What does unlearning mean in higher learning


It is important in life
to learn the right thing right away,
because once you've learned the wrong thing,
it is extremely difficult to unlearn the wrong thing
and then still learn the right thing.
W. S.

Under Learn In psychology, one understands as a rule the intentional or incidental, individual or collective acquisition of intellectual, physical, social knowledge, abilities and skills. Ultimately, learning means that Predict the future to be able to and adapt the behavior accordingly in order to achieve the greatest possible success. This means that living beings capable of learning have one Survival advantage compared to other living beings, whereby humans are preferred among animals due to a particularly high learning ability, but this is due to the relevant Imperfection of the genetic makeup at birth. Almost all human skills must therefore be acquired through learning processes, whereby the human brain is able to process and retain new knowledge well into old age.

In the learning psychological perspective Accordingly, learning is understood as a process of relatively stable change in behavior, thinking or feeling on the basis of experience or newly gained insights. The word Learn goes to the Gothic, by the way lais (I know) and the Indo-European word lis (go) back, so that the origin of the word suggests that learning is a process in which one covers a path and thereby succeeded in gaining knowledge.

Some definitions
"Learning is a collective name for various complex processes that lead to latent behavioral change through experience" (o.A., 1976, p. 340).
"We use the word learning to designate any relatively permanent change in behavior based on previous experience" (o.A., 1971, p. 92).
"Learning: Generic term for all changes in behavior based on experience and can therefore be differentiated from those changes in behavior that result from maturation, fatigue, illnesses, mechanical influences and the effects of drugs" (o.A., 1992, p. 204).
“Learning is a process by which an activity arises or is changed in the wake of reactions of the organism to an environmental situation” (o.A., 1974, p. 182).
In modern learning psychology, learning is a continuous maturation of attitudes and behaviors that takes place on the basis of experience (cf. o.A., 1994, p. 435).
Learning in the broadest sense is taking in, subjectively classifying and keeping experiences, knowledge and experience content ready. This is a special ability of humans through which they can react efficiently to the demands of the environment (cf. o.A., 1975, p. 151).
Learning is the intentional, incidental, individual or collective acquisition of intellectual, physical and social knowledge and skills. From a learning psychological point of view, learning is understood as a process of relatively stable change in behavior, thinking or feeling. Lifelong learning encompasses all formal, non-formal and informal learning at different learning locations from early childhood up to and including the phase of retirement (n.a., n.d.).
Everyone learns. It is an anthropological fact that we could not survive without knowledge. That means people learn because (or: with it) they live. For a long time, the only form of learning was socializing learning in everyday life. By directly passing on the knowledge and skills of the older generation, the young learned from the old. Nowadays we often find a learning situation separate from life. It consists of a teacher who has a knowledge or competence advantage over the learner. The aim of learning is to eliminate this difference. The educational concept of learning encompasses various dimensions. The most obvious is the content dimension. By learning, you acquire new learning content, i.e. skills or knowledge. When dealing with the environment, everyone has new experiences depending on their own interests. The knowledge acquired in this way leads to a transformation process, which can also mean re-learning or unlearning. Learning is understood as a holistic process that is always embedded in a social practice. Learning is a lifelong phenomenon and it does not only refer to learning in institutions. We learn while practicing our hobbies, when we have a flat tire, on a hike, while baking or cooking. The number of examples is infinite. Learning takes place anytime and anywhere (Zinoun, 2014).
Learning is an act of knowledge between experience and understanding. Learning is about opening internal, revolving cycles of thinking through experience and allowing the new. In this way, gaps in the routines of human activities could be broken up, from which resistance would emerge. So new can arise. Learning is triggered by problems, irritations, discrepancies or crises that provoke reflection on these experiences and change thinking. Learning is a cognitive-emotional-motor unit. Learning impulses always evoke emotions. Occasions for learning arise from the motivation to solve problems, from the desire to know and be able to do more, or from needs that one wants to satisfy (Faulstich, 2014).

Learning is for them education after Prange (2002) undirectable given, that means: There is learning. Point. It cannot and does not need to be derived from something else, from society, for example, or from our physical condition or our genetic-evolutionary inheritance. Formulated a little more cautiously, but with the same result it can be said: For pedagogy there is learning and is, so to speak, the operational premise of all educational measures. In education, educators always refer to learning, take it for granted, even when faced with resistance and reluctance. In these cases, too, it is expected that children or other addressees will be able to learn. It doesn't have to be made first; one cannot first teach to learn and then learn. One would have to be able to learn to do this. It has to be given, otherwise it would not even start pedagogically. Learning is given to upbringing, an original skill that belongs to the human condition like the heartbeat and the liver function. Learning is one anthropological constant, a dowry from nature, such as the fact that people always appear in a gender variant that one cannot choose and also not construct, or the fact that people are only small, grow up, have grown up, age and die. These are anthropological constants, seen from an educational point of view as a basis for how one processes these facts, what one can or cannot do with oneself. This is what is called culture, a creation based on equipment.

You have to want to learn

Active learning is a big topic in education, psychology and the neurosciences, with numerous studies showing that active learning increases attention, motivation and cognitive control and thus helps to retain what you have learned. The underlying mechanism had been discovered in mice and attempts are now being made to prove it in humans as well. Estefan et al. (2021) identified the physiological mechanisms in humans that are responsible for their learning particularly efficiently when they do it self-determinedly and out of self-motivation. They studied theta waves in people with epilepsy who had electrodes implanted in their brains when they were playing a game in virtual reality. They had to navigate along a route and memorize images that were presented at different points along the way. The test subjects could either move actively in the virtual environment or only saw the images along a path that another participant had covered, i.e. that is, in this case, they had no control over how to memorize the various objects in the virtual environment. After recording the electrophysiological activity in the hippocampus during the navigation task, it is checked how well the test subjects could remember the objects after the experiment. In test subjects who were allowed to actively navigate, an increase in theta oscillations could be observed, which made learning and then remembering more efficient. However, there were two successive phenomena that were only milliseconds apart: one corresponded to the storage of the information, the other to the retrieval of the previously stored information, i.e. a reactivation of the memory. In fact, subjects who navigated freely through the virtual environment and were thus better able to store and remember information showed a similar theta activity as had previously been observed in the mice. From this one can conclude that willpower is also crucial in order to integrate information into the memory, which does not mean that people who are forced to learn something do not remember this content as well.

See also What is learning


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