The RSCDS offers a range of courses to those who wish to improve their teaching skills. Training courses and associated examinations are run by the worldwide network of Branches and also at the annual RSCDS Summer School in St. Andrews. With tuition provided by the RSCDS, tutors and mentors are assessed by RSCDS examiners, all of whom are experienced teachers that have undergone additional training.
Basic Teaching Skills
A popular Basic Teaching Skills course is offered on an ad-hoc basis where and when sufficient interest is shown and suitable tuition is available. Generally held over a weekend, this non-examined 12-hour course provides an introduction to the various skills involved in teaching Scottish Country Dancing.
A more specialised but similar course offers a basic introduction to teaching Scottish Country Dancing to children, the Basic Teaching Skills - Children.
At the opposite extreme, the intensive Teaching Certificate (Parts 1 and 2) includes periods of tuition/study, practical teaching and examinations, undertaken over the course of at least two years and generally three or more. It comprises a written paper (Unit 1), a practical dancing examination (Unit 2), teaching practice (Unit 4) and two examined training courses in different levels of teaching skills (Units 3 and 5).
Core Teaching Qualification (CTQ)
Difficulties of access to teacher-training courses stand in the way of many aspiring teachers, whether due to personal constraints of time and expense or to local (or national) unavailability of tuition. The proposed Core Teaching Qualification, now in preparation, is being designed to address these problems, through extensive use of electronic media and mentored learning while actively teaching a class.
Downloadable teaching resources and a candidates’ forum where aspiring teachers can exchange views and experience will form part of the CTQ package but should, it is hoped, prove of wider interest and be helpful to all who wish to learn to teach or to improve their teaching skills.
Financial constraints should not deter would-be teachers from attending courses at Summer School nor Branches from organising local teacher-training courses; the RSCDS offers several generous scholarships and funding schemes to provide assistance.
Several Teachers’ Associations around the world offer support and encouragement to teachers and facilitate fruitful communication among them. The exchange of views will be further encouraged by a teachers’ forum (currently still in the planning stage).
Both the Teachers’ Associations and the RSCDS also aim to further the teaching of Scottish Country Dance by providing resources and CPD courses.