Eudora Welty How We Learn Analysis

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8 September 2015
How We Learn
The learning process is hard to describe or summarize in simple statements. This is because it occurs differently in every individual, and is influenced by the people, places and events surrounding each particular person. In her essay about growing up with a love of books and reading, Eudora Welty makes an important statement about the learning process when she writes, “Learning stamps you with its moments. Childhood’s learning is made up of moments. It isn’t steady. It’s a pulse” (Welty). This essay evaluates Welty’s statement based upon personal experience and content from the reading. It is concluded that, while the statement contains some truth and much wisdom, it is
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As she eloquently describes how her childhood was full of books, reading, and learning moments, she seems to be saying that the moments she remembers are the moments in which she learned things. Yet it seems more accurate to state that, as children and maybe even as adults, we learn something every day, even if it is something simple or small. For example, I cannot remember when or where I learned the meaning of the word ‘Europe’, but I still have the knowledge. The same applies to thousands of other pieces of knowledge, which seems to suggest that I have been learning continuously, even though I cannot remember the moments in which I learned all of these things. In contrast to Welty’s statement, it seems more accurate to say that our recollection of learning comes in pulses, while learning itself, especially during childhood, is a continuous process taking place even when we don’t realize that it…show more content…
Anyone who played a sport, instrument or games as a child can recall the slow process between not understanding it at all, and becoming proficient. Playing baseball as a child, I remember starting to play catch with my parents until I could successfully catch and throw the ball. The next year, I played tee-ball, which gets the child accustomed to hitting a stationary target. The year after that, the fathers pitched the ball slowly to the batter, and finally the children could play an entire game on their own, albeit on a smaller field than is used by professionals. This, and so many other experiences, show that most abilities are learned gradually. We may favor some pulses of learning because they end up being highly useful or important, but this does not justify a blanket idea of learning like the one proposed by Welty.
Important pieces of learning often occur in pulses, but the process of learning itself is better characterized as a continuous process. This becomes clear when we think about all the different kinds of learning that make up our childhood and later life as well. However, the truth behind both the ‘pulse’ and ‘continuous’ views of learning should motivate research and thinking about what it means to learn, and why it is so essential to human and animal
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