Is "learn of something" different from "learn something"? Is the former more unintentional?
38)When I teach introductory astronomy on the first day of class, I make the following announcement, “Obviously, I am not going to intentionally give you false information.” I add, “The problem for both of us is that astronomers’ understanding of the cosmos is changing so rapidly that some of what is accepted as correct today will be shown to be incorrect. I will correct myself whenever I learn of changes in our body of knowledge.” Virtually all the corrections I have provided over the years have been such details as the numbers of moons orbiting various planets and the details of the formation of new star systems. What I am doing by making this announcement is putting the students on notice not to
not a teacher
To "learn of something" is to become aware of it, to be told about it or apprised of it.
"He's so humble, I only learn of his achievements when I see them in the newspaper."
So, to learn of (become aware of the existence of) new knowledge, is not the same as learning that knowledge.