CONDITIONS THAT ENHANCE LEARNING
Learning is defined as the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience or being taught. Learning is one of the most fundamental concepts and most researched areas in the domain of psychology.
Learning is the means through which we acquire, not only skills and knowledge, but values, attitudes and emotional reactions as well. Learning can be intentional or unintentional.
Unintentional learning occurs in informal situations as when a student learns a song without setting out to learn it or in the case of child who learns to cry at the sight of any woman on uniform (nurse) because of previous experiences with a nurse.
Intentional learning occurs in the classroom when students are presented with materials or when a student acquires information by looking up a topic in an encyclopedia.
In intentional learning, three basic elements are present; the learner, the activities of both the teacher and pupil and a set goal. The activities are structured in such a way as to provide learning experiences.
There are Conditions that Enhance Learning
They include but not limited to the following.
The Teacher and the Teaching
The teacher’s personality and his methods of teaching facilitate learning. A teacher’s pleasant and friendly personalities are capable of setting student at ease. A teacher who presents the learning materials in an orderly, methodologically, correct manner and shows a clear mastery of his/her subject arouses interest and respect of his students.
Active Participation in Learning as another factor that enhances learning
Students learn better by doing rather than by listening passively. Active participation can take the form of debates, class assignments, sports, drama, oral answering of questions in class and so on.
Knowledge of Progress
Students’ knowledge of their progress which we call “feedback” is an effective form of motivation. The knowledge of progress becomes critical especially when it is positive and encouraging. Teachers need therefore, to mark, grade and furnish students with knowledge of results as soon as possible.
The Learner Must have the Resources to Learn
These resources might be personal, social and technical resources. The personal resources include adequate capacity such as intelligence and temperament to learn the material presented; sufficient prior knowledge and ample motivation to learn. The social resources include support from home and friends while the technical resources consist of finance, materials, equipment and relevant experience. Again, the learner must take advantage of these resources and opportunities.
This means that the learner has a major role to play in the learning process while the teacher employs different approaches and activities to create a conducive learning environment; the learner actively interacts with the environment and benefits from it.
The Ability and Interest
Ability and interest must be present to facilitate learning. Health plays an important role in learning. Healthy children learn more effectively than unhealthy children. Children who suffer from malnutrition do not grow well. Stunted growth affects the total development including intellectual powers.
Therefore, the school should always check on students’ health in order to treat those diseases that bother students and reduce their active and effective participation in learning. Furthermore, effective study habits are another factor that enhances learning.
Formation of effective study habits is quite central in facilitating learning. An intelligent child who does not know how to study will often score a ridiculously low grade compared to his potential. Professor Robinson’s method of study (Question, read, survey, recite, and review).
The importance of the learning environment in learning cannot be over emphasized since learning takes place in an environment. The social psychology of a leaning environment is characterized by friendliness among teacher, a warm relationship between students and teachers, respect for one another, the use of decent language in formal and informal interaction between staff and the students, emphatic considerations for problem children and those experiencing difficulties, etc.
Denigration, abuse and mockery are inimical to ta peaceful co-existence among human beings. If teachers and students mind their language and show respect for one another, the environment will be congenial and conducive to learning.
In conclusion, learning should be geared towards solving real problems in life, such as poor social adjustment, teacher-student conflict, and hostility in the classroom amongst others.