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Learning as a Social Process

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By 9843817
Words 2077
Pages 9
To what extent do you agree that learning is a social process?

Everything we learn takes place in a social context. Social learning can be applied to many scenarios ranging from a group of children collaboratively trying to solve the question of how to make a kite, to a university professor writing a research paper with a colleague, both illustrate the case of a social side to learning. On the other hand some people believe that learning is an individual process, such as reading, researching and searching online, and the social element only occurs when you engage with your network. This essay will discuss both arguments, but focus strongly on the contention that daily observations and experiences, as well as many academic theories suggest that learning takes place beyond the confines of the individual mind, and is therefore a very social process.

Learning and social process are defined in various ways. The Collins Dictionary (2012) defines learning as knowledge gained by study; instruction or scholarship, the act of gaining knowledge. It also provides a more specific definition with relation to psychology being any relevant permanent change in behaviour that occurs as a direct result of experience. Further to this both the Oxford and Collins Dictionaries (2012) offer the definition of social process as societal change. Some thinkers associate this with socialisation, socialisation is social learning. During different stages of our lives, we belong to different groups and as these change and develop we learn new rules and patterns of behaviour. We also don’t remain in the same role during this journey, we begin as children, go through adolescence into adulthood, marry, become parents, enter middle age, retire, grow old and finally die. Within each role, there are patterns of behaviours that we must learn and, therefore throughout our life, we are...

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