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Thread: Teaching Qualifications

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
    Just a small aside:
    If going on a teachers course gives you qualifications in teaching, then doing courses to improve your dancing (ie workshops and classes) - shouldn't they then give out qualifications to the students?
    There are people within the LeRoc Federation who are keen to do this. There is already a medals system in place. It's just that nobody does them at the moment.

    My personal thoughts on the subject of medals is that MJ is primarily a social dance. A good social dancer is one that is sociable. The medals thing doesn't, to my mind, improve the social side of a Modern Jive night.

    The one thing MJ Medals would improve is the competitive side of MJ. It would be easy to run competitions along the lines of ballroom competitions.

    How does that sit with my proposition that teachers should be qualified? My opinion is that teachers are actually teaching and need to be trained and assessed on their ability to deliver that teaching in safety and in a manner where students learn and progress. Students don't need to be examined to join in with social dancing and there is no system of classes that requires medals.

    And, there is another danger with medals for students - snobbery and the formation of cliques. You could end up having to have a gold medal to sit by the stage!

    Having said all that, if I ever start teaching children on a regular basis I'll be getting them working towards medals. It's a fabulous incentive and a great way for them to show progress.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubble View Post
    An example: A few years back I helped a learner driver out by accompanying them so that they could practice in their own car. I was appalled at some of the advice that they had been given by their driving instructor, and when I heard some of their stories about the times it had all-gone-wrong and saw the mistakes they were making that had gone uncorrected I began to understand why they had failed 3 driving tests. I recommended that they sack their instructor and find someone else more capable. They followed my advice, got a better instructor and passed their next driving test. Therefore, in the case of my friend, that bit-of-paper held by their instructor was worse than useless.
    I think this story illustrates my point really well. Firstly, let's consider a world where driving instructors are not required to be qualified. Anybody could say, "I can drive therefore I can teach driving". Would that be good for driving or raise standards? I think not. My guess is that a qualified driving instructor who is giving students bad advice will eventually be found out by people who can do something about it.

    Now, let's consider the world or MJ vs the imaginary world where driving instructors have no requirement to be trained or qualified. The world of MJ is actually worse - in the imaginary world of unqualified driving instruction you will have passed a driving test. In the REAL world of MJ there are teachers who have passed absolutely no test whatsoever!

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by jojiver View Post
    I should 'fess up at the beginning that I am a Ceroc teacher of 10+ years. A few years ago I had a break from dancing to have a baby and I decided to go to an 'independent' freestyle when I started dancing again because I wanted to be anonymous in my size 16 trousers! The teacher, who I had never met before approached me for a dance and asked me where I had 'sprung from'. I gave a vague response about having had a break from dancing and he asked if I would like to teach for him sometime. I politely refused.

    The following week I attended one of his class nights and the 'teacher' was joining in with the lesson, whilst a man who was clearly one of the customers was on-stage teaching. In freestyle I grabbed the teacher and asked why he wasn't teaching that night. He replied that he likes to use the punters because it helps people realise how easy it is to dance!!

    Their nights were well attended and the customers were clearly happy to participate in a lesson taught by their peers. I was appalled that nobody seemed to think there was anything wrong with it.
    What is wrong with it?

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    What is wrong with it?
    Nothing, as I think uou know - he was teaching moves. You can learn moves by watching youtube. Nobody teaches us to walk, and dancing is part of being a human being almost as much as walking is. The difference is we are taught not to dance.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinso...reativity.html

    (watch it)

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    ...my proposition that teachers should be qualified...
    Question: do you mean you think it should be required by law to be qualified before teaching?

    If not required by law, then what benefit do qualifications bring and to who?

    (the qualification, not the training.)

    Clarification: I'm all for teachers studying the art of teaching and not for legal requirements.

    Observation: The good teachers I know think about it lots.

    Palpitation: This is the exciting bit.

    Reiteration: This is where I repeat the first bit. Or you can just read it again.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    Question: do you mean you think it should be required by law to be qualified before teaching?

    If not required by law, then what benefit do qualifications bring and to who?

    (the qualification, not the training.)

    Clarification: I'm all for teachers studying the art of teaching and not for legal requirements.
    I don't think there's going to be legislation about dance teaching. I think hirers should be encouraged to make qualification a condition of hire. I'm not sure how this can be achieved. Any suggestions?

    I think the real requirement is dance teacher training - I've spent a great deal of time being trained and giving training, often for free! Qualification and certification is proof that training has been done and has been successful.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    . I think hirers should be encouraged to make qualification a condition of.. hire. I'm not sure how this can be achieved. Any suggestions?
    .
    The nice way of encouraging someone to do something, is to offer a benefit
    The, not so nice way, is to threaten them with dire consequences, if they do not comply
    I cannot see any benefits to a hires in insisting teachers have a piece of paper, that is not a legal requirement
    This leaves the threat option. You had mentioned safely several times, so you could try and make out MJ is dangerous and should only be taught by qualified teachers. I have seen this sort of threat use by people in other walks of life.
    The result, in one case, was the total ban on the activity, by any one, qualified or not
    In another case, the council consulted their legal department, who recommend in an addition to a qualification, a considerable number of other constraints. The end result, the fee to use the facility went up tenfold and the paperwork went from a single sheet of A4, to several 100 page documents

    Encouraging the general public, they are better off using a qualified professional is fine, and this happens in many professions e.g. photography, but at the end of the day the public should be free to choose how and where they learn to dance

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I think hirers should be encouraged to make qualification a condition of hire.
    Why though? Who benefits?
    If you reword it to 'hirers should be encouraged to employ teachers who have been trained', and ‘teachers should be encouraged to train’ then I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    Qualification and certification is proof that training has been done and has been successful.
    Here I disagree. Certification is proof that training has been done. Being a good teacher is proof that it has been successful. (To be a little more cynical, certification is proof that a certificate has been made. Good teaching is proof that someone is a good teacher.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I think the real requirement is dance teacher training - I've spent a great deal of time being trained and giving training...
    So for me the question is how to we encourage more training, not how do we encourage qualifications. Actually, if we are to keep our eye on the goal, we need to encourage better teaching, and consider training as one of the many prongs in a fork that might pick up that sausage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I think hirers should be encouraged .... I'm not sure how this can be achieved. Any suggestions?
    (I’ve replaced some of the quote with dots since I don’t agree with the original sausage.)
    Hirers can be encouraged by witnessing, over time, the obvious increase in quality amongst those teachers who have undergone training, resulting in bigger classes, better dancing or fewer lawsuits. This can be encouraged by creating brilliant training courses that achieve the above results. And then telling everyone about them.

    This seems to me what you are already trying to do, but the emphasise on qualifications seems to be what is alienating many people who would otherwise sympathise with your aim. Perhaps insteade an emphasis on all the things one could learn, and the actual benefits of training, which for the teacher would hopefully be:

    Greater confidence
    Faster results amongst students
    Less injuries amongst students
    Access to a network of like minded professionals
    Pride in performing your role better
    Access to the accrued knowledge of many teachers

    Over time a qualification may become associated with professional teaching, if results are consistent enough, and that can be a useful shortcut way of recognising a good sausage.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    I would hope a qualified teacher would understand the mechanisms of learning. Even a few hours spent on youtube is enough to convince me that none of the teachers of Modern Jive I have come across teach in a way consistent with those principals. Fr one thing motor skills are learned by rote. "Practise makes permament" is on the way to being true. It is very important that any errors in execution are caught early and corrected before they are practised. To do that the teacher has to give some individual attention to every pupil. This is just not possible in large classes.

    I would say that a "teaching" qualification for Modern Jive is not relevant in the current practise. "Class supervision" might be closer to the reality.

    This video is very rich in ideas and is relevant to Modern Jive in all sorts of ways, but one post is too small to say why.


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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    vid I posted also mentions stats & formulae often outperform expert intuition. This is my experience too. IMO the Ceroc database should be national and better data collected to enhance customer retention.

    It also mentions that negative images spread to related negative emotions. One practical example where I believe this applies is teaching arm rolls. Our local teachers emphasise very graphically that this move can be dangerous if done wrongly. IMO if the teaching the move has to be accompanied by such warnings then the move should not be taught at all in normal classes.

    Distractions make learning more difficult. Trying to hold three moves in mind whilst learning a fourth is a substantial distraction. I believe the 4 move Ceroc intermediate class should comprise less taught better. These matters should not be matters of opinion but fact, and should be tested.

    Every week people join and people come for the last time. Ceroc has a big enough membership to collect statistics on what percentage of people fail to return correlated with the personnel and classes taught. Locally we do sometimes get asked "who liked that move", better than nothing but not scientific. Very occasionally 1/4 or more drop out of a class. What is taught and by whom matters. IMO Ceroc should learn from the successes and correct bad practises, but to do that it has to have objective measuring methods in place.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Just a quick reply to andys posts earlier. Obv great timing knowing I'm at camber and was unlikley to reply!!!! The certs are given out by the people who run the test rather than the sports awards body direct. Will have to wait till I get home to give full details, hell, I'll scan and upload a copy!!! I'm not gong to reply directly back to you any more andy as I realise in doing so I'm starting to sound like you and that's pretty depressing.I'll let you take your fustration of failing dance classes out on someone else.

    Back to topic, It is unreasonable to expect all dance teachers to have undergone teacher qualifications for a start most dance teachers start out as crew and end up getting their first taste of teaching when they cover for the teacher. Another reason is a qualification like the leroc exam is not suited to everyones style of teaching.

    Maybe we should be wondering if the leroc exam is good enough for the current dance evironment. How many people actually think a teacher is better because they have taken it?

    I for a long time avoided all leroc teachers after having bad experiance with some, thinking they all taught bad, when I first started dancing!

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    I would hope a qualified teacher would understand the mechanisms of learning.
    Hmmmm couple of random thoughts. Though I still believe the CTA qualification to be far and away the best (of a bad bunch?), I'm not sure that Ceroc is advocated as primarily a comprehensive teaching style. For all the pompous words we find on the forum when it comes to teaching dance, Ceroc (ad most MJ) is about getting people who 'don't dance' onto dance floor in large numbers and quickly. If they learn to dance on the way ... great ... but is that why most people do MJ?

    For me, re dance qualification, a bigger issue is the overblown claims of instructors be they qualified or not. One recent incident that had me in stitches was a 'Competition workshop' being taught by a 'Champion' ..... who to my knowledge his only claim to fame was coming second (NOT first) in a secondary category at a minor competition ... and other than that has failed to get placed in even in the Intermediate category. How the heck can they then claim to be qualified to teach??? That is such a falsehood that you'd think the ASA would be interested. Mind you, the fact that he's now taught a workshop means that he will now have to compete against the big boys in the Open Category

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    Hmmmm couple of random thoughts. Though I still believe the CTA qualification to be far and away the best (of a bad bunch?), I'm not sure that Ceroc is advocated as primarily a comprehensive teaching style. For all the pompous words we find on the forum when it comes to teaching dance, Ceroc (ad most MJ) is about getting people who 'don't dance' onto dance floor in large numbers and quickly. If they learn to dance on the way ... great ... but is that why most people do MJ?...
    It is what it is, and its success is a matter of record.

    I happen to be married to a teacher and have seen the tremendous amount of intellectual backing and hard work there is behind her practise. I have helped type out three page reports on each child in the class with records of achievement and next objectives and methods. "Teaching qualification" has different connotations for me.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    So for me the question is how to we encourage more training, not how do we encourage qualifications. Actually, if we are to keep our eye on the goal, we need to encourage better teaching, and consider training as one of the many prongs in a fork that might pick up that sausage.
    I think this is absolutely right. Rather like saying you are taking a degree I'd assumed that people would understand that study was essential to the exam and the degree is just a piece of paper that proved you'd studied and has retained what you'd studied long enough to sit the exam. What you can do with your degree is something else - but that is why you started in the first place.

    As Amir says, I've been selling the sausage when I should have been selling the sizzle.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubble View Post
    A qualification can only add value if the minimum standard is, and remains sufficient.

    An example: A few years back I helped a learner driver out by accompanying them so that they could practice in their own car. I was appalled at some of the advice that they had been given by their driving instructor, and when I heard some of their stories about the times it had all-gone-wrong and saw the mistakes they were making that had gone uncorrected I began to understand why they had failed 3 driving tests. I recommended that they sack their instructor and find someone else more capable. They followed my advice, got a better instructor and passed their next driving test. Therefore, in the case of my friend, that bit-of-paper held by their instructor was worse than useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I think this story illustrates my point really well. Firstly, let's consider a world where driving instructors are not required to be qualified. Anybody could say, "I can drive therefore I can teach driving". Would that be good for driving or raise standards? I think not. My guess is that a qualified driving instructor who is giving students bad advice will eventually be found out by people who can do something about it.

    Now, let's consider the world or MJ vs the imaginary world where driving instructors have no requirement to be trained or qualified. The world of MJ is actually worse - in the imaginary world of unqualified driving instruction you will have passed a driving test. In the REAL world of MJ there are teachers who have passed absolutely no test whatsoever!
    I was an unqualified driving instructor to my friend. It's just that I didn't take any money, firstly because I was doing it as a favour and secondly because it would have been illegal anyway. The situation of 'unqualified' driving instructors already exists in an unofficial sense, so there's no need to merely consider it. My friend gained more insight during the few hours that I helped them than they would have done in another year with their 'qualified' instructor. We all know people who never seem to get found out for the sham that they are, MJ would be no different.

    My friend assumed that because their instructor had a 'bit of paper' that their lack of progress must be due to their own shortcomings. They failed three driving tests because their instructor wasn't spotting or correcting their mistakes. Because they had never been accompanied on a lesson and they had only ever had one instructor they didn't know that their instructor was a very poor specimen. And that is precisely the danger, the 'virgin dancer' may conclude that because their 'teacher' has that 'bit of paper' that they will be getting good tuition, in actual fact the reverse may be true. This is the exact opposite of your argument, but I have seen it happen!

    In my years of dancing I've learned far more from the MJ teachers with no 'qualifications' than the teachers that had them, I'm sure plenty of other MJ dancers would say exactly the same. Of the teachers I've known it was always the 'unqualified' who were attending workshops to improve their knowledge, the 'qualified' teachers seemed to take little or no interest in what might be termed continuing-professional-development. Nuff said!

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    First of all, I think Bubble did a great job helping her friend pass their driving test. Well done Bubble. We've all seen it, for example, my daughter was convinced that the speed limit is 70mph on a single track road where the national speed limit applies - her driving instructor told her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubble View Post
    In my years of dancing I've learned far more from the MJ teachers with no 'qualifications' than the teachers that had them, I'm sure plenty of other MJ dancers would say exactly the same. Of the teachers I've known it was always the 'unqualified' who were attending workshops to improve their knowledge, the 'qualified' teachers seemed to take little or no interest in what might be termed continuing-professional-development. Nuff said!
    I think this is true. And I believe this is the situation that needs to change. There really is very little "continuing professional development" for modern jive teachers. However, identifying a problem is very different from finding a solution. But is does move us from "unconscious incompetence" to "conscious incompetence". Of course the former is a much more comfortable world with nice fluffy edges. The latter is a world where you're not sure how to move the next stage "conscious competence" - my guess is that training would do the trick - and some kind of test to make sure the training has sunk in - then some kind of on-going training and evaluation to make sure standards are maintained. How does that sound for a start? And no, I've no idea how this Utopia could happen*

    *Before Rocky says it, I know it happens in Twickenham once a month

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    I'd characterise this as saying it's the same level as a GCSE grade D-G (which is an indication of how hard/difficult it is to pass individual parts of the qualification) but in terms of the amount of work required, it's a fair bit smaller than a GCSE.
    I know - that is why I carefully added the last sentence!

    Basically it looks like one of the SQA units
    Very often these are units that are around 30 hours long - can be carried out one after another to create larger qualifications / contribute to degree levels etc, or can be done at night / part time for CPD or enjoyment

    Thanks for reading carefully

    WT

    PS I work in one of the Sister quangos to the SQA so I do know the difference

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    This is still an interesting thread. Amazing!

    I am generally sceptical of qualifications. I would much rather see the statistics and reviews held by driving instructors than their qualifications. This is similar to amazon book sellers, who all have ratings and any 'cow boys' quickly get spotted for consistently low rating. Obviously statistics can be deceiving and can encourage dubious behaviour, but I'm not saying it would be a perfect system. Just that it would be slightly better, or a useful addition to, qualifications. The best instructors would tend to have great stats, the worst would tend to have bad ones. Stats such as how many of your students have passed and after how many attempts would be impossible to fake if the system was run by the test taking people.

    In dancing it would be hard to devise any relevant statistics, but an unbiased online review system of classes and freestyles is feasible, if someone created a way to minimise abuse of this system by the boring politics of the dance scene. Bad reviews may encourage those receiving them to seek further training. You could have student reviews and peer-based reviews, where teachers assess each other for quality and safety. This would encourage those who are poorly reviewed to seek further training.

    Anyway it would be good for more teacher training to be available, and encouraged. I think for training to be widely taken up by many teachers it would need to be available and affordable. Discreet for those who for whatever reason are insecure about it, but perhaps fancy qualifications may suit those who want to boast about it. And obviously the training would have to be really good, run by people who have actually been trained to teach teachers. Otherwise it would all be a bit hypocritical!

    (But who would train the teacher trainer trainer? …Who qualifies the qualifier of qualifiers to qualify?)

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    (But who would train the teacher trainer trainer? …Who qualifies the qualifier of qualifiers to qualify?)
    This is the difficult bit. I think we all have ideas about the good teachers on the MJ scene. Although I'm not sure if they are the same ideas!

    Also, there's a huge amout of resource about teacher training that could be drawn upon from other dances. The world of ballroom looks interesting. I've had many ballroom teachers over the years and they were all lovely, relaxed ladies of a certain age. Somebody must be training these ladies to teach. And we need to find out who that is.

    N.B. The one thing that still worries me is Modern Jive itself. In ballroom and Latin American the dance is very clearly defined. In Modern Jive the definition isn't that clear. I think that part of the joy of Modern Jive is that lack of a clear definition - you can dance MJ in very different ways and still be doing the same dance. But is does mean the examiners are required to have a flexibility when judging students.

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    Re: Teaching Qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    In dancing it would be hard to devise any relevant statistics, but an unbiased online review system of classes and freestyles is feasible, if someone created a way to minimise abuse of this system by the boring politics of the dance scene. Bad reviews may encourage those receiving them to seek further training. You could have student reviews and peer-based reviews, where teachers assess each other for quality and safety. This would encourage those who are poorly reviewed to seek further training.
    There is a sytem in place in schools which works very well. All teachers are qualified, obviously, but the teaching within those schools is assessed and pass rates for students is published regularly.

    You never know, we might find that proximity to a successful MJ school could influence house prices.

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