STAGES OF LEARNING
TYPICAL LEARNING STAGES
STAGE 1: The student resists the teacher’s instruction. There is absolutely no co- operation, even when asked to do some of the simplest of tasks, like standing on the platform, reaching, submersion, or leaning back on the teacher’s shoulder.
STAGE 2: The student is more accepting now. When the teacher initiates a skill, the stu- dent does not resist. In fact, as the level of cooperation improves, the student begins to contribute to the teacher’s directives. Teacher and student begin to “dance” with each other. The teacher leads. The student follows. At this point, the teacher is still a crutch.
STAGE 3: The student’s confidence improves. Now he begins initiating the execution of the skill. The student becomes the leader and the teacher is the follower. However, the student still appreciates light spotting from his teacher. Now the teacher is “Dumbo’s Feather”. (In Dis- ney’s story, Dumbo, the elephant was able to fly as long as he held a feather with his trunk.)
STAGE 4: The student is confident and competent enough to execute the skill independently.
TYPICAL EMOTIONAL PHASES
PHASE 1: The new student resists, cries, does not trust, etc… because of fear, uncertainty, caution, etc.
PHASE 2: The student now realizes swimming is OK and FUN. You will notice cooperation, interest, confidence, smiles. At this point, the child should receive her SMART FISH GRADE 3 “I Love 2 Swim” skill card.
PHASE 3: The now very confident student enters into a comfort zone. She will not be ambitious to learn more. She will become resistant again, especially if she is in that very self-determined Age of Contrary (18 months to age 3). Some- times the child will snap out of this plateau when grouped with another child who is more cooperative. If group lessons are not possible, try to schedule the child to be taught privately at the same time as another private lesson student of similar ability and age.
PHASE 4: The student is happy and open to learning again. She wants to improve her skills, because she is finally understanding that improved skills translates to increased fun, especially if it means that she will be more able to keep up with her peers.