Write an essay of 1,250–1,500 words in which you address learning strategies and information-processing development. Explain how attention, memory, recognition, and knowledge relate to learn
Learning Strategies and Information Processing Development
Learning is the process of acquiring new information, skills and knowledge. Although the process of learning is common for every single living being, the manner in which they learn is considerably different from person to person. The way human perceives new information greatly depends on several factors, which are: attention, memory, recognition, and knowledge. Moreover, visual perceptual, motor and language skills also affect information-processing development of a person. These two groups of factors influence not only the way information is analyzed, but also correctness or incorrectness of the analysis.
Learning can be defined as knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application; the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill; the modification of behavior through practice, training, or experience (Levesque, 2011). The process of learning can be conducted in various ways that can be referred to as learning strategies. Learning strategies are special techniques of processing new information that involve its perception, processing and brain storage. There are some learning skills one should possess to develop and apply language strategies. These are memory, attention, recognition, and knowledge. The most important learning skill is attention, because applying other learning skills is impossible without it. Attention refers to learning strategies for the obvious reason: if a person is not attentive enough to the information he or she is trying to learn, proper comprehension and processing of that information would be impossible. Besides, the information that has already been learned is easily forgotten, if not enough attention is paid to it. That is why a person should concentrate during the learning process, in order to understand and remember new information. When applying a learning strategy, the best ways to increase attention is to get motivated for a task and take short breaks every 20 minutes.
Another important learning skill is memory. Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information (Cherry, n.d.). In general, it can be viewed as using experience to determine or influence current behavior. Memory enables a person to apply learning strategies more efficiently. When a person can retain the information and retrieve it, consequently, it allows analyzing the previous experiences, figure out what worked in the past and what did not, and proceed to the next stage of information processing.
Memory strongly influences a persons recognition, which is the learning skill that allows transforming memory into knowledge. That becomes possible because of recognition and processing of the memories. The process of recognition can sometimes be quite difficult. At the same time, there are some approaches to simplify it. For example, a sound or a symbol can be used to retrieve the information from a persons memory.
A persons knowledge is a very important concept that influences the way learning strategies are applied. There is an opinion that knowledge is something that is learned. The incorrectness of such point of view can be proved by the fact that a person can possess some information, and may not be able to apply it. Knowledge is not only possessing the information, but also paying attention to it, storing it in memory, having ability to retrieve this information immediately and use it properly. The concept of knowledge unifies all the previous learning skills and is extremely important for using learning strategies.
Any new information that needs to be learned has to be processed first. There are various theories and approaches as to the mechanism of information processing and storage in the human brain. The most common one is the so-called stage theory that singles out three sequential stages, in which the information is processed and kept in the brain. They are the sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. They are greatly affected by motor, language, and visual-perceptual skills, which may determine the preferred learning style. However, having one preferred learning style does not mean that people cannot learn in other ways different from their preference (Fleming, 2012).
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Visual-perceptual skill is the ability of brain to process information as it is seen. This involves visual memory, visualization, spatial relations, and visual discrimination. It is important to mention that there is no direct interrelation between poor vision and visual-perceptual skills, as such, skills mean the ability of the brain to not only perceive, but also to interpret, organize, store and transmit the information.
Motor skills effect the information processing, and are an important factor in learning strategies. They effect a persons learning process since early childhood. Children learn by interacting with the environment they live in. Physical or tactile contact is an essential aspect of early childhood development. Moreover, it is proven that the more developed are childs motor skills, the faster a child starts to speak. Moreover, older child will learn better as its motor skills are well developed. If there is a problem with a persons motor skills, it can hinder the process of learning or even block it.
Another group of skills that are essential for effective information-processing development is language skills. They include phonological processing skills. Therefore, these skills are defined by a persons ability to store information in the brain, as well as to process and retrieve it. The process of learning is impossible without using a language. Language serves as an instrument for expressing an opinion, framing the information, sharing and clarifying it. Left hemisphere is responsible for language processing, so it becomes dominant every time the task requires this process. If a person lacks language skills, the process of learning becomes complicated, as the information cannot be perceived or/ and processed in a proper way.
Learning strategies are specific techniques that a person uses to understand, remember and learn new information. Learning strategy teaches people how to learn, and how to do it in the most efficient and productive way. A learning strategy can be viewed as singling out a set of skills that can be useful for a particular purpose or task, organizing them and, finally, applying them for problem solving. There are various learning strategies for different learning activities, i.e. strategies for reading, studying and learning new information, writing, improvement assignment and test performance, strategies for effectively interacting with others, motivation and so on. Learning strategies are always closely connected to the needs of students and depend upon the objectives of the learning process. Using the appropriate learning strategy may be a powerful tool that will improve information-processing development, and help to make the learning process more efficient.
To conclude, a learning strategy can be treated as a set of techniques that helps people to perceive and learn some new information as a persons approach to learning the information and its further usage. When chosen and used properly, learning strategies can considerably simplify the learning process and improve its results. There are four main learning skills, which define the outcome of using a learning strategy, namely attention, memory, recognition, and knowledge. They are related to learning strategies, and the level of development of each learning skill effects final success of the learning process. Similar to effective language strategies that combine a few elements (learning skills), effective information-processing development also is made of several elements such as visual-perceptual, motor and language skills. If there is a lack of one of these skills, some issues with information-processing development or learning process can occur. However, there are no problems, that cannot be solved, and there are no skills, that cannot be developed and improved. It just takes time and lots of patience.