(3) Student interest. Interest is essential if you expect to gain and hold
attention. The use of the force of instructor personality, enthusiasm, examples, and
illustrations will help keep interest high. The more interesting the material can be made
for the students, the more readily they will learn. Be sure you keep in mind that your
responsibility is to teach, not to entertain.
(4) Achievement. Early success motivates students. A person's success
tends to drive him to further effort and additional success. Achievement brings a certain
amount of pleasure, satisfaction, and stimulation toward greater activity. During the
early stages of a training program, instructors should have soldiers work at an activity
that they can successfully complete.
(a) Recognition--an incentive. Recognition and credit provide strong
incentives for learning. Soldiers desire and have a right to expect credit for work well
done. Instructors should mention the good points of soldiers' work and not dwell on
(b) Criticism: constructive/destructive. Start with favorable comments,
then lead into suggestions for improvement. There are two types of criticism:
constructive and destructive. Try to understand the difference between them.
Constructive criticism is a building mechanism. In order to use the constructive type,
you would point out the error and offer one or more ways to correct the deficiency. By
using this type, the person corrected gains more than he loses. Destructive criticism
points out the error and frequently points out the stupidity or personality lack of the
person making the mistake. This type of criticism is very damaging to the person being
corrected and cuts down the status of the corrector.
(6) Feelings. Avoid feelings and emotional responses that interfere with
efficient learning. Feelings affect learning. Soldiers who are angry, resentful,
embarrassed, frightened, or emotionally upset think about the source of their
disturbance rather than the subject being taught.
(7) Competition. Friendly competition stimulates learning. Such
competition between two or more groups achieves efficient learning if the intensity of
the competition does not obscure learning goals. When possible, group competition is
preferable to individual competition. Having a person compete against his own past
record also provides effective competition.
(8) Incentives. Rewards are powerful incentives. On the other hand,
punishment is perhaps the least desirable form of motivation. Punishment the soldiers
consider to be unjust or too severe may breed resentment or antagonism and cause
failure to learn the subject with which punishment is associated.