Communicating Concepts

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Acquisition of Learning

Humans Increase their Knowledge and Skills Through a Process Described as Acquired Learning
        Humans, unlike most mammals, do not pass learning from one generation to another through a process described as instincts. Refer to Do humans have instincts? Insects and some other animals have short life spans or little capacity for learning , so most of their instincts are inherited.

        It is probable that most inherited or instinctive feelings were originally acquired by habit and the positive experience of their utility was maintained through genetic transfer.     Inherited Instinct : Abstract

Instinct - definition of instinct Instinct is an inherited tendency of an organism to behave in a certain way, usually in reaction to its environment and for the purpose of fulfilling a specific need. The development and performance of instinctive behavior does not depend upon the specific details of an individual's learning experiences.

Instead, instinctive behavior develops in the same way for all individuals of the same species or of the same sex of a species. For example, birds will build the form of nest typical of their species although they may never have seen such a nest being built before. Some butterfly species undertake long migrations to wintering grounds that they have never seen.

Behavior in animals often reflects the influence of a combination of instinct and learning. The basic song pattern of many bird species is inherited, but it is often refined by learning from other members of the species. Dogs that naturally seek to gather animals such as sheep or cattle into a group are said to have a herding instinct, but the effective use of this instinct by the dog also requires learning on the dog's part. Instinct, as opposed to reflex, is usually used of inherited behavior patterns that are more complex or sometimes involve a degree of interaction with learning processes.

Innate reflexes (biology)
        At birth infants display a set of inherited reflexes involving such acts as sucking, blinking, grasping, and limb withdrawal.

       A human baby require many years of being protected from danger circumstances and having its basic needs provided by a care giver.  During this time the evolving child is acquiring information about its environment through various sensor inputs such as:
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Sight
  • Sounds
  • Pain
  • Taste
      A child growing up a few centuries ago would have need to acquire specific skills in order to survive compared to those growing up in the Twenty-first century.

The Scientific Process of Learning
      A scientist will used a concept of developing a hypothesis, followed by a process of testing the hypothesis to prove and disprove it that an acceptable peer approved system that can be duplicated by other scientists. There are many distinct forms of hypotheses:
  • Acquisition learning hypothesis
  • Input hypothesis
  • Monitor hypothesis
  • Affective filter
  • Natural order hypothesis.
Learning Through Trial and Error
        When learning material that is very conceptual, those individuals who can make a meaningful relationship between their errors and remembering the correct information can actually be quite beneficial to the learning process.

        ScienceDaily (March. 25, 2009) — Learning through trial and error often requires subjects to establish new physiological links by using information about trial outcome to strengthen correct responses or modify incorrect responses. New findings, which appear in the latest issue of the journal Neuron, establish a physiological measure linking trial outcome and learning.

Acquisition of Language

       An individual starts the process of learning how to read and write after years of developing a vocabulary of a minimum of 500 spoken words that are associated with specific meaning in their circle of individuals (usually adults and siblings) who use a spoken language to communicate with them. Comprehension is an extremely important component of this process. 

      Once a connect between the spoken and written language is established a entirely new world of opportunities is available at the individual can encode and decode written words.  There should be a growing awareness of the individual parts of speech that is associated with individual written characters which facilitates silent reading into spoken translation of the words aloud for an audience.

      Writing is difficult if the learner does not acquire the ability to "sound out" how to pronounce new, unfamiliar words. Cursive writing requires correct spelling to increase the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas.  Abstract concepts become very difficult to communicate without an extensive vocabulary and fluent application of the rules of grammar.

       A child begins the process of learn to read in infancy, as the child begins associating speech signals with their environment and begins vocalizing sounds to express their feelings of pleasure and displeasure, pain, hunger, etc. The child's environment influences the child's ability to learn to read. Reading to a child while they can look at pictures and listening to stories provides exposure to different symbols that  these symbols eventually become words.

      It is normal that children will move through the different stages of learning at different rates of progress.  There are five stages of reading development:

  • Emerging pre-reader
  • Novice reader
  • Decoding reader
  • Fluent comprehending reader
  • Expert reader.   
Methods of teaching reading
        Educators disagree which method of teaching reading is best to teach children how to read. There are two major methods:
  • Phonics - is a teaching method that stresses sounds of character (letters)  correspondences, specific rules and their use in reading and spelling. developing readers are taught to read by sounding out unfamiliar words.

  • Whole Language - It is a reading and learning method that trains students to focus on words, sentences and paragraphs as a whole rather than letters. This method aims to make reading fun and keep children motivated, which is beneficial because learning to read depends heavily on what the student does and not the teacher.

    • Synthetic Phonics - Synthetic phonics does not teach whole words as shapes; and does not involve guessing at words from context, picture and initial letter clues. 

    • Sight wordsometimes called the "look-say" method. A sight vocabulary of 50-100 words is first memorized and subsequent words are learned as wholes, often by seeing them used repeatedly in the context of a story. It tells children to find meaning by guessing, by recognizing whole words they have memorized, by looking at the pictures, and by creating a context based on surrounding words. It encourages students to "construct their own meaning" (with guidance from peers and a facilitator).

        Each method has proponents who vary in number depending on the country and the specific school division. Some educators now are are using a combination of the two methods maximizes the benefits of both methods and is more powerful than using either program alone.

Problems and Solutions

Understanding the theory of Trial and Error Learning process Indeed many forms of human learning, particularly the learning of sensory- motor skills, are achieved through trial-and-error. Learning to walk, to swim, or to ride a bike.

Psychology: The Basics of Trial and Error Learning May 8, 2012 Through trial and error learning, children learn that throwing a tantrum resulted in receiving candy. She is more likely to repeat the behavior of throwing a tantrum.

How the Brain Learns Through Trial and Error - Through trial and error feedback, the participants learn a specific sequence of correct doors to successfully exit the house.

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The System of Learning
Topics of Learning
PDF  Attentional Focus

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