I've been pondering this question for 14 years .. since our daughter was born.
I don't think I gave it a moment's thought at school, university, in further postgraduate studying or courses or even at work where we were producing training films (amongst other things).
Knowing and applying 'stuff' came into it.
Otherwise it was starting to get my head around the neurological processes that had me starting to understand what was going on. Simple really, you expose a person (your daughter, yourself) to something and it results in a stimuli that with repetition becomes embedded.
You cannot help yourself. You pick things up. At what stage have something been learnt though? When you apply it? Or simply knowing that the knowledge is 'there.'
One key moment this last year was coming to an understanding of what 'life-long learning' entails. Even concluding that the less isolated we are the more we learn? Which hardly holds true of the bookworm (or should they now be called webworms?)
Did it help to play Mozart while she was developing in the womb?
Did it help that she was learning to play the piano, draw, type and read all at the same time?
How does she compare to her brother because she apparently has a 'photographic' memory ... while he does not?
i.e. just because the input mechanism allows for good recall does she learn any better, or even less well, than someone who has to make more effort?
My own mind is made of Teflon - nothing sticks! And even if I get it into my head it slides all over the place producing most unusual combinations
Am I going to Google 'learning' or look it up in Wikipedia?
I'd prefer to find out what Quentin Blake makes of it ... or Norman Mailer. What did learning mean to Vincent van Gogh? We can probably tell from the many letters he wrote to his brother.
I have read Ian Kershaw's two volume biography of Adolf Hitler.
How did that monster acquire and develop his belief systems?