In the Introduction, we indicated that Chapter 1 is the first of a set of four chapters that build a generic view of learning prior to considering how reflective and experiential learning relate to this. The first section looks at the issue of terminology that is used concerning the idea of learning and suggests that misuse and lack of vocabulary may skew our view of learning. New words and concepts are added to facilitate a clearer view of what learning might be. The second section of the chapter presents two ways of looking at learning - the 'building bricks' view and the 'network' view. The latter is pursued and developed throughout the remainder of the chapter particularly in relation to 'meaning' in learning, on which basis the two views particularly differ. The discussion also considers the social or individual connotations of 'meaning'. The next section illustrates some of the points made about 'meaning' and we introduce and explore the idea that all learning is based on experience. In the course of this discussion the terms 'external' and 'internal' experience are introduced.
There is constant emphasis in the chapter on the manner in which learning is a process with many events influencing and modifying each other simultaneously. A process in constant flux is difficult to describe in a linear manner. That learning is a process of constant mutually occurring modifications is one general principle that underpins this book and another is the centrality of the process of identifying figure from ground. This is elucidated by Marton and Booth (1997) and it is the important description of learning in Marton