Posted by brianc on August 20, 2001 at 09:45:38:
In Reply to: GUE Open Water Course posted by Bill Smith on August 19, 2001 at 20:36:05:
I believe that you are correct there's a real problem in comparing GUE to agencies with existing intro courses. Theories are great, but it's real experience that proves a point. I've worked with plenty of students who looked hopeless in their first pool or OW sessions. Patience and positive reinforcement helped these people keep working at their skills. Some of these people developed into good divers, of course some did not earn their certs. By positive reinforcement, I don't mean allowing poor skills to pass (the equivalent of social promotion), but giving people feedback on what they are doing right not just on what they are doing wrong. The "boot camp" approach to teaching works for some, but not for all. Not only those who respond to the negative approach have a hope of improving. On the other hand, effective teaching utilizing positive reinforcement requires instructors who are willing to give a student extra time and who hold teaching as a higher priority than cranking out certs and getting paid. I'm willing to withhold my judgement until I see how agency's classes actually are run, but I've read things from the GUE people that make me concerned. Someone who is an excellent graduate level intructor may be ineffective at the primary level.
Here's a couple of nice links on choosing a cert agency and standards comparisons:
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