always strive to set the proper example because you are the role model. Additionally, you need
to provide positive reinforcement to students for properly imitated behavior.
TRIAL AND ERROR
Sometimes referred to as discovery learning, trial and error is learning by doing. Students can
achieve success sooner if you set a proper example for them to imitate. A proper example
reduces the number of errors students make and thus helps to develop their self-confidence.
Although the mastering of most skills requires this way of learning to some degree, it does
involve some hazards. Think back to when you learned how to ride a bicycle to help you
visualize some of the hazards of this way of learning. It can be dangerous to the students and
the equipment. It can also become frustrating if repeated trials dont lead to some success. The
Navy Instructor Training School is a good example of where this way of learning is currently
used as students present lessons during performance exams. Students receive proper supervision,
reinforcement of acceptable performance, and get immediate feedback on how to correct errors.
Association is a comparison of past learning to a new learning situation. It is a mental
process that serves as a reference point for students. Learners can confront new problems more
easily if those new problems contain elements similar to those previously mastered. For
example, to help students more easily understand electricity flowing in a circuit, you might
compare it to water flowing through a pipe.
Use comparisons, contrasts, and examples to
reinforce your explanations.
Although you will have many opportunities to use association
during your lessons, remember that you will have students with different experience levels in
your class. Make sure you use associations to which all students can relate.
Insight is the understanding that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Learning by
insight occurs when the learner suddenly grasps the way elements of a problem situation are
The term describes a persons unplanned discovery of a solution to a problem--
often referred to as the ah-ha phenomenon.
That phenomenon results from a mental
reorganization of ideas and concepts rather than from simple trial and error. Some individuals
gain insight more rapidly than others. Individual backgrounds affect each learners ability to
gain insight, as does the sequence in which you present basic learning experiences. To help
students gain insight, you must stimulate thinking. Use appropriate questions to get their minds
working. Encourage thought rather than rote memorization by using questions that require
associations, comparisons, and contrasts.
Transfer is the process of applying past learning to new but somewhat similar situations. This
process is important in Navy technical training because the training environment can rarely
duplicate the actual job environment. Your goal is to teach students the importance of applying