Factors that affect learning

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Introduction

The main purpose of education is learning. We learn every day. Learning does not occur in isolation but in our daily interaction with people. Learning acts as a great influence on one’s behaviour, ideas, thoughts and attitudes. Various factors affect the learning process negatively and positively.

Definition of Learning

Karl Mark in his book, Learning Process defines Learning as a “relatively enduring change in behaviour which is a function of prior in behaviour which is a function of prior behaviour.” Simply, learning is an avenue of creating change from knowledge, attitudes, ideas, etc. Every successful learning process births the following: change in behaviour, acquisition of new behaviour, and experience that triggers a change in behaviour.

Factors that Affect Learning:

Factors that Affect learning could be environmental, biological, or school attributed factors.
School attributed factor: School is the main vehicle of learning. There are certain things in school that might hinder or advance the learning process.

a. Classroom size: A classroom can be large or small. A large classroom makes learning and teaching comfortable while a small classroom makes learning and teaching uncomfortable.
b. Population of the class: The number of learners assigned to a class can make learning easy or difficult.
c. Facilities in the school: Schools that are equipped with learning facilities have a great tendency of producing wonderful and resourceful learners. Some areas need practicals.
d. Type of Curriculum used: Curriculum is usually given by the Education Board. It could be British Curriculum, American Curriculum, etc.
e. Ownership: This has to do with the managers and caretakers of a school. It could be owned by the Federal government, State government, Community, Church or by an individual. Government-owned institutions whether primary, secondary or tertiary are cheap.

Environmental Factors: These are factored that within the habitation of a child.
The weather condition of a place affects learning positively or negatively. Too hot or too cold weather is not conducive to learning. Warm weather is very conducive to learning.
Value of education to the people in an area – Some parts of the world do not place much value on education. Therefore, learners in such areas will not achieve learning as they should.
Culture of a place – Culture is the way of life of people in a particular area. Most cultures prefer education of a boy child to that of a girl child. In such an area, a girl child will not access learning effectively.

Government Policies

Biological Factors: These are factors that a person is born with. They include:
a. State of the Sense Organs: The sense Organs especially the eyes and ears are very essential in the learning process. Some people are born with defects while others defect occur during the growing process. Such defects include deafness, myopia, hyper myopia, photophobia, etc. Any defect should be taken to the hospital or a specialist for urgent attention.
b. Temperament: Introvert (melancholy and phlegmatic) or extrovert (sanguine and choleric).

Attitude towards learning:

a. Age: Learning is much easy at a young age. Older people may have difficulties in learning.

b. Focus ability: Most learners lack the ability to focus. Hence, distraction is set in. It is important to cultivate the ability to focus.

c. Intellectual ability: This is the mental capacity and capability of a child. Intellect is the part of the brain that helps in thinking, reasoning and proferring solutions to problems of various kinds. Naturally, some learners are gifted (fast learners), others are at the average level, above average and below average.

d. Attention (Focus) and Inattention: Attention is the ability to focus the mind on what is being done at a particular time. It enhances understanding and acquisition of knowledge. Inattention is the opposite of attention. When a learner finds it difficult to set his/her mind on what is being done, it is known as inattention. In such a case, a learner might be physically present in class but the mind is somewhere. At this point learning is futile.

e. Interest: Interest is the urge and desire to know. Being interested in something means that the person can do something without being forced or complied with. A learner who finds learning interesting will learn fast than others who do not.

f. Availability of educational and learning materials: When learners have the required learning materials (textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, etc), learning can be made easy

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