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A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships
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Author:  Elida [ Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships

Hi Guys!

RE: A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships

Recently across the UK I have noticed a trend for teachers to become registered with more than one well-known Dance Teaching Society; as if they are ‘collecting’ as many memberships as possible in order to appear ‘extra qualified’. For example, one teacher I came across listed she was a member with the following; RAD, ISDT, IDTA, NCDTA, NDTA, ICD, BDC (!).

Personally I would assume such teachers are no more ‘qualified’ than a teacher registered with only one reputable society, and have simply paid more annual fees with a multitude of organisation in order to appear to be held in higher regard and/or more experienced/knowledgeable compared to their competitors.

However, I wished to know your opinions as to if you think this is a good (or bad) practice, and also, if you believe there are any real benefits to being a member with numerous dance teaching societies (bar if you would like to specifically put candidates in for examinations with that board)?

To students and parents of dancers specifically: I would be extremely interested to hear your opinions as to if you would automatically believe a teacher with ‘more letters after their name’ would be more highly qualified and/or a better teacher.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Kindest Wishes,
Elida

Author:  Gina Ness [ Wed May 02, 2012 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships

Well, I don't think it matters how many "letters" you have behind your name. Are you a good teacher? That's what it really comes down to, doesn't it? :wink:

Author:  GinaSinclairDavis [ Mon May 07, 2012 12:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships

Hi Elida, since the announcement of the new upcoming RAD registration levels, I believe a lot of people are digging out their old certificates and catching up on overdue memberships to various organization.

I know a couple of pretty mediocre teachers with a bunch of letters after their names, and a few brilliant teachers who have hardly any diplomas. My thinking is to study ( and do exams) in as many dance forms as you can, knowledge can never hurt.
Gina
www.GinaSinclairDavis.com

Author:  David [ Mon May 07, 2012 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A New Trend - ‘Collecting’ Dance Teacher Memberships

Quote:
I know a couple of pretty mediocre teachers with a bunch of letters after their names, and a few brilliant teachers who have hardly any diplomas. My thinking is to study ( and do exams) in as many dance forms as you can, knowledge can never hurt.

I agree. I have come across more than a few mediocre but 'qualified' teachers in my time, but equally plenty of truly excellent and inspiring ones that don't have a string of letters after their name, or at least don't make a big deal out of it. Membership of the various organisations should never be taken as a guarantee of good teaching. In practice all those memberships mean is that the individual has done a course (which often places at least as much emphasis on learning the organisation's syllabi as it does on good teaching practice) and is able to enter students in that particular organisation's examinations.

Gina, you are correct when you put 'study' first. Examinations have a place, but problems come when that is all the teacher focuses on. And, while I understand the pressures teachers come under, that happens all too often. In too many schools students do little else but exam syllabus work - the same exercises to the same music week in, week out. In an interview, former British dance educator Peter Brinson once described doing RAD as "like being in the army". Unfortunate maybe that he picked on one particular organisation, but he had a point. Such an approach may produce excellent exam results (great for presenting to parents and potential students), but does it produce thinking, creative, individual dancers? I think not.

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