M1: 6 Jan 2018 - Greenwich

Jan 6th a ‘Baker’s Dozen’ from across Kent met for a Module 1 ART Day Course, led by Graham Nabb and supported by Roger Booth. Participants were a mix of ringers, some of whom have only been learning a few years and others who have been ringing 40+ years. All of them had at least one thing in common: the desire to keep ringing alive, and therefore to be in a better position to be able to help teach new ringers.

Whether a case of refreshing skills and seeking out new ideas, or looking at teaching ringing from scratch, the course provided for both needs. A good balance of theory and practical was maintained throughout the day, and in summary covered off the following:

  • Teaching principles which have general application such as breaking things down into smaller parts, applying the theory of muscle memory and listening/observing carefully - at the same time being aware of the particular learning style or preference of the student; also thinking about motivation and encouragement whilst not shying away from giving constructive feedback
  • Basics of good handling and exercises one can mix and match to help ensure the student starts off with good habits and develops and retains a good handling style
  • How to detect and address handling issues and nip them in the bud.

The course also tried to prepare participants for next steps - so they would be in a position to receive mentoring and even work with other teachers in a group setting, which can be helpful to both student and teacher, as there is more variety, more sharing of ideas and often the atmosphere can be even more conducive to learning.

Graham’s teaching was clear, structured and engaging. This reflected one of the benefits of ART courses, which is the ‘systematisation’ of the learning, so that everything is broken down and covered so there should be no gaps in those crucial learning fundamentals. It also brings in low-risk ways of starting off - e.g. from bell in the down position, or consciously ringing below the balance. I have had teachers and mentors who are ART and non-ART advocates, and all have been very good. But if we want to grow ringing, then there is a need for this structured learning to give an opportunity to those keen to teach who might otherwise never get a chance until someone else retires, then won’t necessarily feel comfortable taking it on, and simply the increase the numbers of good teachers.

All in all a worthwhile day, and time well spent in the company of other ringers!

Caroline Stockmann, KCACR

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Course Tutor: Graham Nabb

Teaching Bell Handling

Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.

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