Feature: What is Learning? Learners’ Views

Compiled by Richard Ng

What is learning? If the knowledge we acquire is not applicable in our daily lives, could it still be considered as learning? Are unlearning and relearning necessary? These are the questions posed to some learners. Below are their answers.

Learning is to understand, apply and implement what we have learned in our daily life. For me, life without knowledge is like just waiting for God to end your life. This is because it is only through learning that our brain works and keeps healthy till the end of our life.

Rosdy Abdullah (Age 40)

Learning is about our life and if we don?t learn we will forever remain infants. Moreover, there is no limit to learning. If we are unable to apply what we have learned in real-life situations, it is not considered learning.

For example, if a football player practises 18 hours a day seven days a week as a defender but when it comes to the real match he fails, then he has not learned properly. He should realise that times have changed. He has to unlearn what he has learned in the past few years and relearn new techniques.

Fajrin Nur Mohamed Suhaibudin (Age 22)

Even if we are unable to apply what we learn in real life, it can be considered learning. I have just finished reading a book, What Every Good Lawyer Should Know, by Iain Campbell. I picked up a lot of knowledge even though I am not in the legal profession. We do need to unlearn some things in order to relearn because we have to keep up with the times. For example, we can do away with lining up at the post office to pay our bills, which we learned to do in the past, and now learn how to pay them through the Internet.

Chow Gin Loon (Age 53)

The purpose of learning is to apply it in our real life. We learn grammar, science, mathematics and other subjects to improve our life. If what we learn is not applicable, then what use is it? People my age have to unlearn what we learned 40 years ago in order to relearn and catch up with the current times.

Tangaragie A/L S. Papu (Age 56)

Even if we cannot apply what we have learned in real-life situations, it is still learning for satisfaction. It is a bonus for our life and at least it could be passed down to our next generation. Who knows, maybe it could be used in their life.

Muhammad Azmi Mokhtar (Age 41)

Learning is an important process as every day contains a lot of learning elements which we sometimes do not realise. I work in a bank as a sales executive and I cannot take a rest from learning new things even for one day. There are a lot of changes in the organisation and we have to move fast and adapt to the changes.

Those who are complacent will be left behind. We are moving towards improving our lifestyle, knowledge and career. Learning the module by heart is only to pass exams. We are paying to get the degree but for me, I pay for the knowledge as well.

Noraini Jamil (Age 36)

There is so much to learn and even when we leave this world, there will be many things out there that we have not learned and discovered. Even if we are unable to apply what we have learned in real-life situations, there must be times when we can share what we have learned with others who may apply it in their life. We might eventually help others. Sharing what we know is something which we should all practise.

Chew Li Vann (Age 23)

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In my opinion, tutors should regard our learners as:

Experienced in learning techniques and capable of studying on their own
Experienced in learning techniques but still need to be guided in some areas
Adults who need to relearn some concepts
New to learning techniques and need to be guided
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