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Modeling as teaching practice: Essential for Learning

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

Do you remember learning to tie your shoes?

We guess you didn’t learn by watching a video or listening to a lecture. You learned by being shown and by practicing.

Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling. It is highly effective across disciplines and at all ages and abilities. Modelling engages students and encourages learning.

At My (after school) art Club, we do just that. Each drawing session starts by explaining to the children what they are going to draw.  If the children know what they are aiming for, it gives them a clear sense of the expected standards and are not left guessing.

Then we, teachers, draw in front of them, we talk through our thought process whilst drawing and the children then in turn work through the task at their own pace. This teaching process, demonstrating, drawing step-by-step, using a thinking-out-loud approach together with visual and instructional guidance, shows the children what is expected of them in terms of line and shapes, use of space and encourages students to learn by observing and by practising. Over time it allows the children to gain skills, producing ever better work and self confidence in their ability.

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