Learning, capacity and social

I remember on my degree learning about the development of the human mind in infants. There’s a theory called Theory of Mind which says that as an infant, although cognition is present, it is clearly still developing. An infant can copy human behaviour because a mental process of recognition allows them to.

The infant recognises that the parent is trying to do something like stick out their tongue. After some time the infant can copy and stick their tongue out. They’re able to do this because they recognise the parent is doing something which is something they might be capable of doing. They don’t understand it, but they can copy it.

As we learn more about the mental process of learning with the help of neuroscience we understand better the neuronal process of learning. The capacity for learning is ever present so long as there is no damage to the brain. We are all capable of learning any number of topics and subjects, because we have the right physiological capacity for doing so.

We also know that learning and development of learning is an inherently social process. Studies of children who have been locked away from birth show that the children have severe motor difficulties with things like walking and holding objects and severe communication difficulties with no language capability or ability to communicate needs. They can learn to do these things, and they do, but the profound effect of a lack of social contact in their early formative years is ever present.

Just some stuff to think about out there.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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