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“Do As I Do” vs “Do As I Say”

We learn from our surroundings. It holds true for not only students but also adults. Seeing Dhoni model a brand of shoe or Nadal wearing a certain brand during tennis tournament, encourages us to try out the same brand because we associate the brand with fitness, style and perhaps also social prestige.

Identification  occurs with another person (the model) and involves taking on (or adopting) observed behaviors, values, beliefs and attitudes of the person with whom you are identifying (Albert Bandura 1977)

Therefore as parents and teachers what works better is ‘do as I do’. A deliberate shift from, ‘do as I say’.  Teachers should model the behavior they want the students to develop. For example, if you wish students to learn the habit of setting goals, model that behavior for students. If they see their teacher, setting her personal goals, they will also pick this habit. In contrast, what we see is, that teachers set a session or two for ‘yearly goal setting activity’, once the goals are set by individual students, it is perhaps written in their notebook, report card, poster and then revisited only when it is reviewed if at all at the end of the semester or year. But if the teacher was to set her goals for her students or her class and review her goal periodically with the students, students will actually see the importance of doing the same themselves and will in the process learn a key work skill.

The more opportunities that the student gets to practice a particular skill or behavior, the better their ability to apply

Students notice behavior and learn more from that.

Reserve ‘Do as I Say’, for only crises situations.

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