Do we ever stop learning?

It seems that we never stop learning, at least not until the last day of our existence. The advancement of science has let us know that we have different ways of learning and acquiring knowledge. Even when we graduate from college, high school, or university, we continue to learn.

In this article we will learn why we never stop learningnot even in old age, as well as the way we learn and acquire knowledge.

    What to learn?

    Learning is the ability to acquire new knowledge through experience, observation, interaction and reflection.

    From our conception until the last day of our existence, we have the capacity to learn by nature, because we are social beings and we are subject to constant interaction with others. The family is the first unit of human interaction and it is it that will provide us with the first essential learnings to be able to interact with others and survive.

    There are many people who believe or think that we only learn one way; however, over time the different types of learning that exist have become known. In general, the foundations of learning are established by our senses and it is through them that we pick up the stimuli that will be synthesized and processed by understanding.

    Learning is subject to our perceptions and emotional states. Several studies have made it possible to decipher the functioning of memory and its influence on experience and observation during the development of knowledge and the modification of our behavior.

    What are they the mediators of learning? There are two elements inherent in the human condition through which we learn: the desire to learn and the autonomous will. The first is the desire to learn current knowledge in the socio-cultural environment, it generates satisfaction and pleasure. The second refers to a person aware of himself, identifying his desires at the same time.

      Do we stop learning at some point in life?

      Neuroscientist and researcher Mariano Sigman states that our gray matter (brain) never stops changing, therefore, we never stop learning. The reasons why we never stop learning will be explained below.

      1. We don’t stop learning because we’re human.

      We humans have senses and we perceive the world in different ways, we have feelings and emotions. We learn by the capacity we have, just as animals learn natural behaviors for their survival, humans also do so to ensure our safety, our pleasure, our food, etc. Therefore, it is impossible to learn without taking into account our own human nature.

        2. We don’t stop learning because learning is inevitable

        Experiences, our perceptions and our senses form new neural connections. This process is not under our control, because it is part of our own body and is generated automatically.

        A stimulus will generate a response in the person and this response will be remembered. If the stimulus was favorable we will try to try it again, but if it was negative we will try to avoid it at all costs. It is for this reason that it is inevitable that everyone learns something. Often we are not able to perceive the new things we learnbut each experience in itself brings with it a learning experience.

          3. We don’t stop learning because we want something out of life.

          In general, everyone tends to want to improve their living conditions; this is why we always seek to obtain an object, a person or a situation which favors our absences not only physical but also psychological. We adapt to the system to get what we wantlike success, love, peace, happiness (causes of what we learn) are some examples of what we aspire to have in life.

          4. We don’t stop learning because we’re curious.

          We are very curious social beings by nature. We’ve been exploring the world since we were babies, so we first seek to experience textures and flavors through our mouths. Also, we want to touch everything around us and everything we can feel. We wonder what, why, for what and how very often of what is happening around us. Our curiosity is innate and this even forces us to change our upbringing, as we learn best about things that really pique our curiosity or interest.

          5. We keep learning because the world amazes us

          It is very difficult for us not to know more about the world in which we live. We want to know more about plants, animals, how other people live, etc.

          The planet we live in gives us countless stimuli, but also leaves us perplexed by the beauty and mystery of the works, musical compositions, talents of others, etc. It is a myriad of sensations that we manage to perceive through our senses and it is practically inevitable to want to know more about what surrounds us.

          6. We don’t stop learning because we want to stay in control.

          We don’t want a tremor to surprise us, just like the weather. Therefore, we generally want to control natural events in order to avoid accidents or to protect, survive or nurture them as a species. We learn that we must control our own lives in order to decide what role we play on this planet.

          We have various needs that arise from our own nature and our instincts such as walking, dressing, having relations with our family, our friends, knowing the streets, the cities, carrying out functions in a job, playing sports, want to earn money through an activity, etc. We learn not only to do, but to develop new ways of doing things when they are still non-existent.

          7. We keep learning because we want to know who we are.

          We are interested in knowing who we are, where we were born, who our parents and grandparents were, and other relatives such as uncles and uncles grandparents. Learning with/from others, because we feel identified with them, interacting and learning simultaneously with others.

          We are interested in generating learning communities that benefit us and make us feel better individually and collectively. We have a great need to know ourselves and to know why we are the way we are, because we are interested in our identity.

          8. We don’t stop learning because we’re not alone.

          The relationship we generate with others helps us learn to live with them, to be like them and also to acquire new knowledge. We learn from our parents, uncles, siblings, cousins, teachers, friends, etc. We learn socially with everyone we interact with directly or indirectly.

            9. We keep learning because we are in touch with technology

            We learn by listening to music, we watch a series or a film, or we watch the news, we even learn from what we hear on the radio or on the mobile phone. It is important to recognize that technological means allow us to constantly learn. Today, the phone we had at home is increasingly losing its function because cell phones can be a form of portable contact that we can move around with us. Even with a cell phone, Like it or not, we are forced to adapt to app updates. In the same way, we seek to know the technology so as not to be overwhelmed.

            10. We never stop learning thanks to neuroplasticity

            Brain plasticity, also called neuroplasticity, is a neurobiological learning process. Therefore, the neuroplasticity is linked to the ability of our gray matter (brain) to restructure, adapt and recover to new and certain situations. Our neurons create networks to be able to communicate with each other when we learn something new and by putting our learning into practice they are strengthened by facilitating communication and interconnection. When our brain picks up stimuli, our memory and learning are exercised.

            Our brain has the capacity to adapt to our environment, and can even generate changes in its structure in order to compensate for dysfunctions caused by damage to the brain or general nervous system. We can show the adaptability of the brain in individuals who lose the ability to hear or see. These people are able to develop more significantly other areas of the brain whose functions are more related to perception through the other senses that we have.

            Bibliographic references

            • Arias Gómez, DH (2005) Teaching and learning social sciences: a didactic proposal. Bogotá. Editorial Magisterium Cooperative.
            • Farnham-Diggory, S (2004) Learning disabilities. Madrid. Morata Editions.
            • Hoppenstead, FC; Izhikevich, EM (1997) Weakly Connected Neural Networks. New York. Springer Verlag.
            • Garcia-Allen, Jonathan (2018) Psychology and the Mind. Section of Educational and Developmental Psychology. The 13 types of learning: what are they?

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