Factors which influence learning (2021).

By | October 13, 2021

♦Welcome back to the https://sismomex.com.  In the previous presentation, we highlighted on the meaning of the term learning and what it entails.

Click here to read about the meaning of learning.

However, in this presentation, we isolate certain pertinent factors that provide pupils as to how learning could be promoted or hampered. In short term, it is to discuss the factors that influence learning.


The factors which influence the nature and speed of pupils learning, are broadly be divided into genetic-psysiological, psychological and environmental factors.


Genetic-physiological factors


a) Maturation

There is an optimum time or stage of development effective learning of tasks children undertake. This the precise time which appropriate inner growth of th muscles, nerves and brain has taken place. Below thie2one of potentiality for success, their learning efforts yield little or no progress. Learning Is therefore effective when pupils’ level of maturity and patterns of intellectual abilities match the task they undertake.

What teachers must do is:

  • either to wait for readiness by allowing time for maturation of mental abilities or to provide preparatory experiences that will stimulate or hasten the growth of readiness. For examples, the primary school teacher, by reading and telling stories to his/her pupils and encouraging them to look at pictures, will be providing preparatory experiences that enhance readiness.
  • where a pupil can not meet the traditional standards required of his/her chronological age, the standards must be altered to correspond to his/her ability or age so that teaching will be done not at or near the frustration level of the child.       

b). Intelligence

Pupils who have high intelligence have high intellectual efficiency. They learn quickly and can progress to higher educational levels while those with low intelligence are slow pupils and are incapable of grasping complex bodies of knowledge.

c) Sensory functioning


It has been found that pupils who have sensory (visual and hearing) detects generally perform lower than those with normal sensory functioning. It must be noted that the difference indicated here is a group difference. It would be wrong therefore to assume that because a child is blind or deaf, he must of necessity be lower in performance than a child who has no sensory defect.

d) State of Health

A learner who is strong and healthy has greater drive to participate actively in schoolwork than the one who is ill and weak.


e) Endocrine Dysfunction

Endocrine glands produce hormones which influence the amount of energy that can be brought to bear on learning. For example, the under production of thyroxine (hormones produced by the thyroid glands) In a person causes listlessness and its over production causes restlessness and lack of concentration. Obviously, a person cannot learn effectively if he/she is too tired, restless or cannot concentrate in class


Psychological Factors


It is a matter of common observation supported by experimental evidence that the effort a pupil puts school work partly depends upon his/her self motivation or attitudes. The more effectively he/she learns a thing, the greater the possibility that he/she will understand it, retain it and perceive its relationship to other situations.

Lack of interest reduces a person’s drive devoted to a particular task and his/her ability to cope with situations. It is also found that mentally healthy pupils have high and sustained intellectual efficiency because they are free from frustrations, worries, anxieties, severe distractions, fear, diffidence etc. therefore, they can learn  effectively. They tend to achieve full development of their potentialities. But maladjusted pupils are under achieved development because they lack high and sustained intellectual efficiency. Their frustrations, diffidence, unhappiness, anxieties, worries, severe, distractions, resulting from unsatisfied needs, bring self- defences such as avoidance of challenges, rebellion, denial and excuses making which impair their efficiency in school work.




Environmental factors

Environmental factors are based on the following:

  1. Effective teaching

Effective teaching involves,

  • making pupils perceive clearly the goals of their school work,
  • relating materials to pupils’ abilities,
  • use of suitable and meaningful methods,
  • the use of instructional (audio-visual) aids to make material concrete, real and meaningful.
  • effective guidance of pupils learning activities to straighten and clarify pathways of learning.
  • providing continued use of ideas, concepts and skills to ensure mastery and consolidation.


Effective teaching makes learning concrete, real, meaningful and understandable. Better understanding of materials learnt produces more rapid learning,  better retention and better adaptation or application to new situations. Also, it makes pupils enjoy learning and learn to like school. Therefore, it acts as a motivator.

2. Peer Group


Studies have shown that participation in group activities exerts some influence on the retention of pupils in school directly and also affects them indirectly on their learning. It is found that peer group isolation is one of the reasons for leaving school by dropouts. It is also found that lack of sense of belonging affects self-expectation and motivation regarding achievements.


Peer group also exerts influence on student’s choice of subjects and courses. The image the peer group holds of science students compared with the image of liberal arts students may encourage a pupil to choose subjects or a course without reference to his/her own abilities, aptitudes and interests in the field or the course.


Also, many pupil groups set work standards i.e. what they wish to learn, how they wish to be taught and the short cuts they devise to learn which are inconsistent with institutional expectations. Peer group also influences the vocational aspirations of its members. They readjust their ideas of the jobs for which they wish to aim.

In summary, it is found that peer group creates a subculture, motivates learning, helps to retain pupils in school and influences choice of courses and vocations. The teacher can use his/her knowledge of the influence the peer group exerts on the education of its members to his/her advantage.

  • He/she can exploit the child’s dependence on the peer group for love, security and acceptance to encourage group activity in his/her class to motivate children to learn with enthusiasm.
  • He/she can exploit children’s loyalty to and dependence on the peer group in his/her class management by involving them in the formulation of rules since children understand and abide by regulations which they have been helped to formulate.
  • He/she can use his/her knowledge of the influence the peer group exerts on the choice of courses and vocations by its members to always play the role of counsellor with a view of forestalling the possibility of children making unwise choices.


3. Teacher/Parent Encouragement.


It is found that the teacher’s provision for individual differences and giving pupils freedom to develop their unique potentialities, his/her appropriate use of rewards, friendly competition and  recognition, provision of knowledge of progress (derived from tests and observation of pupils abilities and aptitudes) his/her encouragements etc. Parents’ interest that they show in their child’s education and the appropriate use of rewards and encouragement, all motivate pupils to learn harder and with enthusiasm.

School Curriculum

Where the school curriculum provides appropriate challenges to reinforce their potentials, the pupils will be motivated to learn harder and with enthusiasm.


Teacher’s personality

A teacher who is well iked by his/her pupils generates positive attitudes towards learning on the part of his/her pupils. On the other hand, a teacher who has a colourless drab personality may cause his/her students to be restive and inattentive in class.

Home conditions


Home conditions such as long absence of parents from home, family or financial problems may make it difficult for the child to concentrate on school activities.



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