[Question] Thinking vs. Learning – What’s the difference?

“There cannot be a Dance without a Dancer,There cannot be a Dancer without a Dance,The Dance is in the Dancer,The Creation is in the Creator,The Dancer is in the Dance,The Creator is in the Creation”.

The platform of thinking is our Brain (Mind) but the platform of learning is our Body, Brain (Mind), heart.  

Thinking is a part of Learning.  Thinking is a “part” concept but Learning is a “whole” concept.  

Thinking is a process for learning. This process is continuous but it is not necessary that we are achieving end goal of Learning.

Basically both are very interconnected & interdependent. We can understand these complex processes through self observation [when you are learning or when you are thinking or both simultaneously].

For more understanding: 

1.      Compare: You & a kid & an old man [thinking & learning]

2.      Compare: Mind [ Thinking ] vs Mind-Body-Heart [ learning ] 



I am thankful to Dennis & Balakrishna for sharing this question & answer with friends. 

~ Ajay Singh Niranjan                   

Thinking vs. Learning – What’s the difference?

 I am looking for help understanding the difference between Thinking and Learning.   NOBODY seems to know, including University Professors. When I ask people, the most common response I get is: “When you learn you think … and when you think you learn”. 

While that is absolutely true, it seems to imply there is no difference Even the Britannica dictionary seems to lack clarity (particularly for THINK). 

Think: To have in mind or call to mind; To reflect on; To exercise the power of judgment, inference or conception; To form a mental picture; To consider something.

Learn: To gain knowledge or understanding, to come to know; to fix in the mind or memory; memorize … Here is what I think the difference is: Learning: Is about acquiring a critical mental mass of raw material (data, information, knowledge and wisdom) that is required for effective thinking to occur.

Thinking: Is about applying cognitive tools (questions, thought processes, mental triggers) upon learning to produce ideas, solutions, understandings and new ways of thinking.

Thank you for responses.

Dennis J. Heindl


Answer & example by Balakrishna Jayasimha.(BK)

There is this wonderful example of a child which spends a lot of time with the mother, before he or she goes to this place called school. The child is with the mother while the mother is mixing atta for the rotis. A piece of that atta is given to the child so that it keeps quiet, and the child in its wonderful innocence goes on making different shapes out of that piece of atta and generally keeps itself occupied and also enjoys itself.in the process thus helping the mother complete her task.

Change of scene: This same child on the  first day in school, encounters this new entity (teacher) who, walks-in to class hands over a  piece of clay which very much looks like the atta which the mother had given in the kitchen. But here is the difference, while the mother had just let the child be with that piece of atta, this teacher says “Children make that piece round” and shows them how to do it. This sets the first thought into the child which can be very traumatic, it begins to wonder, “hey, I was never told to make it round at home, how come this new twist?” From that day everything that the child has learnt is contradicted with a forced thinking that this is how it should be done. Then there are various justifications given in terms of discipline, order, education, facts and what not.

Take another example: Tell a five year old to draw a line and it draws anything but a straight line, where as tell the same to a supposedly educated thinking individual, he/she will draw only a straight line!. See how  patterns  have set in  because of our conditioning of thinking and thinking in a particular way! So what the child has learnt through self-discovery, is changed in our education system by wrote memory. While this path of self-discovery is purely intuitive, intellect drives our thinking.Learning is something that is experienced, it is something that happens in the ‘NOW’ and gives the ‘WOW’ feeling, while thinking is mainly driven by our past and the unknown future.

Is there some Learning?

Warm regards

Balakrishna Jayasimha.(BK) http://sva-vikaari-beekay.blogspot.com


—-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||—-

Gearge Bernard ShawMahatma Gandhi Swami Vivekananda

 Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.


One Response to “[Question] Thinking vs. Learning – What’s the difference?”

  1. David Laitinen Says:

    Hi you have a user friendly site It was very easy to post fantastic

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