How People Learn : Insights and Strategies for Effective Education”

Types of learning are identified by How People Learn, which also notes that several types of education are combined or coordinated while acquiring new information, abilities, or tactics and are influenced by the learner’s environment, culture, and personality attributes.


The types of learning identified include:

Habit formation and conditioning: Progressive, frequently unconscious, and self-reinforcing is conditional learning. When environmental cues prompt their use, habits may be deployed automatically, that is, with ease, fluency, and little cognitive effort. Habits may also have positive or bad dispositions.

Observational learning: When learning via observation, one may use imitation, interpretation, modeling, and inference, among other strategies. The individual’s perspective of themselves in relation to those who are modeling the behavior, whether they are teachers, careers, authority figures, or peers, is one element that may have an impact on observational learning.

Implicit pattern learning: This process, also known as “statistical learning,” involves unintentionally picking up common patterns in a given environment. Similar to observational learning, this type of learning is distinguished by the unconscious identification of regularities or patterns in an otherwise irregular setting, without explicit instruction directing conscious attention and thought to the regularity or pattern.

Perceptual and motor learning: Perceptual or motor learning can be described as learning by perception or sensory experiences. Learning to play a musical instrument, playing a sport, or operating a video game console are examples of complex physical skills where percepts and actions are formed to function in coordinated ways with high degrees of sensitivity and precision necessary to achieve proficiency.

Learning of facts: Facts or information can be learned in a single trial or over repeated exposure, incidentally or intentionally (studying, memorization). One might distinguish facts (which have a positive truth value) from data. Facts can be learned from external sources or generated by elaborating on what one already knows.

Learning by making inferences: A wide range of cognitive processes, including but not limited to reasoning, analysis, synthesis, abduction, assessment, elaboration, model-building, and creativity, are included in the process of making inferences. It allows for the transfer of knowledge to new situations and circumstances.

The learning sciences focus on the central question of how to best learn any particular skill or topic, which virtually always includes combining several learning types to reach complex objectives or domain knowledge. For instance, the learning sciences recommend spaced practice over mass practice and memory while acquiring a complex array of data. On the other hand, learning to play an instrument benefits from a setting where perceptual and motor learning are practiced more.

An ideal learning environment is one in which prior knowledge can be contrasted, compared, or applied to new circumstances. This is known as the cognitive process of using prior knowledge from the “long-term store.” According to evidence from studies on cognitive load, overloading the “short-term store” or “working memory” with numerous sources of visual, auditory, and textual information at once can result in a state of divided attention and a lack of effective learning because the “short-term store” or “working memory” has a limited capacity and is ephemeral in nature.

Through enhancing sensory exposure, experience, and iterations, Education technology #edtech can support various forms of learning.

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