Internal And External Factors Of Learning

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In the last decade, educators have introduced and used the term life- long learning. This is the notion that learning continues to enrich lives beyond the classroom and has no restrictions as to when learning can stop. There are many internal and external factors that can influence learning such as; emotional, social and environmental factors. It is from these factors and observation of behaviours that psychologists can draw conclusions together, proposing theories to explain how individuals learn and what can ultimately hinder this learning in terms of individual needs. In this essay the two aspects of learning theory that will be examined closely are behaviourism and social learning theory. Behaviourism and social learning theory both state…show more content…
This is the belief that an individual learns through positive and negative reinforcements. Thorndike carried out his experiment by observing multiple cats in a contained puzzle box. This was so he could identify whether behaviours could be reinforced and repeated. Thorndike found through his experiment that the cats learnt through the process of trial and error. He reached this conclusion by observing that the cats would learn from their mistakes and limit their less ineffective actions. As a result of this, they were able to escape the puzzle box more effectively to achieve their reward, and therefore avoided the negative reinforcement. On the other hand, he found that when the cats did not escape the puzzle box the unpleasant consequences experienced by the cats meant that this behaviour was no longer recurring. This then led Thorndike on to developing the concept of ‘law of effect’. This was the idea that if the result was desirable then an organism was more likely to repeat this behaviour as it would be conditioned to do so.
Thorndike’s theory of behaviourism reflects many key ideas in terms of how individuals learn. The simplicity of his experiment allows It to be coherently understood. His experiment suggests that when individuals learn, they learn through the process of making mistakes. This is evident in all areas of schooling specifically, in Early Years Foundation Stage when children learn through
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260). They stated how a child is an active constructor of knowledge and that learning is simply the result of social interaction. Vygotsky (1978) proposed a theory which was referred to as the zone of proximal development. This argues that individuals do not learn through a reaction to a stimulus but alternatively, because of social interaction and a more knowledgeable other

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