• Roger Booth
    Over the next decade, I suspect that as so many of us are in the over 60 bulge, that either the 30% will increase, or that as a significant number will no longer be with us, unless they are replaced at the same rate, total membership will steadily go down.
  • Phillip George
    ...yes, I agree about bell handling stopping when physical survival is achieved. At Gt Gransden we have weekly sim practices where we practice ringing up and down, dodgy call changes and other bell control skills, as opposed to bell handling skills. However, although our ringers are safe they struggle with adjusting their ropes in or out, which is essential for good dodging. Sadly, they are all "of an age" and that definitely doesn't help. If they eventually get to ring PB5 that would be a great achievement. Probably most important is that they enjoy their ringing and come back week after week!
  • John de Overa
    I know two under 20s ringers and neither of them adjust the rope. In fact one of them has positively dangerous handling. If people aren't actively taught the extra handling skills needed to move from CCs to methods then they won't magically do it, no matter what their age. And I mean "actively taught", not "expected to pick up by osmosis" which is the way it always appears to have been in the past.
  • Paul Wotton
    Two comments:
    1. To ring call changes well you need good bell control. Whether CC is to be what they ring for the rest of their ringing lives or if it a step towards method ringing, each change should be clean. It should not be acceptable for ringers to gradually, if at all, get their bell into the right place after a number of rows. So if you are moving a large bells down a place you will need the same bell control techniques as you do for hunting down in a method. This speaks to good CC being about ringers knowing what place they are in so they can adjust their striking being more important that knowing which bell they are following.
    2. Bell control technique needs to be practiced and more regularly coached (if only we had the coaches). In most sports and musical activities much practice focuses on basic techniques: the golfer's swing or the musician's scales.
  • Roger Booth
    We could have the coaches. The total number of course delegates who have attended ART Teacher Training Modules since the 2012 is 4,050 as at the end of 2020. Demand for these modules is as high as ever, with ART on track to deliver a further 50 Modules in 2020 with an average attendance of ten delegates per Module.

    Having delivered a number of these Modules as an ART Tutor, it has been interesting to observe what happens afterwards. Delegates are keen to learn teach or improve their teaching skills, but often the experienced teachers who could mentor them and help them to gain practical teaching experience do not do this. There seems to be passive aggressive resistance at all levels. Society education & training committees and PR officers who deal with web enquiries, seem to prefer to place new recruits with an existing 'known' teacher, rather than a trainee teacher. I know of examples where a recruit has been sent to a tower some distance away to learn, despite the fact that there is a potentially very good new teacher nearby. There is no a joined up strategy.

    Also, there are examples of where Old Fred who has been teaching 'his' way for many years is not happy that young Jenny, who has been on an ART Module and understands that teaching needs to be flexible and suit the pupils style of learning, is open to different ways of doing things, so Jenny never gets the opportunity to teach.

    When ART was established ten years ago, there was a lot of criticism from certain quarters that it would lead to many experienced teachers giving up teaching. However, if they have it is probably due to old age. What the exercise needs to do at all levels now is to adopt a much more supportive attitude to the 4,000 who have come on a teacher training Module in the last ten years, and the 500 odd who will attend this year. It's almost one per tower and if properly supported and brought on these people could help safeguard the future health of the exercise.
  • A J Barnfield
    Teaching needs to be taken away from local towers. New teachers need to be teaching in a supportive school environment. What we are doing is, in effect, putting probationary teachers into failing schools and wondering why things are not getting any better.

    We seem to be stuck with far too many ringers, particularly many in key roles, who don't seem to be able to envisage operating in any way that is different to the way it had been done for a century or more.

    At the moment I see enthusiasm for getting things going but the things that are being got going are the same things that were not working very well before, at least in terms of T&D.

    ART has given us a curriculum and a teacher training college but there are far too few schools in which productive teaching can take place.

    Whether it is possible to set up an adequate number of schools I don't know but at the moment there seems to be an awful lot of teaching time being wasted with learners who, for a number of reasons, are not going very far slowly.
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