“Everybody has heard the old saying that a picture paints a thousand words. Demonstrating a new skill is an important component of teaching.” It is estimated that 80 percent of what we learn is through our vision. This statistic tells instructors that the value of demonstration is very important within their lesson for our swimmers to watch and learn. Children have different ways of learning which the education experts have roughly grouped into three basic styles – Auditory, Visual and Kinaesthetic.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE VALUE OF DEMONSTRATION?
Demonstrations have two important purposes:
- To increase student understanding of the concepts demonstrated
- To increase student enjoyment of class
HOW TO USE DEMONSTRATION EFFECTIVELY
- Pick your student (ensure you choose a student that does well in that activity)
- Gather your class so all swimmers can see
- Use simple instructions when speaking
- Ask swimmer to show the class and discuss as they demonstrate
- Show praise when done
Your other students will see this demonstration and have a better understanding of what you want them to do. It also makes them strive to do their best, so that maybe next time they will be the one to be picked for a demonstration. Children love to feel special and being picked by their instructor and showing their peers a skills or drill that they are doing well will not only praise them but show parents sitting on the side of the pool how well they are doing in your lesson.
Try to use demonstration within your lessons over the next few weeks and watch how your swimmers respond to this. Ensure that you pick many different swimmers to be your demonstrator as not to show favouritism. There should be something that everyone in your class is good at – even if it is something easy such as kicking on the ledge.
Good luck using demonstration in your teaching. It can be a very effective tool in your teaching toolbox when working with swimmers of all ages and abilities.