The “art” of teaching calls for knowing what a student needs in order to learn and advance. Also, the student’s learning style needs to be known. Is the student a visual, auditory, or kinematic learner? We all learn through each of these methods but usually favor or prefer one.
Today, in teaching golf, the hot topic is technology. In my nearly 50 years of teaching (all types of subject matter) I have seen teaching aids of all kinds and types. The original teaching aid was probably a set of written pages (or stone tables?) which became a book. After that probably came the chalk board and the pencil. Most every teaching aid has (had?) a good purpose and can be used effectively to HELP teach. Knowing HOW to use a teaching aid is only part of the teaching equation. Also, knowing WHEN to use a teaching aid is important. Does it match the students learning style and does it really help improve the lesson and learning.
Throughout my teaching career I have seen technology used because it held interest for the teacher and perhaps made their presentation of material (which is NOT teaching) easier. It may have impressed the student with the “wow” factor but did the student learn and improve? Computers and programs have got quite the wow factor but often the aid to learning is minimal and doesn’t justify the additional cost to learn.
Many students have been led to believe that unless some high tech instrument is used in a lesson they are not getting their monies worth. Unfortunately the cost of today’s technological teaching aids has become prohibitive and can only be justified by increasing the cost of a lesson. I recently heard a Golf Professional say his lab had over $100,000 in teaching equipment. So, lessons keep costing more money and students scores overall don’t improve. (The average score of 100 has not changed for decades.)
The price of a lesson should be weighted by the the cost of the support materials needed. Beginner and intermediate students can be taught with appropriate (and usually low cost) teaching aids. Thus keeping the cost of a beginning lesson low. Advanced students may benefit from more expensive aids and technology and thus should expect to pay for the use of that equipment. Finally, the professional may need the most advanced technology and should be willing to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for it’s use by a teacher.
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