Demonstration may be the most effective method of showing how something works, what it is composed of, and why it is important. Students become involved with the subject because they are looking at specific things, which hold their attention.
Demonstration generally involves manipulation of tangibles such as food preparation, home decoration, etc. but it can also be used for exploration of intangibles such as, good posture, mannerisms, how to introduce a person, how to appear for interview, and so on.
Demonstration can be given by teachers, outside experts or students. For students, giving demonstration is a valuable activity because it makes them participate in a process of communication, which involves many responsibilities and actions. They may have to give oral explanations and use a variety of teaching aids for clarifying the points. Through this process they learn about the techniques which can make communication effective.
Values of Demonstration
1. It helps to visualise a process that might be difficult to understand completely only through verbal description. For example, teaching how to design a dress can be taught through demonstration.
2. It makes people aware of the advantages of improved practices, for e.g., if cooking practices in the community are poor then the demonstration of the advantages and methods of good cooking practices can be given.
3. It arouses interest in adopting new techniques, and thereby motivates people to take action. The demonstration on good cooking practices may set a better standard of taste in the food which may arouse interest in adopting the new cooking practices.
4. It makes learning easy and saves time. As the students see the teacher demonstrating, step by step, they remember the process more easily. Thus, it saves the teacher from explaining the procedure again and again and saves time.
5. It is useful especially when the material is very expensive and all the students cannot have it for experimenting.
6. For example, operation of a washing machine / microwave can be demonstrated for all the students, as all the students may not have it.
7. It helps in teaching set standards in technique or in the finished product. For example, demonstration on 'icing on cake' can teach students the correct quantity of ingredients to be used, consistency of a paste and technique of icing.
Mainly there arc two types of demonstrations:
It means the demonstration of a new technique or practice, that is, how the thing is done. When a Home Science teacher or student shows how to prepare a cake, for example, he/she shows how to beat the egg, how to mix the ingredients, how to put it in the oven, how to know whether it is sufficiently baked or not, and so on. The learners watch the whole process shown in the method demonstration.
In result demonstration, a comparison of the result of demonstrated practices and existing practices is made. The demonstration can be supplemented by the use of audio-visual aid. For example, comparison of food with baking soda and without it, old and new methods of room arrangement, and so on.
Preparing for Demonstration
Demonstrations involve two elements - demonstrator and observers. Therefore, preparation for demonstration requires careful attention to the needs of both. Here are the important guidelines which should be considered while planning for a method demonstration:
1. Determine the purpose of your demonstration, that is, whether it is going to demonstrate a skill or create awareness regarding a new practice or technique.
2. Decide how you are going to determine whether you have accomplished your purpose.
3. Select the real things, models, films, pictures and photographs, or any other supporting material that will contribute to the demonstration.
4. Arrange the sequence of steps and the content of the demonstration.
5. Plan how you will arrange materials on the demonstration table or area to have them conveniently at hand when you need them.
6. Decide how you are going to arrange the room so that all viewers are able to see what is being demonstrated.
7. Make time limits realistic in your lesson plan allotting sufficient time for demonstration as well as for the questions after the demonstration.
8. Make the introduction to your demonstration clear and direct so that learners know exactly what purposes the demonstration is to serve, what they will learn from it, and so on.
9. Plan for assistance by others during demonstration, if necessary.
10. Decide when to provide learners with handouts or any other 'carry home' material.
Conducting a Method Demonstration
Although hazards are possible in demonstrations, the following suggestions can ensure reasonable assurance of success:
1. Keep ready everything needed for a demonstration in advance.
2. Have a semi-circular seating arrangement so that all the learners can see what is being done.
3. Remember to speak loud enough so that everyone can hear. Call for the attention of the learners time to time. This helps in learning.
4. Tell or show only what viewers need to meet their goals. Concentrate your talk/lecture on the essential ideas, don't talk just to be entertaining.
5. Keep an eye on your learners and watch for puzzled or confused expressions and try to clear the same.
6. Keep a proper pace in your demonstration. Move slowly over difficult steps and repeat them, if necessary.
7. Use teaching aids to emphasize important points, such as, specimens to show ingredients used, pictures and photographs to explain nutritive value, or a set of flash cards with illustration to explain procedure.
8. Involve learners in demonstration by asking them to help in preparation or try out a special technique involved in the preparation. For example, a recipe requiring special kind of rolling or folding can be tried out by the learners.
9. Strictly follow the time plan made for demonstration.
10. Encourage questions, and summarize the process. This will help in clarifying doubts and confusions.
This method is particularly effective with non-formal groups. It is easier to convince them about new ideas through this method because 'seeing is believing'.
The evaluation of a demonstration can be carried out by the teacher with the help of the checklist or rating scale.