Collaborative practices in the Mazahua people have shown that participation in everyday interaction and later learning activities contributed to enculturation rooted in nonverbal social experience. As the children participated in everyday activities, they learned the cultural significance of these interactions. The collaborative and helpful behaviors exhibited by Mexican and Mexican-heritage children is a cultural practice known as being “acomedido”. Chillihuani girls in Peru described themselves as weaving constantly, following behavior shown by the other adults. All types of play generate thinking and problem-solving skills in children.
Play has been approached by several theorists as the first form of learning. Children experiment with the world, learn the rules, and learn to interact through play.
Tangential learning is the process by which people self-educate if a topic is exposed to them in a context that they already enjoy. According to experts in natural learning, self-oriented learning training has proven an effective tool for assisting independent learners with the natural phases of learning. Multiple examples of enculturation can be found cross-culturally.
If an environment is static and change does not or rarely occurs, then learning is simply unnecessary. Because there is no need for learning in this scenario—and because learning could prove disadvantageous due to the time it took to learn the information—non-learning evolves. However, if an environment is in a constant state of change, then learning is disadvantageous.
Anything learned is immediately irrelevant because of the changing environment. Essentially, the animal would be just as successful if it took a guess as if it learned.
The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be “lost” from that which cannot be retrieved. A few years ago I coached a CMO who was hesitant to learn about big data. Even though most of his peers were becoming converts, he’d convinced himself that he didn’t have the time to get into it and that it wouldn’t be that important to his industry. I finally realized that this was an aspiration problem and encouraged him to think of ways that getting up to speed on data-driven marketing could help him personally. He acknowledged that it would be useful to know more about how various segments of his customer base were responding to his team’s online advertising and in-store marketing campaigns. I then invited him to imagine the situation he’d be in a year later if he was getting that data. Within a few months he’d hired a data analytics expert, made a point of learning from her on a daily basis, and begun to rethink key campaigns in light of his new perspective and skills.
As a form of learning, play also facilitates the development of thinking and language skills in children. Active learning occurs when a person takes control of his/her learning experience. Since understanding information is the key aspect of learning, it is important for learners to recognize what they understand and what they do not. By doing so, they can monitor their own mastery of subjects. Active learning encourages learners to have an internal dialogue in which they verbalize understandings. This and other meta-cognitive strategies can be taught to a child over time. Studies within metacognition have proven the value in active learning, claiming that the learning is usually at a stronger level as a result.
In addition, learners have more incentive to learn when they have control over not only how they learn but also what they learn. Active learning is a key characteristic of student-centered learning. Conversely, passive learning and direct instruction are characteristics of teacher-centered learning .
Children learn to think creatively when they learn through play. Specific activities involved in each type of play change over time as humans progress through the lifespan. Play as a form of learning, can occur solitarily, or involve interacting with others. Play, as it pertains to humans as a form of learning is central to a child’s learning and development. Through play, children learn social skills such as sharing and collaboration. Children develop emotional skills such as learning to deal with the emotion of anger, through play activities.