CTET 2015 Exam Notes : Child Development and Pedagogy (CDP) 

What does the word ―learning bring to your mind? 

learning to read, to ride a bicycle, to act, to use a computer, to play the guitar etc. Each one of us learns something or the other intentionally or accidentally. Learning situations are most natural and common in our life. Every moment you learn something or the other because of the varied experience you have in life. In the educational process, the central idea is learning.
A child learns right from his birth and goes on learning throughout his lifetime. An infant is quite helpless at birth, but slowly he learns to adopt himself to the environment around him.

e.g. A child approaches a burning matchstick; the child burns his hand and withdraws. Another time when he comes to a burning matchstick, he takes no time to withdraw himself away. He learns to avoid not only the burning matchstick but also all burning things. When this happens, the child has learnt that if one touches a flame, one gets burnt. In this way, the change in the behaviour of an individual occurs through direct or indirect experiences. This change in behaviour brought about by experience is called as learning. This is a very simple explanation of the term learning. Now let us understand the meaning and definitions of learning.


Meaning and Definitions of learning
Learning, in psychology, the process by which a relatively lasting change in potential behaviour occurs because of practice or experience. Learning is also a process of acquiring modifications in existing knowledge, skills, habits, or tendencies  through experience, practice, or exercise.

Gates and others ―Learning is the modification of behaviour through experience‖

Henry, P Smith ―Learning is the acquisition of new behaviour or strengthening or weakening of old behaviour as a result of experience‖.

Crow and Crow ―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.‖

Skinner ―Learning is the process of progressive behaviour adaptation.‖

Munn ―To learn is to modify behaviour and experience.‖

M. L. Bigge ―Learning may be considered as change in insights, behaviour, perception, motivation or a combination of these.‖

The above definitions emphasize four attributes of learning...

  1. As Process: the first is that learning is permanent change in behaviour. 
  2. It does not include change due to illness, fatigue, maturation and use of intoxicant.
  3. The learning is not directly observable but manifests in the activities of the individual. 
  4. Learning depends on practice and experience.

Nature of Learning:

a.     Learning is adaptation or adjustment: All persons continuously interact with their environment. We often make adjustment and adapt to our social environment. Through a process of continuous learning, the individual prepares himself for necessary adjustment or adaptation. That is why learning is also described as a process of progressive adjustment to ever changing conditions, which one encounters.

b.     Learning is improvement: Learning is often considered as a process of improvement with practice or training. We learn many things, which help us to improve our performance.

c.     Learning is organizing experience: Learning is not mere addition of knowledge. It is the reorganization of experience.

d.  Learning brings behavioural changes: Whatever the direction of the changes may be, learning brings progressive changes in the behaviour of  an individual. That is why he is able to adjust to changing situations.

e.  Learning is active: Learning does not take place without a purpose and self-activity. In any teaching learning process, the activity of the learner counts more than the activity of a teacher.

f.    Learning is goal directed: When the aim and purpose of learning is clear, an individual learns immediately. It is the purpose or goal, which determines what, the learner sees in the learning situations and how he acts. If there is no purpose or goal, learning can hardly be seen.

g.  Learning is universal and continuous: All living creatures learn. Every moment the individual engages himself to learn more and more. Right from the birth of a child till the death, learning continues.


Yoakum  &  Simpson  have  stated  the  following  general characteristics of learning: Learning is growth, adjustment, organisation of experience, purposeful, both individual and social product of the environment.

According to W.R McLaw learning has the following characteristics.
1.  Learning  is  a  continuous  modification  of  behaviour  which continues throughout life
a.     Learning is pervasive. It reaches into all aspects of human life.
b.     Learning involves the whole person, socially, emotionally & intellectually.
c.     Learning is often a change in the organisation of behaviour.
d.     Learning is development. Time is one of its dimensions.
e.     Learning is  responsive to incentives. In most cases positive incentives such as rewards are most effective than negative incentives such as punishments.
f.       Learning is always concerned with goals. These goals can be expressed in terms of observable behaviour.
g.     Interest & learning are positively related. The individual learns best those things, which he is interested in learning. Most boys find learning to play football easier than learning to add fractions.
h.     Learning depends on maturation and motivation.


LEARNING: CONCEPT, NATURE, CHARACTERISTICS, PROCESS OF LEARNING, CDP Notes, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, Child Development & Pedagogy Study MaterialLearning is a process. It is carried out through steps. Learning process involves –

d.  A motive or a drive.
e.  An attractive goal.
f.    A block to the attainment of the goal.

Let us see the steps one by one –

(a)  A motive or a drive: Motive is the dynamic force that energizes behaviour and compels an individual to act. We do any activity because of our motives or our needs. When our need is strong, enough we are compelled to strive for its satisfaction. Learning takes place because of a response to some stimulation. As long as our present behaviour, knowledge, skill and performance are adequate to satisfy all our needs, we do not feel any necessity to change our behaviour or acquire new knowledge and skills. It is this requirement, which initiates a learner to learn something.

(b)  Goal: Every individual has to set a definite goal for achievement. We should always have a definite goal for achieving anything. If a definite goal is set then learning becomes purposeful and interesting.

(c)  Obstacle /block /barrier: The obstacle or block or the barrier is equally important in the process of learning. The obstacle or the barriers keep us away from attaining the goal.

Now, how can the obstacle be important in the process of learning? If one faces no difficulty of any kind in attaining the goal, he will not bring any change in his present behaviour or stock of knowledge or skills. Thus, the block or the barrier is an essential step in the learning process.

Consider an example. Suppose you wish to be included in your college hockey team. You want to have the esteem of your colleagues, your teachers. You are also motivated to try interesting experiences that you many enjoy. But you are blocked by your lack of skill in dodging, tackling and handling the ball. The obstacles in the path of goal achievement will set you make up your deficiency and acquire essential skill through sufficient practice and coaching.

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