Human learning has been the focus of organized study for many decades, and the results of this work have become ever more important as societies intervene on so many levels to promote and influence learning. Today there is no one single way to define learning. Rather, what is found is a range of explanations, each of which provides an important frame of reference for thinking about learning as a human endeavor. Generally speaking, over the past 60 years, three major conceptual frameworks have emerged, and these three will be the focus of this entry.

The first of these frameworks looks at learning in terms of observable behavior. In simple terms, learning is defined as any relatively permanent change in behavior that is not the result of ...

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