This course addresses core aspects of human learning. Together, we will explore how we learn social concepts, language, and patterns in the world throughout our lifespan. We will investigate how and to what extent different types of learning mechanisms develop, and, finally, we will consider how learning can help us to survive and better interact with others and with our rapidly changing society. By examining different types of social and cognitive learning, students will gain critical understanding of the nature of human learning as well appreciate the interactive nature of human beings by better understanding the links between learning and society.
Course Learning Outcomes
On completing the course, students will be able to:
- Scientifically describe and explain how the process of human learning works.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how learning can change human lives in various ways.
- Discuss the relationship between cognitive and social learning.
- Support their own perspectives of human learning by drawing relevant developmental, neural, and computational evidence.
Offer Semester and Day of Teaching
Second semester (Wed)
|Activities||Number of hours|
|Reading / Self-study||47|
|Fieldwork / Visits||10|
|Assessment: Essay / Report writing||10|
|Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation)||13|
|Assessment: Fieldwork journal writing||15|
Assessment: 100% coursework
Introductory reading for cognitive and social learning
- Kosslyn, M., & Rosenberg, D. (2007). Fundamentals of psychology in context. Stanford University. [Chap. 7]
Introductory reading to explore special properties of human learning
- Thorndike, E. (1911). Animal intelligence: Experimental studies. The Macmillan Company. [Chap. 1]
- Root-Bernstein, M., & Root-Bernstein, R. (March 31, 2011). What’s the pattern? Recognizing and forming patterns is vital to the creative imagination. Psychology Today. From https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/imagine/201103/what-s-the-pattern
Meeting of the minds
- Genie: Secret of the Wild Child. (1994). NOVA. [Except]
- Gopnik, A. (1999). Scientists in the Cribs. New York: William Morrow & Co. [What children learn about people, pp. 23-59]
- Zimbardo, P. Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhqumfpxuzI
- Comrie, B. Language and Thought. Linguistic Society of America. From https://www.linguisticsociety.org/resource/language-and-thought
- Sideline Pictures. (2016). Arrival’s linguistic relativity and time perception are awesome. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QAujmYORLA
- Wood, K. C., & Smith, H., Grossniklaus, D. (2011). Piaget’s stages. From https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/psych406-5.3.2.pdf
Language I – acquisition in early stages
- Chatham. (2006). Language acquisition devices vs. domain-general mechanisms. From http://develintel.blogspot.hk/2006/10/language-acquisition-devices-vs-domain.html
- Werker. (1989/2008). Infant language learning lab experiments. UBC.
Language II – Second Language Acquisition
- Chatham. (2006). Linking the Nativist and Empiricist Views of Grammar Learning. From http://develintel.blogspot.hk/2006/10/linking-nativist-and-empiricist-views.html
- Abumrad, J. & Krulwich, R. (April 5, 2010). Limits of the Mind. WNYC Studios. From http://www.radiolab.org/story/91711-limits-of-the-mind/
- Kandel, E. (Producer). Rose, C. (Publisher). Charlie Rose: The Brain Series. From https://www.learnoutloud.com/Free-Audio-Video/Social-Sciences/Psychology/Charlie-Rose-The-Brain-Series/43487
- Boly, M., Gosseries, O., Massimini, M., & Rosanova, M. (2016). Functional neuroimaging techniques. In Laureys, S., Gosseries, O., and Tononi, G. (Eds.), The neurology of consciousness (2nd ed., pp. 31-46). Elsevier.
Problem solving and learning logics
- Funt, A., & Zimbardo, P. G. (1993). Candid Camera classics for introductory psychology. Candid Camera, Inc., and McGraw Hill. [Ch. 8 Math Problems, Ch. 9 Square Feet?]