Below is the summary presentation made by ACA’s office of Safety Education and Instruction at the Fall-2013 SEIC meeting in Bend, Oregon. This provides a great overview of the activity of education that ACA is a part of as well as activities of the ACA SEI office. If you’ve ever asked yourself what your SEIC dues pay for, you can see it in the pages of this presentation.
A new version (9/29/2013) version of the SEIC Policy Manual has been posted on the ACA website that reflects a change approved by SEIC in its recent meeting in Bend, OR.
The change appears in Chapter 3.C.7 which now reads:
“ITs upgrading within a discipline or ITs attempting to certify in a subsequent discipline must lead an IDW/ICE at the new level or in the new discipline under the direct supervision of a mentoring ITE. ITs are eligible to conduct this lead teach provided they are already an appropriately certified ACA Instructor at the level of the lead teach, and have taught and properly reported at least two skills courses at the desired level in lieu of the two year minimum requirement (Chapter 3.B.2.a.)”
The following reasoning behind the change was offered to SEIC for consideration of the change:
“Currently there exists a discrepancy in the intent and interpretation of Chapter 3.C.7 in relation to Chapter 3.B.2. The ACA Office has received numerous requests for currently certified ITs and even ITEs who would like to conduct a lead teach in a new discipline in order to have the opportunity to become an IT in a subsequent discipline as per 3.C.7. These ITs and ITEs have successfully passed the Instructor Course at the new discipline/level, but are now required to wait for two years (3.B.2) before they can start the IT lead teach under 3.C.7. This is an unnecessary barrier for appropriately skilled ITs and ITEs. Since an individual has already gone through the entire process of becoming an IT, they already possess all the attributes of becoming an IT in a new discipline with the exception of hard paddling skills and any specific technical knowledge in the new discipline. Since they have taken and passed an Instructor Course at the new discipline, they should now have the hard paddling skills and technical knowledge required. The mentoring ITE in their lead teach would then be responsible for making sure that the IT Candidate was able to convey all aspects of the course at the ‘IT Level’ during their lead teach. The two year waiting period seems arbitrary in this process.”
The change affects all SEIC disciplines. The River Kayak Committee will publish complete minutes of the September, 2013 SEIC meeting on this site when they are available from SEIC. Thanks to RKC Secretary Janet Burnett Cowie for representing RKC at that meeting!
A few minor edits to the River Kayak Day-Trip Leading Assessment have been made and the updated assessment curriculum and exam are now posted on the ACA website. The passing score for the exam is now correctly listed as 28/40 questions (70% score) as intended by the rewrite by the River Kayak Committee in its most recent updates.
The “Instructor Guide” and exam answer key are now available by request to all instructors qualified to teach this assessment from the ACA SEI office <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All L4+ River Kayak Instructors, IT and ITE may offer this assessment in addition to any L3 River Kayak Instructors who have successfully completed this endorsement.
ACA has published reference to a national boating standards survey related to potential skills assessment standards for human powered craft. It’s not clear where this is headed, but what could be certain is that if we pass up an opportunity for instructors to comment, we don’t have many legs to stand on resulting from our silence. Please participate and give your opinions.
ACA is encouraging instructors to submit articles to the ACA Journal of Paddlesport Education as a means to help improve your sport, get your ideas out into the community of your peers and encourage the evolution of paddlesport education. These articles don’t need to be a tome proposing any single “best way” to do something (but feel free to share if you know something like that!). You can present a new way of looking at an old topic, an observation you’ve made on teaching or learning or an opinion or question about the state of paddlesport education.
The U.S. Coast Guard has released the 2011 National Recreational Boating Survey (pdf). These reports highlight recreational boating uses in the United States and provide some good insight for instructors on national trends in the paddlesports.
The following report was submitted to ACA’s Safety Education and Instruction Council (SEIC) in advance of the March 15, 2013 SEIC meeting scheduled in Fredericksburg, VA.
ACA River Kayak Committee
March, 2013 Report
The River Kayak Committee welcomes two new members for 2013: Chris Wing from North Carolina and Jeff Laxier from California. Mary DeRiemer and Phil DeRiemer have resigned as At-Large members albeit Mary is remaining as an Affiliate member. Mark Moore, previously a Division Representative, was appointed an At-Large member for 2013. Doug Davis was reappointed as Dixie Division Representative. Dave Herpy was reappointed Ohio-Penn Division Representative. Bruce Lessels was appointed as New England Division Representative. Continue reading →
The River Kayak Committee welcomes 2013 and a couple of new members including Chris Wing from North Carolina and Jeff Laxier from California. We’d also like to recognize the participation and service of Anne Sontheimer, Phil DeRiemer and Mary DeRiemer who are leaving the Committee as At-Large members (albeit Mary is continuing as an Affiliate member so we’ll still have her valuable guidance). Congratulations to those who have been appointed At-Large and Divisional Representatives for the year as well as all of the Committee’s returning officers. See the 2013 roster here.
In a 2013 kickoff email, the Committee has outlined targets for the upcoming year’s discussions, much of it including SEIC-wide projects that will affect not only the River Kayak curriculum, but also that of other disciplines. We’ll try to keep updates of activities posted here on this site throughout the year.
River Kayak curriculum reviews during 2012 left the “hanging chad” of nomenclature for the various draw strokes. There was considerable discussion about what to call the various draws and associated maneuvers (i.e. variously, slicing draw, sculling draw, draw to the hip, sideslip, draw-on-the-move, static draw, dynamic draw, etc.). The Committee would like to establish a workgroup to establish whether changes are necessary and if so, harmonize and standardize this language among our curriculum documents (skills, assessment, certification courses).
During 2012, the SEIC Standards Committee (on which the RKC Chair participates for RK considerations) proposed changes to time prerequisites (two years) prior to becoming certified as an L5 instructor, IT or ITE. The Standards Committee sees a lot of requests for waivers of these policies. In lieu of a time-requirement, the committee believed the result would be better served by a change to a teaching requirement as a prerequisite. The following language was proposed by the Standards Committee at the November 2012 SEIC meeting but was tabled in favor of allowing disciplines comment and input. The River Kayak Committee will discuss these proposals and report back to the Standards Committee on our conclusions.
Instructor Trainer candidates are required to report at least six classes in the four years prior to beginning their candidacy. Three or more of these classes must be at the level of IT certification being pursued. Although instructors may assist an IT teaching an ICW, assisting will not be credited towards the IT process unless 6 courses have been reported. Level 5 instructor candidates must report at least 3 level-4 courses before taking a level-5 ICW. This policy does not apply to disciplines that allow instructor candidates to become level-5 instructors at their initial certification. Instructor Trainer Educator candidates must teach and report at least two ICWs, one update and one skills or assessment course at or above their desired ITE level. All course must be reported before the ITE application is submitted.
Develop classroom credentialing. This is a topic assigned disciplines by SEIC and refers to a need to develop a category of “Instructor” (or some other term) who would be capable of providing a classroom-only curriculum on paddlesports, but no on-water instruction. The River Kayak Committee will be working with other discipline committees to evaluate and develop this topic. It’s likely that the outcome of this will not be development of a discipline-specialist, but rather a generalist who can deliver content on all paddlesports, something like SmartStart curriculum. The product will need to identify both curriculum and “credentialing” criteria.
Generate more online resources as tools for instructors. There is a tremendous amount of electronic information being made public that can serve both instructors and the paddling public. The River Kayak Committee will look at identifying a mechanism for RKC to be able to identify and serve as a clearing house for (or even to directly develop) this type of information as well as proposing a mechanism to carry this activity forward even after our current members are no longer on the committee (i.e. a legacy product that can be easily maintained and built upon).
Generating effective coaching material. This is a workgroup being led by the new SEIC co-chair Todd Johnstone-Wright. Mike Aronoff has already agreed to serve on it and other RKC members may also join in. The purpose is to address more refined materials related to the ideas of “coaching” and developing candidates and paddlers and possibly to better develop materials that prepare instructors to conduct assessments.
ACA’s River Kayak Committee is a volunteer-run organization consisting of ACA certified River Kayak instructors, ITs and ITEs. Voting At-Large and Divisional Representatives are appointed annually to represent regional RK instructor interests. The Committee however welcomes participation by any ACA member as Affiliate members of the Committee. Affiliates will be included in official correspondence of the Committee. The Committee also welcomes the informal input of any ACA River or L1 Kayak instructor. Your ideas, suggestions and comments help add to the strength, value and validity of the work of the Committee. Contact email@example.com with any comment you may have or feel free to comment directly to the blog here.
Taking a look at the distribution of L1 Kayak and River Kayak Instructors around the United States. Some interesting distributions are depicted. There is certainly some relationship to location, activity and number of IT/ITE and in the case of Ohio, involvement with mandatory boater safety education. Though IT and ITE are not included in this list, keep in mind that the 65+ of those can and do also teach basic students at many of these levels.
Are there areas/levels where more instructors (and/or IT/ITE) are needed? L1 is certainly a growing market for paddlesports instruction in the country with recreational kayaking one of the fastest paddlesports growth areas. ALL ACA kayak instructors are certified to teach L1.