. (1994): Educational Psychology, Vinod Pustak Mandir, Agra.
LESSON No. 4 UNIT–II
By: Dr. Netar Parkash Sharma
4.3 Meaning of Learning
4.3.1 Definitions of Learning
4.3.2 Characteristics of Learning
4.4 Theories of Learning
4.4.1 Trial and Error Theory of Learning
4.5 Laws of Learning
4.6 Factors Affecting Learning
4.7 Let Us Sum Up
4.8 Model Examination Questions
4.9 Suggested Readings
In this Lesson, we shall discuss the concept of learning and nature of
learning. You will also study the theories of learning. You will also come to know
about various laws which have been deduced from the learning theories and the
factors affecting learning.
After going through this unit you shall be able to :
• explain the meaning of Learning.
• reproduce two definitions of Learning.
• describe the nature of Learning.
• describe the theory of learning Trial and Error.
4.3 MEANING OF LEARNING
Learning is a very comprehensive term. It is not limited to classroom
learning or deliberate learning of any skill. It includes all sorts of activities and
experiences acquired through experience. Learning is the acquisition of habits,
knowledge and attitudes. It involves new ways of doing things and it operates in
an individual’s attempt to overcome obstacles or to adjust to new situations. Learning
is a progressive change in behaviour brought about through experience by various
stimuli. An individual reacts to a situation in an effort to adopt his behaviour
effectively to demands made upon him. It enables him to satisfy interests or to
attain goals. The following example will illustrate this learning process. When the
child is born, he performs certain actions automatically. But in the course of time,
he goes on learning new skills, gaining fresh information and developing new beliefs
and attitudes. Not only this, there is a change in his behaviour also. While approaching
a burning fire since the child gets burnt and withdraws himself away, next time
when he faces a burning candle, he takes no time to withdraw himself from it.
Thus, we come to know that the child has learnt that if one touches a flame, he
gets burnt up.
4.3.1 Definitions of Learning
The definitions of learning given by different psychologists are as under :
• According to Gates and other, ‘‘Learning is the modification of behaviour
through experience and Training’’.
• According to Melvin H. Marx, ‘‘Learning is relatively enduring change