CFI Instrument Practical Test Standards, FAA-S-8081-9B, June 2001

I. Fundamentals of Instructing

A. The Learning Process

  1. Learning theory
      a. Behaviorism
        1) Importance of reinforcing desired behaviors
        2) Frequent positive reinforcements and awards accelerate learning
      b. Cognitive theory
        1) Focuses on the mind
        2) Learning includes a change in thinking, understanding or feeling
        3) Two of the major branches:
          a) Information processing model
          b) Social interaction model
            i) Learning results from interaction of student and environment
            ii) Student cognitively processes observed behavior of models
  2. Characteristics of learning - PEMA
      a. Purposeful (relate to student's goals)
      b. Comes through experience
      c. Multifaceted
        1) Verbal, conceptual, perceptual, motor, emotional, problem solving
        2) Incidental learning
      d. Active process
      e. Learning styles - be sensitive to student differences
  3. Principles of learning - REEPIR
      a. Readiness - provide purpose, motivation
      b. Exercise - practice, repeat
      c. Effect - provide pleasant, satisfying experience
      d. Primacy - right the first time
      e. Intensity - provide realism, vividness
      f. Recency - summarize, repeat the important
      g. Perceptions - meaning given to sensations
        1) Factors that affect perceptions
          a) Physical organism
          b) Basic need to maintain/enhance the organized self
          c) Goals and values; motivation
          d) Self-concept
          e) Time and opportunity; sequence
          f) Element of threat; fear narrows perceptual field
        2) Insights
          a) Perceptions grouped into meaningful wholes
          b) Major instructor responsibility
          c) Show relationships
      h. Motivation - the dominant student force
  4. Levels of learning
      a. Four basic levels - RUAC
        1) Rote
        2) Understanding
        3) Application
        4) Correlation
      b. Domains of learning
        1)Cognitive domain (Dr. Benjamin Bloom)
          a) Knowledge - recall and recognition
          b) Comprehension - translate, interpolate, extrapolate
          c) Application - use of generalizations in specific instances
          d) Analysis - determine relationships
          e) Synthesis - create new relationships
          f) Evaluation - exercise of learned judgement
        2) Affective domain (D.R. Krathwohl)
          a) Receiving - willingness to pay attention
          b) Responding - reacts voluntarily or complies
          c) Valuing - acceptance
          d) Organization - rearrangement of value system
          e) Characterization - incorporates value into life
        3) Psychomotor domain (E.J. Simpson)
          a) Perception - awareness of sensory stimuli
          b) Set - relates cues, knows
          c) Guided response - performs as demonstrated
          d) Mechanism - performs simple acts well
          e) Complex overt response - skillful performance of complex acts
          f) Adaptation - modifies for special problems
          g) Origination - new movement patterns, creativity
  5. Learning physical skills
      a. Desire to learn - motivation, law of readiness
      b. Pattern to follow - provide a clear, step-by-step example
      c. Perform the skill - student practice
      d. Knowledge of results - critique, example
      e. Progress follows a pattern - the learning curve; learning plateau
      f. Duration and organization of lesson
      g. Evaluation vs. critique (identify strengths and weaknesses)
      h. Application of skill
  6. Memory
      a.Multi-stage concept - memory includes three parts
        1) Sensory register
        2) Working or short-term memory
        3) Long-term memory
      b. Theories of forgetting - DIR
        1) Disuse
        2) Interference
        3) Repression
      c. Retention of learning
        1) Praise stimulates remembering
        2) Recall is promoted by association
        3) Favorable attitudes aid retention
        4) Learning with all senses is most effective
        5) Meaningful repetition aids recall
  7. Transfer of learning
      a. Positive vs. negative transfer
      b. Recommendations
        1) Plan for positive transfer
        2) Prepare students to seek other applications
        3) Assure thorough, high-order learning
        4) Build student's confidence in ability to transfer
        5) Use materials to form valid concepts, generalizations; clear relationships

Reference: Aviation Instructor's Handbook, FAA-H-8083-9, 1999

Greg Gordon MD, CFII