Definition of Learning and its Importance

Learning is a common word that has easily been misunderstood. It means different things to different people. Learning, academic, study, and research skills are sometimes used interchangeably. What is learning? Basically, it means acquiring new experiences and ideas and making progress in your life and in society. 

Students generally confuse studying with learning. Studying and learning do not mean the same thing. In simple terms, you can study without learning but you cannot learn without studying – structured or unstructured. 

Learning encompasses the totality of life‘s experiences. Jiddu Krishnamurti, once remarked: There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish your education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Haselgrove (2016: 2) explains learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior because of experience. This implies that learning brings change, progress, and development. Therefore, for learning to take place, you need to understand, acquire and develop learning skills. 

Whether in the pursuit of your academic program or degree course or in the world of work, learning skills are widely applicable. Learning skills could be regarded as abilities that students need to succeed in their studies and careers. 

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These are skills that will help you to be competitive in the 21st century. Zook (2019: np) summarises some of the essential requirements for success in the 21st century, which include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Technology Literacy
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Productivity
  • Social skills

In summary, recall that reading was in a nutshell described as a mental process, a lonely activity, and an interactive course that leads to information and knowledge acquisition. Some of the benefits of reading include, inter alia, satisfaction, knowledge, brain development, and enhanced concentration and stress reduction. 

Read Also: Definition of the Concepts of Reading and Learning

As a student, you need to read extensively, especially your course materials, suggested texts, selected online materials, recommended video items, etc. 

This article also defined learning as the whole of your experiences in life, which causes a permanent change in your behavior. Therefore, learning to read and read to learn and academic excellence would be the result.

Reading is a powerful but inexpensive tool that can change your human life dramatically. It enriches, entertains, amuses, and endues you with knowledge, skill, and experience. Reading is a thoroughfare of communication that builds you and facilitates the development of effective communication skills. 

Effective reading is a ladder to academic success, career development, and stability in life‘s endeavors. Similarly, reading and learning are interwoven. 

Reading leads to learning and learning, in turn, leads to reading. Learning encompasses the totality of your life‘s behavior that leads to a permanent change in behavior. Reading and learning are harbingers of change and development.

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