The mechanism of learning

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It is generally accepted that the brain is the seat of all learning. To understand how learning occurs, it would be important - and interesting - to know how the brain handles information. The senses receive information and transmit it to the brain where it is processed and stored.


At its most basic level, this method of processing and storing is 'rote learning'. But not everything is learnt by rote alone; people learn by 'understanding' as well. This is because the brain forms constructs or patterns out of the processed information. As more information is processed, not only are new constructs created, but they are linked to existing ones. This is how people make 'sense' out of new information. This is how children make the transition from rote-learning to learning-by-understanding. Moreover, research in psychology shows that not all people make 'sense' out of learning the same way. A teacher who believes that students learn in one particular manner, and teaches accordingly, would end up 'teaching' only those students who learn in that manner; the students who have different learning abilities will stand to lose for no fault of theirs (Petty, 2004, chap. 1). This difference in learning abilities of students and the customisation of teaching methods that incorporates this difference is termed Differentiation (Petty, 2004, p. 541). This essay will explore a few concepts of learning, a few teaching methods that benefit students with different learning abilities, and how some barriers in teaching and learning can be overcome. It will also look at a few strategies that help assess teaching and learning.
right-brain and left-brain processors. ...
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