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Natural Learning in Higher Education

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Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

Synonyms

Learning as natural process; Noncoercive higher education

Definition

Natural learning is the way that humans learn since birth. Natural learners set their own objectives in response to needs, frustration, and curiosity. They find and engage in tasks that help them to learn and seek feedback to monitor their progress and improve their performance. In other words, natural learning is self-motivated and self-directed learning.

Theoretical Background

Parents do not send their children to school to learn how to speak. How then do children learn to speak? The objective becomes obvious to children due to the frustration of being unable to communicate. Learning tasks allow for practice. Feedback is immediate and clear because adults love to help young learners. Applications of new knowledge are made so as to continue learning. Children take responsibility for all aspects of this “natural learning process.” Natural learning obviously works.

Adults often use the natural learning process...

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Acknowledgments

Dennis A. Ahlburg, Kay A. Armstrong, Donald R. Bacon, Fred Collopy, Andreas Graefe, Kesten Green, Brian Martin, Skip McCann, Frank Schmidt, Christophe van den Bulte, Herb Walberg, and Malcolm Wright made helpful suggestions. These acknowledgments do not imply that all agreed with my conclusions, of course. Rita Shen helped with the literature review. Kanica Allagh, Venu Amar, Jennifer L. Armstrong, Alexandra House, Grace Li, and Beverly Tantiansu edited the paper.

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Correspondence to J. Scott Armstrong .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Armstrong, J.S. (2012). Natural Learning in Higher Education. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_994

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_994

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