Larning has become quite a popular theme for discussion. There are a number of theories why people learn: some believe that human beings learn because of their natural make up, such people believe in the fact that environment does not provide any significant impact on learning; the others think that we learn with the help of experience, those who support this theory are confident that children learn with the help of taking in new thoughts and changing their ideas on the previous experience; the last ones are persuaded that “the environment has on a particular individual because it determines how one gains new experiences” (Piaget, 1950). According to the recent investigations the recent scientific investigations the environment play the key role in the children’s readiness for school: “A new study finds that children’s environment plays a major role in their readiness for school, suggesting that intervention could help boost readiness in at-risk youngsters” (Science Daily, 2007)
It won’ be a secret that learning styles depend from cultural and ethical background. The ideas suggested and treated as acute in one place could be forbidden in another. A good illustration for this would be Asian and African country, where learning is extremely formal and controlled by adults. It has become a normal practice that children do not express their personal opinion, and strict discipline is supported by majority of teachers, mentors parents. In well developed European countries and in the US in particular children are intended to be active participants of the learning process, so the environment in which children learn is less controlled by their teachers, parents and mentors.
The same time learning habits and skills depend as well on the nature of a certain environment. It goes without saying that development of the countries also provides a serious impact on children learning, those who are from well developed countries traditionally better perceive information and it is obvious that well developed countries have wider range of resources widely spread: television, libraries and internet are among the key ones in the present day world.
One more significant factors that influence the learning are the basics assisting learning that could be present in ones and absent in another. That is why learning particular fields significantly depend on the environment: “Certain locations may not place too much emphasis on the development of their language, for instance, in Myanmar; it was found that certain tribes had no written account of their languages. Such individuals are highly restricted by their environments because they are bound to experience fewer experiences” (Jonassen, Lowyck, & Duffy; 2002).
In the present day world the researches devote lots of attention to the children developmental environment: “The researchers examined 420 pairs of 5-year-old twins, assessing the children on four measures of school readiness that included identifying colors and shapes; answering questions about spatial position (such as above, below, left, right), relative size (such as smaller, bigger), and order (such as first, middle, last); identifying numbers and counting; and identifying letters and writing”
(Science Daily, 2007). In two years, the teachers of those children were asked to evaluate the school achievements of 237 twins’ pairs. It turned out that environmental factors that twins shared in one family (among them are parental behaviour, family income and resources, as well as twins child care experience) are significantly responsible “individual difference in the children’s school readiness skills, according to the study” (Science Daily, 2007). A significant impact of the environmental influence was also observed over and above the genetic factors influence: “Genetic factors played a significant role in the children’s core abilities underlying the four components of school readiness, but the environment shared by twins of the same family remained the most important factor overall. Both genetic and environmental factors were found to influence the association between children’s school readiness and later school achievement” (Science Daily, 2007).
The investigators considered that their founding are very significant for preventive interventions and would be able to prove the necessity of healthy environment for the successful learning progress. It goes without saying. The conclusions they came to would support preventive programs in order to provide children’s good readiness for school and support to the families that are at the risk group.
In the end I would like to make a stress on the fact of core significance of environment in learning as a perception of any information, as the natural abilities and talents could not be realized without the assisting environment.
1. Piaget, J. (1950). The Psychology of Intelligence. New York: Routledge
2. Jonassen D.H., Lowyck, T. & Duffy, J. (2002). Designing environments for constructive learning. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag
3. Society for Research in Child Development (2007, November 16). Environment Plays Key Role In Children’s Readiness For School. Retrieved February 17, 2010 from Science Daily Official Web site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115091548.htm
4. Wood, D. (1998). How Children Think and Learn. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd