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Treflienne

"Demonstrate" versus "Show"

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What is the difference between "demonstrate" and "show" in the S-T-1-2 rank requirements?   Is there one?   And can anyone point me to any official BSA resources stating the difference (or the lack of difference) between the two?

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Posted (edited)

Two more syllables.  Otherwise, "demonstrate" infers a bit more "doing" than "show".  Dictionaries say both "show" and "demonstrate" are about displaying, but "demonstrate" is about displaying the method of doing something.  

Edited by fred8033

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In the big picture, what should the scout learn from the lesson?

Barry

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"Demonstrate" implies some degree of explanation to accompany the "show".  Maybe ask "how" or "why" with "demonstrate" vs. just "what" with "show".  For practical purposes though, the two terms are synonymous.

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Thanks for the explanations so far. They are helpful. Now for the second half of my question: do any of you also have an official BSA source to point to for the differences?   That I could show to an adult who is not seeing eye-to-eye with other adults as to what exactly some of the requirements require?

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7 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

Thanks for the explanations so far. They are helpful. Now for the second half of my question: do any of you also have an official BSA source to point to for the differences?   That I could show to an adult who is not seeing eye-to-eye with other adults as to what exactly some of the requirements require?

This is about adults?:mad:Forget them! But I guess we have to do it politely  (stinking fifth point).

Thank the contentious adult for pointing out the ambiguity among the lot of you and assure him/her that you will go to the ultimate authority to decide these matters. Then:

Give your scouts a dictionary. Have them read the requirement(s) in question. Ask them what they think they think a scout actually needs to do to pass the specific requirement. Then instruct the PL/SPL to sign off only when that action is taken.

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Scouting resources are fine for understanding things specific to scouting, but to understand the English language, it is better to use sources that specialize in English language.

The best openly available source on the internet is Merriam-Webster:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demonstrate

My favorite dictionary is Oxford English Dictionary, but their real web site charges too much to use, so I will omit any pointers to it.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Treflienne said:

That I could show to an adult who is not seeing eye-to-eye with other adults as to what exactly some of the requirements require?

This is more an issue with approach than unclear definitions.  Though these sentences are worded as they are for a reason, BUT the more important point is our attitude when working with scouts.  Arguing legalities means we are not supporting the scouts in a friendly constructive way. 

Worry less about legalities and more about being supportive and helpful to the scouts. 

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Yes, I kind of read your question as "how can we work together with the other adult?" This is easy stuff, how are you going to get through the hard stuff? 

Whose the gatekeeper of the centralized method? Your a team. The team selects a designated leader. The leader understands the goal and serves the team toward that goal.

Barry

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45 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Worry less about legalities and more about being supportive and helpful to the scouts. 

Yep.  Enable the scout and you can't go wrong. Just remember the adage, "no more, no less".

Just an aside: I always like signing off the nature requirements for young scouts. I've seen some very creative ways to meet the 2nd class requirement to "show evidence of 10 wild animals..."   Had one kid come in with a bag of "stuff":  a bird's nest, a feather, a snakeskin, a turtle shell, etc.  I signed him off.  Had another kid show me pictures of road kill: dead squirrel, dead deer, dead raccoon right next to a dead vulture (guess he didn't fly off quick enough for the passing car....)  I signed him off too. Had other kids identify tracks and other signs along a hiking trail....they got their sign-offs too.

When in doubt, favor the scout.

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If I had to argue with someone over it I would say that "show" doesn't have to mean I'm the one doing it, I could "show" you someone else doing the work. Demonstrate means I'm doing it. 

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5 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Scouting resources are fine for understanding things specific to scouting, but to understand the English language, it is better to use sources that specialize in English language.

The best openly available source on the internet is Merriam-Webster:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demonstrate ...

Love MW's definition 3:  to show or prove the value or efficiency of to a prospective buyer.

Looking at the Tenderfoot reqs, I think I get the point of the choice in verbs.

"Demonstrate" applies to things you can actually do in full:

  • There's a couple of ropes lying around, the scout can pick them up and demonstrate how one would work a knot with them.
  • There's a kid who scraped himself falling off his bike in the parking lot, the scout can grab the 1st aid kit (and a PL) and demonstrate how one would apply first aid to him.

"Show" applies to things where you might have to simulate in part:

  • In spite of the killer bees and fire ants that you brought to the meeting, nobody got bit or stung. So, the scout will have to show how one would tend to the injury using a model, uninjured, appendage.
  • It is imprudent to wait until you are camping to demonstrate that you packed rain gear. Better the scout present gear in advance and show how he/she is packing it.

If you've demonstrated, you've shown. Sometimes you can't demonstrate, but you can at least show. The distinction in the requirements is to make sure the scout does the best reasonable job that can be done in proving that they have the skill.

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From the Oxford English Dictionary definition for SHOW - Demonstrate or prove.

Show (pun intended) that definition to the Scouter in question, followed by this definition

OBTUSE - Annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

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Posted (edited)
6a. Demonstrate first aid for the following:
6b. Show what to do for “hurry” cases of stopped breathing, stroke, severe bleeding, and ingested poisoning.
 
These are the First Aid requirements for Second Class, for the life of me I cannot think of any reason you couldn't substitute Demonstrate for Show, and vice versa, and end up with any different actions for completing it.
 
The difference in verbiage is probably not purposeful and is most  likely a reflection of different committees making slight variations in requirements, iteration after iteration.
 
What does your scouter friend think is the difference?
Edited by T2Eagle
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Yeah, @T2Eagle, the line I drew kinda falls apart after Tenderfoot. I was guessing that's where @Treflienne's troop was at.

I think at one time 2C 6b. had the verb "tell".

Again, this is where I put to the scouts how they should prove that they really know the material. Sometimes they set standards that are two high, and you have to talk them down from there. But, that's a better exercise than enduring adults parsing syntax.

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