Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Educating Today's Learner
  Fourth Essential Question

Does development precede learning, or does learning precede development?

The answer to this question is found on page 12, [classic] learning is the “growth of the mind analogous in every way to the growth of the body.” The key word here is analogous—similar or equivalent. Smith, a cognitive psychologist for over 25 years, has some credibility as to how we learn and how we develop as humans. He is in the classic theory camp, “..we learn without effort every moment of the day” (pg. 31). We all learn continuously and without effort and he recognizes this as a celebration of the powers of the brain. Just like development, learning is something that happens all the time whether we want it to or not (p. 50.) Learning by association (or the “company we keep”) is unintentional therefore natural. According to Smith, “It [learning] begins at birth” (p.17). Being a mother of two, I personally believe that learning begins in the womb with the recognition of voices and sounds.