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Individual Differences - 134t_38
actions.  Demand  an  adult  level  of  work  from  each  student. Emphasize  adult  learning techniques  that  demand  “hands  on”  experience,  and  treat  your  students  with  respect.  Regularly emphasize   the   law   of   effect. None  of  your  students  come  to  class  wanting  to  fail.  Use  their  basic  desire  to  succeed  to  its strongest  advantage  by  striving  to  help  them  move  from  success  to  success.  The  adage  that success   breeds   success   is   certainly   true   in   the   learning   environment.   You   must   instill   self- confidence   in   students   by   providing   reinforcement   that   encourages   further   learning.   If   students are   regularly   unsuccessful,   they   will   become   frustrated   and   give   up.   Always   be   supportive, interested,   and   encouraging. Another  common  student  characteristic  is  the  ability  to  evaluate.  Most  students  are  quick to  form  opinions.  What  do  students  evaluate?  Everything;  especially  you,  the  instructor.  They can  quickly  detect  lack  of  competence,  enthusiasm,  and  sincerity.  It  has  been  said  that  your students  don’t  care  how  much  you  know  until  they  know  how  much  you  care.  You  need  to  be dedicated  to  doing  your  best  to  make  each  student  successful  in  your  class.  Students  will  always evaluate,  so  do  not  give  them  an  opportunity  for  adverse  evaluations. Fallibility   is   a   trait   we   all   have--everyone   makes   mistakes.   Remember   that   as   an   instructor so   that   you   don’t   lose   patience   when   students   make   mistakes.   Most   of   us   take   our   knowledge and   skills   for   granted;   we   often   forget   the   difficulties   we   had   gaining   those   skills.   Make   sure you   have   patience   and   provide   encouragement   as   students   move   through   the   various   stages   of competency.  When  minor  failures  occur,  and  they  will,  capitalize  on  them  by  turning  them  into positive   learning   experiences.   Nothing   can   stigmatize   and   remotivate   students   quicker   than ridicule  or  the  implication  that  they  are  “losers.”   You   can   be   more   empathetic   toward   learners’ difficulties  by  reflecting  on  your  own  early  trials. Students   have   a   high   regard   for   instructors   who   show   a   sense   of   fair   play.   Either   favoring or  picking  on  certain  students  degrades  an  instructor  to  the  students.  Treat  all  learners  fairly, equally,  and  as  adults.  Leaning  on  the  expertise  or  insight  of  the  gifted  or  experienced  student is   easy,   and   isn’t   wrong.   The   secret   is   not   to   give   the   impression   of   showing   certain   students favored  treatment.  Conversely,  be  careful  not  to  give  the  impression  of  picking  on  or  badgering slower   students.   Treat   all   students   by   the   same   standards. Recognition  is  a  basic  human  need  both  in  and  out  of  the  classroom,  That  characteristic provides   instructors   with   great   opportunities   to   motivate   students   to   learn.   We   are   not   talking about  special  liberty,  but  merely  the  simple  recognition  for  a  job  well  done.  Since  techniques vary,   you   must   develop   your   own   approach   to   recognizing   special   performance.   Always   give recognition   to   students   who   respond   to   questions   or   contribute   to   classroom   discussions.   Be sure  to  recognize  students  promptly  and  to  a  degree  commensurate  with  their  effort. INDIVIDUAL    DIFFERENCES We  have  already  touched  somewhat  on  individual  differences  among  learners.  They  are  many and  varied,  requiring  versatility  and  insight  on  your  part.  The  most  obvious,  of  course,  are  the physical   differences. Your  major  concerns  in  the  area  of  physical  differences,  besides  those  for sight   and   hearing   impairments,   are   those   dealing   with   physical   prerequisites   for   training. 27

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