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Learning outcomes

After completing this unit you should be able to:

  • assess your learning styles and capabilities, using a learning file in which to record your progress;

  • describe the main definitions of learning as a process, and the role played by memorising, understanding and doing;

  • explain the three main categories of theories about learning, namely the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning;

  • discuss the main conceptions of
    Author(s): The Open University

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3.4 A note on suspense

By raising various expectations in the reader's mind, a writer can create an atmosphere of suspense – the desire to turn the page and find out what happens next. How much will the story follow the reader's expectations, how much will it confound them? In this way, sus
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1.4 Portraying a character

Activity 7

Click on 'View document' below to read ‘Portraying a character’, which outlines the main methods of revealing character in fiction.

1.2 Round and flat characters

What about minor or peripheral characters? How deeply do they have to be imagined?

Activity 2

Click on 'View document' below to read the section called ‘Round and flat characters’. Showing the contradictions in charac
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1.1 Creating characters

Activity 1

Click on 'View document' below to read the first few paragraphs from Novakovich's chapter on ‘Character’.

8.4 Hinduism in eastern India: religion in Calcutta

The Hinduism of Bengal, as in other regions of India with their own languages and distinctive historical traditions, has absorbed and retained many local elements which make it peculiarly the Hinduism of Bengal. The city of Calcutta has exerted its own considerable influence upon the surrounding region. Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, was founded in 1690 originally as a British trading post on the Hugli, a stretch of the Ganges (or Ganga), a river sacred to Hindus (see Author(s): The Open University

7.1 Some basic principles of religious studies

Remember that in Section 4 I suggested that possible reasons for studying religion could be clustered together under two broad headings:

  1. to understand the society in which we live, the culture we inherit and the wider world of which we are a part;

  2. as part of a personal quest for religious
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6.3 Setting things apart

The tendency within religious behaviour to set things apart from the everyday does not just apply to time and place but also to ideas of authority (leaders and texts), to beliefs more generally, to institutions and to aspects of behaviour as, for example, in dress and diet. In fact, the concept of ‘religion/religious’ is often set over and against the concept of the ‘temporal’ and the ‘secular’, which both suggest an outlook that is concerned solely with this world, the here and n
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6.1 Introduction

Whatever else they may be, religions grow in historical and social settings. The present form of a religion has its roots in the past. Religion can exercise a strong influence upon society and the cultural forms of a society, but religion itself is no less affected by changes and pressures within society. Religion gives meaning to a pattern of living and may even be responsible for establishing a certain lifestyle or distinctive social organisation or institution. At the same time, religion o
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5.3 Scholarly definitions of religion

Scholars offer us many different definitions of religion, but these definitions tend to be of two types. The first type is known as a substantive definition: that is, a definition that tells us what kind of thing religion is by pointing to its distinguishing characteristic – usually its beliefs and/or practices. We can find an example of a substantive definition of religion in my summary of the definitions found in the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Think again about d. Acc
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5.2 The ‘answer’ in your dictionary

Exercise 9

Please now look at the definition of ‘religion’ given in your dictionary.

  1. Do you think that the definition is going to help you when deciding what is or is not religion? Please give
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5.1 ‘Religion’ and ‘the religions’: two new notions

I want to begin our closer discussion of the question ‘what is religion?’ by looking briefly at the history of the use and meaning of the term. You may be surprised to find how recently the word ‘religion’ has taken on the meanings attached to it today.

Contemporary scholars of religion emphasise not merely the cultural breadth but also the antiquity of religious activity. Yet, the term ‘religion’ as we understand it today is very much a Western concept.

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3 Principal artists and works

Michelangelo, Slave, known as Rebel, sculpture, c.1513, acquired 1794

Michelangelo, Slave, known as Dying or Asleep, sculpture, c.1513, acquired 1794

Venus de Milo, sculpture, late Hellenistic, acquired 1827

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, painting, 1501–6, acquired 1519

Cimabue, Maestà, painting, c.1270, acquired 1814

Diana of the Louvre (also known as Diana of Versailles), sculpture, Roman copy of Greek o
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2.1 Introduction

The original TV programme was divided into an introduction and seven sections, each preceded by a simple question that appears on screen. To help you to explore this material, we have split the programme into eight clips, each associated with an activity. Once you have completed all the activities, you will have viewed the TV programme in its entirety and considered some of the questions explored in the original OU course.

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5.2 The aftermath of the Holocaust

In interwar Europe ethnic Germans had been in an overwhelming majority in the populations of both Germany and Austria. In addition, the two largest minorities spread across the states of interwar Europe, and particularly the states of the centre and east, had been Germans and Jews. The war and the Holocaust produced ‘solutions’ to the questions of both minorities. The Jews of central and eastern Europe who survived were often unwilling to return to their former homes; indeed, many of thos
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4.2 Who to blame

Browning developed his work on Police Battalion 101 into a book, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992b). The same material was subsequently used, and reinterpreted, by Daniel J. Goldhagen for Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996). Goldhagen points the finger of blame for the Holocaust precisely at Germany. The Holocaust was, he stresses, a German phenomenon, and he argues that it built on what he det
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1.3 Eugenics

Just as anti-Semitism was not unique to Nazi Germany, neither were ideas of racial superiority or attempts to create a society peopled by ‘better’ human beings. Politicians, scientists and social commentators in many European countries expressed concern about the ‘degeneracy’ of their respective ‘national stock’ in the years before World War I. Sir Francis Galton – scientist, anthropologist, cousin of Charles Darwin and inspired by his work – had coined the word ‘eugenics’
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1.2 Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism was not an invention of the twentieth century, nor was it simply a German phenomenon. In the years before 1914 violent pogroms were directed against Jews, who were made scapegoats for the problems of the Russian Empire. The flight of Jews from the east, first to escape the violent prejudices unleashed periodically in Tsarist Russia and then to escape the upheavals in the aftermath of World War I, sharpened the anti-Semitism which was already to be found in the west of Europe. Th
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10 Comparing and contrasting

Often you will find that an assignment asks you to ‘compare and contrast’ poems. There's a very good reason for this, for often it is only by considering different treatments of similar subjects that we become aware of a range of possibilities, and begin to understand why particular choices have been made. You will have realised that often in the previous discussions I've used a similar strategy, showing, for example, how we can describe the rhyme scheme of ‘Love From the North’ as si
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