Tag Archives: brain function

Declarative Learning

Declarative learning is actually having the ability to learn something and then to repeat what you have learned verbally. This is in stark difference to motor learning which requires eye hand coordination among other things.

Declarative learning is mostly memory learning however, it can also be habit. For example if you are learning your new address you need to memorize it. However, if you invariable have to repeat your address to people multiple times per day you will make a habit of saying it. The real difference here is that the declarative learning uses the part of your brain known as the medial temporal lobe and habit uses the other side of the brain’s pattern recognition. So while it may seem at first sight that there is no difference between memory and habit, we know that scientifically there is a great difference. It is important for schools to use curriculum, teaching methods, and foster study habits that encompass a variety of learning styles. Every person is different and we all assimilate information in our own way. This is why the variety of presentation is so important.

The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines declarative learning as “learning that evolves from procedural learning after language development. Characterized by analytical, language-based, memory-dependent approach to acquiring and retaining knowledge.”

When a child learns to say things like “thank you” or “please” or “excuse me” they are considered habit learning, not memory. However, you may be handed a list of numbers for a brief moment or two. When the list is taken and you are asked to tell someone what numbers you remember you do so because of declarative learning. This learning style begins early in life and is never lost.