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The Learning Senses -Continued
need to be aware of as many factors that affect learning as you can. The more you know, the better chance you have of positively influencing the learning process. MOTIVATION Perhaps   the   single   most   important   factor   in   a   student’s   educational   advancement   is motivation. Unfortunately, it is one of the hardest to get a handle on or to channel effectively. Humans basically try to succeed and, conversely, try vigorously to avoid failure. While we need to  remember  that  occasional  failure  is  human,  we  must  do  everything  possible  to  organize student efforts toward success. Simple things  like  word  selection  in  the  training  environment can add to or detract from the learning effort. Motivation often has as much or more impact than scholastic ability. Students bring different abilities and experience levels to the training environment. Motivation, or a lack thereof many times determines whether or not a student masters the course objectives. Many times students with the highest ASVAB scores do not make the grade while students who may have entered your course with an academic waiver do very well. Talk to any seasoned instructor and he or she can probably recall at least one special student who “made it” in spite of minimal background or less-than-average  ability.  Little  doubt  exists  that  motivation,  either  internally  or  externally stimulated, initiates behavior; directs it; and, when derailed, can reduce or stop it. THE LEARNING SENSES Sensory  learning  is  the  first  that  occurs for   any   human   being.   Its influence   is apparent in children as we watch them grow up.   Each   sense,   either   singularly   or   in various combinations, provides a pathway to learning. With that in mind, an examination of     sensory     learning     and     its     special considerations  can  provide  insight  into  the learning process. Sight  is  considered  the  most  important sense, accounting for as much as 75 percent of  our  basic  learning.  Most  early  learning comes from seeing and imitating. Therefore, you    would    be    wise    to    consider    using appropriate visual aids in your presentations.     Remember,     however, to recognize  and  accommodate  students  with any visual impairment. Figure 4-1.—Sensory learning percentages. Hearing is the second most important sense, accounting for a large percentage of the remaining sensory learning capacity.  Experts differ on specific numbers, but the significance of 25

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