Email Leslie

Back to Homepage

Copyright and Usage

A little Inspiration

About Leslie

Professional  Links

Best Picks - Books and Videos


Picture (395x600, 46.9Kb)


Creativity Index

Curriculum  Index

Sample Lesson Plans

Models of Teaching and Learning 

Reflective Teacher Index

Newer Views in Learning Index

Graduate Exam Questions

Leslie Owen Wilson, 1997, updated 3/05

Newer Views of Learning 

Types of learning


Notice: This page has been updated and moved to


Picture (115x60, 1.7Kb)Learning occurs in four major ways--transmission, acquisition, accretion and emergence.

Picture (24x26, 1.2Kb)  Transmission is the process by which information, knowledge, ideas and skills are taught to others through purposeful, conscious telling, demonstration, and guidance. Over the course of a lifetime, this method accounts for only about 10% of learning. Unfortunately, this is the most traditional and, currently, the most predominate method of instruction. However, we are finding out it is not very effective and moving toward acquisition and emergence, and examining the lessons of accretion.

Picture (24x26, 1.2Kb)  Acquisition is the conscious choice to learn. Material in this category is relevant to the learner. This method includes exploring, experimenting, self-instruction, inquiry, and general curiosity. Currently, acquisition accounts for about 20% of what we learn.

Picture (24x26, 1.2Kb)  Accretion is the gradual, often subconscious or subliminal, process by which we learn things like language, culture, habits, prejudices, and social rules and behaviors. We are usually unaware that the processes involved in accretion are taking place, but this method accounts for about 70% of what we know. Social learning certainly plays into this type of learning, as does the hidden or covert curriculum.

Picture (24x26, 1.2Kb)  Emergence is the result of patterning, structuring and the construction of new ideas and meanings that did not exist before, but which emerge from the brain through thoughtful reflection, insight and creative expression or group interactions. This form of learning accounts for the internal capacities of synthesis, creativity, intuition, wisdom, and problem-solving. This method is greatly dependent on the allocation of time, and opportunities to reflect and construct new knowledge. This method plays an important role in inspiration and originality. In the context of current educational practices, we learn only 1-2% by this method.

In the context of these definitions, examine your own learning experiences and teaching styles.

Rayala, Martin.(February,1996)  Changing your mind: Toward a theory of learning: Applying complexity science to learning as a complex, dynamic system (a working paper, unpublished)1-3.  The concepts on this page were adapted from Rayala work as they offer a nice categorical delineation of types of learning and help promote examinations and discussion on types of teaching. At the conference Dr. Marty (Martin) Rayala, formally of the Wisconsin-DPI, indicated that his percentages were based on time allotments experienced in and outside of school. The last address I had for Dr. Rayala was

  Picture (30x37, 1.3Kb)    Picture (30x37, 1.3Kb)