Chapter 2. The Learning Process


Initially, all learning comes from perceptions, which are directed to the brain by one or more of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Psychologists have also found that learning occurs most rapidly when information is received through more than one sense. [Figure 2-5]

Perception involves more than the reception of stimuli from the five senses; it also involves a person giving meaning to sensations. People base their actions on the way they believe things to be. The experienced AMT, for example, perceives an engine malfunction quite differently than does an inexperienced student. This occurs because the beginning aviation student is overwhelmed by stimuli and often focuses on meaningless things, thus missing key information. It is important for the instructor to direct trainee’s perceptions initially so that the student detects and perceives relevant information.

Real meaning comes only from within a person, even though the perceptions, which evoke these meanings, result from external stimuli. The meanings, which are derived from perceptions, are influenced not only by the individual’s experience, but also by many other factors. Knowledge of the factors that affect the perceptual process is very important to the aviation instructor because perceptions are the basis of all learning.

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