The Theory & Practice of Learning

The Theory & Practice of Learning

The Theory & Practice of Learning

The Theory & Practice of Learning


Learning is among the most basic of human activities. The study of learning, and research into learning a central part of educational studies. Now published in a second edition, this book is a comprehensive introduction to contemporary theories and modern practices of learning. Updated and expanded, written in non-technical language, this new edition will be a valuable guide for all teachers, facilitators, human resource developers and students of education.Contents include updated and new material on: * lifelong learning; * the social background to learning; * cognitivist theory; * types of learning; * learning using ICT; * philosophical reflections on learning.


Among the most basic of human activities, learning is as crucial as breathing. Learning is the process through which we become the human beings we are, the process by which we internalize the external world and through which we construct our experiences of that world. Without appearing to recognize the fundamental significance of this process, learning has assumed a centrality in the educational vocabulary in recent years. Now we talk of the learning organization, the learning society, and so on.

Research into human learning has gathered pace over the past century, although much of it is of a more practical than fundamental nature. Even so, recent developments in the practice of helping people learn do not always refer back to some of the earlier research into the learning processes. This book endeavours to rectify this by introducing readers both to some of the research and to some of the modern practices of learning.

We have written this book for teachers and facilitators, human resource developers, trainers, welfare workers, and students of education. It is written in a non-technical language with a limited selection of further reading. But it is not a simple 'how-to' book. Instead it aims to provide interested practitioners with a little of the theoretical underpinnings of these modern practices.

The book is divided into three sections: the first two chapters show how and why learning has gradually replaced education in the educational vocabulary; the next five explore some of the more basic theories of learning; and the final seven chapters discuss some contemporary practices and relate them back to the theory.

The three authors were the first members of the Lifelong Learning Research Group in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Surrey. Since their formation in 1996, they have undertaken a research project, Towards the Learning City, subsequently published by the Corporation of London Education Department. The Group also orga-

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