Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Learning in Forest Gump, Essay Example

Pages: 7

Words: 2042

Essay

The existing learning capabilities and the impact that the environment has on an individual can have profound effects on their ability to process information.  In viewing  the types of learning mechanism and processes that are occurring in the movie Forest Gump, a better idea of what the main protagonist is learning throughout the film and how can help to provide insight into the overall process.  Finally, in analyzing the most effective methods for promoting learning in regards to Forest’s specific cognitive capabilities, a framework for a more effective education can be established.

Forest is essentially learning, throughout the film, the basic necessities necessary for existing in the social realties of the various time periods that are represented.  In the context of the film, he utilizes various learning mechanisms and processes that help him to deal with the situations that he is presented with.  In analyzing these elements it becomes evident that he effective establishes learning capabilities despite the limitations that are placed on him, both physically and by society.  His disabilities, therefore, provide insight into the underlying principles that must be considered when developing theories on learning.

One important aspect of the film that presents a learning mechanism was the idea of meaningful learning.  Meaningful learning is the correct interpretation of information that one is presented with.  The term, therefore, refers to “understanding or comprehension” (197 ch. 8) of information.  Many of the humorous aspects of the film were predicated on the interpretation that Forest had of the historical events that he was in.  His difficulties often came from misunderstandings in regards to the information that he was being presented with.  He demonstrates a lack of comprehension in regards to the underlying importance of various situations that he is in, despite his ability to discern when he is being made the victim of a joke and turn his victimization with a phrase.

Elaboration is also an important element within the film.  This idea is essentially the ability to learn things beyond what is taught.  This is the extrapolation of information that one is presented with (199 ch. 8).  Although, throughout the film, Forest is considered to be of little intelligence, and the question of his retardation is often posed to him, he is able to retort using the oft-expressed line that was given to him by his mother, “stupid is as stupid does.”  This presents his capacity to utilize the information that his mother gave to him in specific situations, realizing exactly what these people are implying.  He seems to demonstrate a capacity for using the basic principles that he has been given and using them to great effect.

This brings up the notion of enactment within the film.  Forest is able to act upon the various forms of knowledge that he acquires throughout the movie.  He seems to be able to maximize the potential of the capacity that he possesses.  The idea of enactment refers to his ability to demonstrate through action the ideas that he has learned.  In this sense, it is essentially doing something “that reflects what’s being learned” (209 ch. 8).  His following through with his friend Bubba’s wish and starting a shrimping business presents an underlying consideration for both the needs of those around him and his own future.  He, at the very least, has learned about the necessities of his own life as well as the moral necessities of responsible action.

In this way, the movie presents evidence of his ability to take advantage of the idea of prior knowledge activation.  This involves learning activities that effectively build upon the previous educational experience of the student.  Prior knowledge activation essentially helps learning because it “continues to remind students of additional things they know that relate to the topic at hand” (223 ch. 8).  Forest is constantly reminded of underlying life lessons that he is presented with, establishing an incentive to utilize the information that he has received in the past.  This is an underlying element of the movie.  As he goes through life, the small lessons that he learns build up and he is able to achieve success despite the cognitive challenges that he faces.

This demonstrates the importance of understanding the difference between lower and higher level questions in learning (225 ch. 8).  While lower level questions are memory based, higher level questions create elaboration based responses.  In this sense, he utilizes judgement throughout the movie that seems indicative of higher processes, the ability to apply information that he has extrapolated from his experiences.  In this way, he is able to overcome the challenges that he is confronted with throughout the film. While he may not have performed well on memory based issues, as indicated by his almost being denied admission to school, he is able to extrapolate on the events that he is confronted with.

In looking at some of the existing challenges, the major difficulties that this character is facing in adapting to life, it is evident that there is a profound limitation in regards to his cognitive capabilities.  This includes not only limitations in regards to his ability to be attentive, but also in the duration of his memories, the capacity of his mind to understand the information that he is presented with.  These limitations provide insight into the difficulties that he has had with learning and can help to distinguish the achievements that he made based on the realities of his cognitive capabilities.  These capabilities and their limitations can help to provide insight into how the basic notions of learning have informed his development.

The idea of limited processing capability is an important element within this film.  This is an important idea in regards to the capacity of the character to learn new things based on the information that he is receiving.  This idea is concerned with the amount of attention that must be paid to a problem as “people’s ability to attend to the stimuli around them is limited” (171 ch. 7).  These limitations are established early on in the movie as he is almost prevented from attending school based on his test scores, indicating a deficiency in his attentiveness.  Despite this deficiency, he demonstrates a strong memory, as the movie contains a large amount of detail within his narration.

In this sense, one important question in regards to the challenges that he faces is in the duration is the length of his cognitive capacities. The movie seems to depend on his reflections on his past, as the entirety is, in fact, a story about his fast from his own perspective. This presents a challenge in regards to the ability of his memory to withstand the history of his life.  While there are memories that can be retained for long periods of time, they will ultimately degrade (179 ch. 7).  This is, therefore, an important question in regards to what he learns throughout the film.

Finally, the impact of the cognitive load necessitates the idea that a learner must be selective (187 ch. 7).  This is primarily due to the capacity of the mind to maintain specific memories is limited.  These limitations are important to consider in regards to his mental reality. This idea refers to the amount that knowledge necessitates a person to think about it as well as the way that they think in order to attain an understanding of the information.  His cognitive capacity is, therefore, a probable limitation in regards to his mental disorder and the struggles that he confronts.  This, however, should be understood in regards to both the positive and negative influences in his life.

The impact of environment and the ways that it has influenced this character’s adaption to life are also important to consider.  In looking at the positive and negative environmental influences a better understanding of how these limitations were either overcome or enhanced can be achieved. The application of specific terms related to learning can help to demonstrate this idea.  Despite many negative influences that could have very well kept him from achieving all that he did, he was able to use the few positive influences that he had in order to learn to better utilize the capabilities that he had. The impact of the environment, therefore, presents an indication of how these capabilities were effected by his interactions with others.

First of all, the idea of internalization is important to consider in regards to the people that he has met and the methods that he adopts. This is essentially the process by which outward dialogues become inward (306 ch. 11). The instructions that are given to the learner are eventually adapted into their own inner voice.  This is demonstrated in the movie as he internalizes the ideas that are given to him by his mother. He often expresses her points of view and incorporates them into his decisions.  This demonstrates his ability to internalize the positive influences of his mother despite the negative influences of the rest of the world.  By adopting and internalizing her mantras, he was able to overcome various obstacles that he came into contact with.

The idea of zone of proximal development also provides an underlying conception of how his life was shaped by others.  This is an indication of the level of capability that an individual has when helped by another. The term refers to the idea of a student that “cannot yet perform independently but can perform with the help and guidance of others” (307).  His interactions with Jenny during his early life indicate a period of positive growth that was achieved through learning alongside another.  He indicates that they helped one another with a lot of things.  This indicates that his ZPD has enhanced with the help of Jenny when they were young.

One interesting term that can be applied to an environmental factor is the idea of embodiment.  This represents the reaction that a person’s physical body has to the mental stimulus or will that they apply. This idea demonstrates the fact that “processes in the human brain are intimately and inextricably intertwined with our immediate physical context and bodily reactions to it” (321).  The positive influences that he was given, such as his mother, Jenny, and Bubba, present an overbearing challenge to those negative aspects, his physical and mental limitations and the limitations that society has placed upon him, and the capability that these positive influences had given him in overcoming the negative.  This is represented early on in the film as he is able to overcome his physical handicap through sheer will.

Finally, recommendations for improvement in how his learning and adaptation to life be improved can help to distinguish those positive influences from the negative and identify those aspects that fell short.  While his greatest strength seems to be the fact that he was able to apply the ideas that he had to the real world, this could only be further enhanced through effective application of specific learning practices. The film demonstrates that he was able to adapt to the realities of his situation, which can help to provide insight into the most effective way to improve his capabilities in regards to learning.  Through the application of lessons based in utility, an educator could hope to better enhance his potential.

The idea of authentic activities refers to the application of learning-based lessons that are rooted in their utility (325).  These are learning activities that will be useful to a person in the context of the real world and not simply abstract or learning based.  In providing lessons that are based on their usefulness.  While Forest Gump may not have been able to provide the necessary performance for academic based tests, as indicated in the early meeting between the principle and his mother, he seems to be adept at applying the basic lessons that he learns to the real world.  In this sense, the utility of the lessons that are being taught should be considered in order to maximize performance and minimize the effort necessary and the impact on the cognitive functions that this will have.

References

“Sociological Theory and Other Contextual Perspectives.” Chs. 7, 8, and 11. Print.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Essay Example

Autism spectrum disorder, abbreviated as ASD, is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by brain differences. ASD is characterized by chronic difficulties in social communication that causes [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 949

Essay

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Essay Example

As an episodic novel, Carroll’s book offers more insight into the characters and situations they encounter than it does into the story. The events of [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1412

Essay

Building Leaders Up, Essay Example

Leadership Definition Leadership refers to the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and guide other individuals or groups to achieve common goals. Leaders typically [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2452

Essay

Relationship Conflict, Essay Example

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of any relationship. It arises when two or more people have different goals, needs, or perceptions. The most [...]

Pages: 6

Words: 1621

Essay

Aristotle’s Concepts of Catharsis and Tragic Pleasure, Essay Example

Aristotle indicates in the first passage that producing a cathartic effect is a crucial element when it comes to constructing a tragedy. In the second [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 280

Essay

African – American History: Black American Cinema, Essay Example

Black American Cinema is about criticism of films produced by black Americans. This is the first inclusive collection of African American cinema critiques. From the [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1012

Essay

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Essay Example

Autism spectrum disorder, abbreviated as ASD, is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by brain differences. ASD is characterized by chronic difficulties in social communication that causes [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 949

Essay

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Essay Example

As an episodic novel, Carroll’s book offers more insight into the characters and situations they encounter than it does into the story. The events of [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1412

Essay

Building Leaders Up, Essay Example

Leadership Definition Leadership refers to the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and guide other individuals or groups to achieve common goals. Leaders typically [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2452

Essay

Relationship Conflict, Essay Example

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of any relationship. It arises when two or more people have different goals, needs, or perceptions. The most [...]

Pages: 6

Words: 1621

Essay

Aristotle’s Concepts of Catharsis and Tragic Pleasure, Essay Example

Aristotle indicates in the first passage that producing a cathartic effect is a crucial element when it comes to constructing a tragedy. In the second [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 280

Essay

African – American History: Black American Cinema, Essay Example

Black American Cinema is about criticism of films produced by black Americans. This is the first inclusive collection of African American cinema critiques. From the [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1012

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!