What Is the Difference Between Maturation and Learning?

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The primary difference between maturation and learning is that maturation takes place with time, while learning occurs when a person acquires knowledge or experience. Another primary distinction is that maturation is a reflexive process that is not influenced by the environment, but learning requires environmental influence, according to Psychology Campus.

People learn through formal and informal educational systems. In school, children acquire age-appropriate knowledge in various subjects from professional teachers. They also gain experiences in social and athletic settings that contribute to learning. While schools are structured chronologically, children are able to acquire and use knowledge at different rates.

People mature physically, mentally and emotionally with age. Physical maturity is generally constant regardless of how much a person learns. People grow from childhood through adolescence. They also age or mature throughout life. Under typical circumstances and without disorders, all people mature mentally and emotionally.

Another way to understand the difference is to note that people can have similar learning experiences but different capacities to make use of the knowledge they have gained. In other words, the pace at which people mature can vary. One young adult may have the mental and emotional readiness to get a job and start a family immediately after college, while another may not.