Section II. PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION
NATURE OF LEARNING
The desired outcome of all military instruction is soldier learning. If soldiers are
not better prepared to do something at the end of a lesson than they were before, they
have not learned. The instructor must accept responsibility for what his soldiers have or
have not learned. If the soldiers have not learned as a result of his instruction, he
should look first to himself and his presentation for the cause.
a. Learning and Doing. Learning is the process of acquiring new knowledge,
skills, techniques, and attitudes that will enable a person to do something he could not
do before. The emphasis is on doing. Learning is an active process, not passive
absorption. Soldiers must be presented with purposeful and worthwhile work to do.
They must be kept both mentally and physically active. With proper presentation of
learning opportunities, the curve of learning will look something like the illustration in
Figure 2-1. A typical learning curve.
b. Sensory Learning. The channels for learning are the senses. Learning can
then be defined as the change that takes place in an individual as a result of his mental
and physical responses to stimuli.
(1) Senses stimulate learning. The five senses are the channels through
which the individual is stimulated. A person makes contact with things around him
through sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. As a result of these contacts, he makes
responses that enable him to acquire new knowledges, skills, and attitudes.