Barriers to Learning


  • Various conditions and events in life set conditions, or barriers, to effective learning

Human Needs (PSSES):

  • Physical:
    • Food, rest, and protection from the elements
    • A hungry or tired student cannot be able to perform as expected
  • Safety:
    • Protection against danger, threads deprivation
  • Social:
    • To belong, associate as well as give and receive friendship and love
  • Ego:
    • Self-concept: how one pictures oneself
    • Most powerful determinant in learning
    • Self-esteem
    • Self-confidence
  • Self-Fulfillment:
    • Realizing one's own potential for continued development

Defense Mechanisms (CPDFARRR):

  • Defense against reality of unpleasant situations
  • Alleviate symptoms, not causes
  • May be conscious and/or unconscious
  • Compensation:

    • Disguise the presence of a problem by emphasizing a positive event
  • Projection:

    • Blame shortcomings on others
    • Blaming an instructor for being too unfair
  • Denial of Reality:

    • Refuse to acknowledge disagreeable realities
  • Flight:

    • Escape frustration by physical or mental flight
  • Aggression:

    • Get upset
    • Ask irrelevant questions
    • Refuse to participate in class activities, or
    • Disrupt activities
  • Rationalization:

    • Substitute excuses for reasons
  • Resignation:

    • May no longer believe it profitable or possible to work further
    • Occurs when student doesn't grasp fundamentals of earlier lessons
  • Reaction Formation:

    • Developing conscious attitudes to cover up just the opposite
    • Not caring how people think about them when they really do

The Overconfident or Impatient Student:

  • Instructors must present the necessary preliminary training step at a time with clearly stated goals for each step
  • Overconfidence soon results in faulty performance
  • Raise standard of performance for each lesson demanding greater effort

Stress and Anxiety:

  • Normal individuals react exactly and automatically to training emergencies
  • Normal Reactions to Stress and Anxiety:

    • Sweat
    • Increased heart rate
    • Blood pressure increase
    • Voice
  • Abnormal reactions:

    • Extreme over cooperation, painstaking self-control, inappropriate laughter or singing, and rapid changes in emotion
    • Changes in mood
    • Severe anger
  • Anxiety is brought on by stressful situations
  • Anxiety counters:
    • Treating fear as normal
    • Reinforcing student enjoyment
    • Teaching students to cope with fear