Principles of Learning
OK, here I am—learn me 'sumthin'!
Hopefully, you will never hear a trainee communicate that verbally, but you may "see" a trainee communicate it nonverbally!
Our purpose in this chapter is to look at the field of adult learning in a very basic way and present to you—in a practical manner-theory and research findings about the way we learn. Some trainers are afraid to discuss the principles of learning because they hesitate to get involved in the maze of educational theories. You will soon see why these fears are unfounded because much of what we know about the way we learn is based on common sense and thoughtful application. Let's start.
Before we get too involved with principles and learning, let's begin with some understanding of these two terms. A quick check of the dictionary shows:
Principle: a general truth or law, basic to other truths; a comprehensive or fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption.
Learning: knowledge obtained by study; the act of acquiring knowledge or skill; a mental activity by means of which skills, habits, ideas, attitudes, and ideals are acquired, retained, and utilized, resulting in the progressive adaptation and modification of behavior.
Learning is a lifelong process in which experience leads to changes within the individual. It has also been defined as self-development through self-activity. Learning is a change in behavior resulting from experience. In brief, learning means change!
For many people, this change in behavior causes concern. As a matter of fact, for many trainees (and trainers!), any change is uncomfortable. It is a well-known fact