Drill and practice, based on Thorndike’s law of exercise discussed in The Learning Process, predicts that connections are strengthened with practice. The human mind rarely retains, evaluates, and applies new concepts or practices after one exposure. Learners do not master welding during one shop period or perform crosswind landings during one instructional flight. They learn by practicing and applying what they have been told and shown. Every time practice occurs, learning continues. Effective use of drill and practice revolves around what skill is being developed. The instructor provides opportunities for learners to practice and while directing the process toward an objective.


A successful instructor needs to be various teaching methods. Although lecture and demonstration-performance methods usually work well, awareness of other methods and teaching tools such as guided discussion, cooperative learning, and computer-assisted learning better prepares an instructor for a wide variety of teaching situations.

Obviously, the aviation instructor is the key to effective teaching. The instructor’s tools are different teaching methods. Just as the technician uses some tools more than others, the instructor uses some methods more often than others. As is the case with the technician, there are times when a less used tool is the exact tool needed for a particular situation. The instructor’s success is determined to a large degree by the ability to organize material and to select and utilize a teaching method appropriate to a particular lesson.