In order for one to learn, the mind undergoes a form of information processing that can be said to occur in three stages, these are:
These three stages of the mind can be said to be the main or basic components of the learning process. Information can be stored by an individual without them necessarily understanding the meaning of the information they have stored and thus it cannot be said that learning is dependent on memory alone, but it is one of the main components (Conrad, 2010). Without a functional memory, one might be able to understand something when it is taught to them, but they will be unable to recollect it after a period of time and thus as stated earlier, memory and learning go hand in hand.
With regard to this, it should be stated that there are three main types of memory, namely sensory, short-term, and long-term memory. The last of these (that is long-term memory) is what is put to use during the learning process as the information acquired is meant to be stored for long term purposes. Sensory memory is only able to keep a hold of the information that is acquired for only a few seconds after it is perceived (Middleton & Brown, 2005). It comes into play when an individual is exposed to information for the shortest period and thus the mind does not have enough time to absorb it wholly for any longer than a few seconds. Short-term memory also allows an individual to remember information for only a short period of time, a bit longer than sensory memory without any rehearsal on the individual’s part. Long-term memory on the other hand is able to store large amounts of information for longer as opposed to its two predecessors (Conrad, 2010).
Information is usually transferred to the long-term memory storage after a number of rehearsals depending on the particular individual.