At 20:11 19/02/2001 +1100, Strike wrote:
>> ...back to my point, I'm not going to alter (compromise) a better system
>> and then stand in front of would be divers and tell them this is the way
>> you do it (ie. tell them something I don't beleive).
>Any instructor who attempts to teach others something that s/he doesn't
>believe is, in my books, an idiot! :-)

My point, to teach locally I would need to make changes I'm not prepared to
make.  There are agencies I could teach through where I could probably
teach the way I'd want to.  Currently I don't have the desire to spend my
free time doing that so no impetus to chase this.

I don't think Instructors consciously choose to teach poor technique, more
go along with the flow without really sitting down and evaluating the logic
of the techniques taught.  Even if they did there would be a lot of inertia
to overcome in changing the type of equipment used by shops or the
standards of a particular agency.

>An Instructor is - in my book - only a person who has an aptitude for
>teaching ...

One hopes, are candidates adequately scrutinised.  What is the failure rate
from most Instructor courses?

>...and can follow the guidelines laid down by whatever agency they
>belong to.  It is not a mark of diving prowess or a qualification that,
>somehow, imparts superior skills or knowledge to the holder!  A *true*
>instructor is - to my way of thinking - a person who's, "Been thar! Dun
>That!"  :-)

After 100 dives?  Ok, let's not go there.  But it IS seen as a mark of
diving prowess, superior skills/knowledge, sexual prowess, alcohol
tolerance,  etc  :-)

I really object to the presumption many folks seem to have that
DM/Instructor is a natural progression and not progressing along this path
is somehow a reflexion on your competency or the value of the
information/experience you impart.  I'd like to think I could gain repect
from what I know and do (have done), rather than from what cards I've
collected alone.

>> (this is a dig, but not at anyone in particular).
>I should think not! (I've yet to meet a DM who didn't know more than the
>instructor and who couldn't point up the faults in the teaching process!)

Rather a narrow assessment of my point of view.  I left the last part of my
post open so it could apply to divers of any level.  IMO many people
(Instructors, newby divers, etc) look on their cards/certificates as an end
to their training/learning (in a particular specialty area) and there
doesn't seem to be an obvious desire to progress that knowledge.  Maybe
it's a result of time constraints or maybe it's "uncool" to be seen to be
too anal about your equipment or about study.  Being able to quote the
latin names of every nudibranch seen on a dive or describe how the RGBM
differs from traditional Haldanian decompression models is probably not as
cool as being able to scull five pints of lager and remain standing  :-)

More on your dig about DM's knowing more  :-)   When it comes to marine
biology (I have the academic transcripts to prove it), equipment and
perhaps a number of other areas of diving (local maritime heritage,
physiology, decompression theory, etc), THIS DM probably does know more
than most Instructors I associate with (and most would readily admit this,
why else would they refer questions on these matters to me).  Now as far as
teaching techniques.  Well I'm an academic but that doesn't mean I can
teach  :-)   I have been trained in teaching of skills and theory to the
Dive Control level and I give guest lectures to students up to Dive Control
level.  I DON'T walk into OW classes and undermine the Instructor by
challenging his/her knowledge on a particular topic (generally I don't have
much to do with OW classes at all).  If someone (Instructor/student) asks
my opinion I'll give it.  I would take offence to being publically scorned
for the way I do things or for my interests and wouldn't consciously
inflict that on anyone else.

I reserve the right to think the techniques I use are better than others
(and express that opinion) until shown a better way.  Feel free to make any
suggestions  :-)


Simon L Hartley
RSM Website Coordinator\First Year Course Coordinator
Associate Lecturer
School of Resource Science and Management
Southern Cross University
P.O. Box 157
Lismore NSW, Australia 2480
Ph: (02) 66203251 or (61 66) 203 251
Fax:(02) 66212669
E-mail: [log in to unmask]