It is the process by which an individual, through his own efforts and abilities, changes his behaviors.
Principles of Learning:
With a new to provide effective learning experience to rural people, the extension worker should know the characteristics of learning. These are called as Principles of learning.
1. Learning is Growth Like and Continuous:
The extension worker should try to understand the level of the farmer and should try to develop his understanding. The things already known by and also new ideas should be clarified. The new ideas may be presented intermittently to emphasis their importance.
2. Learning should be Meaningful:
The extension worker should place the objectives of learning very clearly and meaningfully before the farmers. While doing this, it should be seen that the subject does not go over the heads of the farmers. The extension education programme should be within the physical and economic limits of the people.
3. Learning should be able to Make Use of Maximum Number of Sense Organs while Learning:
Seeing hearing, touching, smelling and testing are the five senses through which an individual learns new idea. Extension believes in ‘Learning by doing’ and ‘seeing is believing’. So, demonstrations, visual aids, and other symbols should used by the extension worker, to make the learning experience more effective.
4. Learning should be Challenging and Satisfying:
Abilities acquiring through learning should help the farmer to solve the problems, to overcome the difficulties and gradually lead to a more satisfying life.
5. Learning should Develop Functional Understanding of Learners:
Only acquiring knowledge is not enough, it must be understood and applied in real life situation. To develop the functional understanding of the farmers, it is necessary that he should understand the whole subject, as well as different topics and their inter-relationships.
6. Learning is Affected by Physical and Social Environment:
Good physical and social environment creates a favorable back ground for effective learning. The student should be required to spend minimum energy in adjusting with the environment. The teacher should create a suitable environment.
7. Learning Ability Varies Widely Among Individuals:
The teaching should be tailored according to the level of understanding of the farmers. So also, the subject should be within the capacity of the farmers’ ability to learn.
8. Learning is a Gradual Process, Requiring Several Exposures Before Change is Noticed:
The new ideas have to be vividly presented through different media in order to make the learning meaningful. Research shows that for convincing the necessity of innovation, it has to be presented at least six to eight times through different media.
9. The Adults have Learning Capacity:
The rate of learning declines about one percent a year, after the age of 35 years. The main reason for this is declining physical ability, especially functioning of sense organs. Reluctance to learning, fear of failure, old habits and impact of particular ideology are also the reasons for it.
The extension workers should show the things clearly, speak clearly by choosing words carefully, proceed step by step, repeat important ideas, encourage good ideas, and avoid ridicule.
10. Learning is an Active Process on the Part of Learner:
The kind of learning which takes place is a result of the kind of experience one has. The experiences must be compelling and directed on the part of learners. The farmer himself will have to practice the skills to learn them, change the present attitude to create new attitude, and appreciate new things. Learning is group facilitates this.
11. Learning Requires Effective Communication:
Learning becomes effective if the extension worker puts the message in an interesting way with the help of appropriate audio-visual aids and teaching methods.
12. Theory and Practice should be Related in Learning:
As far as possible, the farmers should be taught both, theory as well as practice. A proper balance in these two helps in acquiring high professional competency.