"Rotating curriculum"

IcemanSK

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At the very AWESOME Foreign Instructor's Course in Chicago in October, one of the course instructors says he teaches a "rotating curriculum" for all his gup rank students. In this style, all gup students (10th gup-1st gup) do the same form for 3 months, & then they change to a different form. So yellow belts will do Tae Guek Yuk Jang with blue & brown belts. The instructor asked if anyone else in the room teaches this way & a few (5-6 as I recall) raised their hands.

I can think of all sorts of reasons why this is a terrible idea for students. Starting with the fact that poomsae obviously means nothing for this instructor.

Has anyone else heard of or employed this sort of "rotating curriculum?" How did it work for you? Would you use this idea in your school?
 

Laurentkd

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At the very AWESOME Foreign Instructor's Course in Chicago in October, one of the course instructors says he teaches a "rotating curriculum" for all his gup rank students. In this style, all gup students (10th gup-1st gup) do the same form for 3 months, & then they change to a different form. So yellow belts will do Tae Guek Yuk Jang with blue & brown belts. The instructor asked if anyone else in the room teaches this way & a few (5-6 as I recall) raised their hands.

I can think of all sorts of reasons why this is a terrible idea for students. Starting with the fact that poomsae obviously means nothing for this instructor.

Has anyone else heard of or employed this sort of "rotating curriculum?" How did it work for you? Would you use this idea in your school?

I have never actually spoken with anyone who implements this curriculum style (except listening to the seminar), so I am hoping some here have.
To me it seems the huge obvious flaw would be working on material for 3 months and then not doing it again for a year (at least). I wonder how anyone tests for black belt and knows all the schools requirements unless only the current form is required to pass (which could be any form).
I hope someone here with some more hands on experience can chime in.
 

dancingalone

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Has anyone else heard of or employed this sort of "rotating curriculum?" How did it work for you? Would you use this idea in your school?

My niece is an ATA black belt. Her school uses this extensively, but they call it 'block teaching'. They arrange classes by groupings of 3-4 colored ranks, and it's true enough that you could learn a more advanced pattern before a more basic one, depending on the calendar date you started training.

I don't like the idea myself, but it's a convenience for schools with large amounts of students and few instructors to spread around. One of the unfortunate side effects can be an insufficient grounding in basics which only hurts the student as they progress upwards.

The master of the school argues block teaching can be successful. Maybe he's right - he does have at least a hundred students, so he's got that going for him. I have much fewer so I've never needed to streamline my instruction in such a fashion.
 

dbell

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I'm not sure how one would get the basics learned in order to do the more advanced forms that they come upon if they start in the middle of the curriculum? I would think this is a bad way of doing things, even if it is only for the Gup level students, regardless of how big the classes are.

The purpose and design of the early forms is to teach the student the basic moves, and progress to adding moves of greater complexity and mixing things together. How do you teach that, when you start at something more advanced, and don't know the basic stances, punches, kicks, etc?
 

stone_dragone

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When I trained in the ATA, the school I was in hadn't yet gone to the block system, but when I went back a few years later, they had. The ATA's forms tend to be fit well into blocks, actually. Each belt has it's own form - white through advanced dan ranks.

The white, orange and yellow forms are all simple enough to be taught to white belts and are comprised of basics that are in the beginning curriculum of most systems.

The same goes for the next three and the following belts. It works with the ATA, but I wouldn't want to teach it in any other system.
 

Archtkd

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At the very AWESOME Foreign Instructor's Course in Chicago in October, one of the course instructors says he teaches a "rotating curriculum" for all his gup rank students. In this style, all gup students (10th gup-1st gup) do the same form for 3 months, & then they change to a different form. So yellow belts will do Tae Guek Yuk Jang with blue & brown belts. The instructor asked if anyone else in the room teaches this way & a few (5-6 as I recall) raised their hands.

If I recall right, Grandmaster Bill Cho -- to the amazement of some course participants and parents of his students -- said this method of teaching can boost private lessons revenue. i.e. students who missed one of the blocks pay instructors extra to catch up. The method, he seemed to suggest, could be useful if you are a Taekwondo instructor with plans of owning a Bentley.
 

dancingalone

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If I recall right, Grandmaster Bill Cho -- to the amazement of some course participants and parents of his students -- said this method of teaching can boost private lessons revenue. i.e. students who missed one of the blocks pay instructors extra to catch up. The method, he seemed to suggest, could be useful if you are a Taekwondo instructor with plans of owning a Bentley.

Is this the gentleman you are referring to? http://www.billcho.com/stcharles/cho.php

The articles says he has 1000 families and students enrolled at his school. Assuming an average tuition of $100 per student, that's enough to buy more than 1 Bentley. Wow. He's very successful financially and very young too.
 

Archtkd

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That's him and if you note he's states he's a 6th Dan. He's not as young as he looks, though.
 

dancingalone

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Laurentkd

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Dunno anything about his rank, but this article excerpt would put him at around 39, which is young to me. :)

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6137183/Son-s-dream-father-s.html

I guess St. Louis is an expensive city to live in. Most schools in my area seem to charge around $100-$120 a month.


I bet Bill Cho charges a lot more than that.... and signs his students on 7 year contracts.
But let's not hijack the thread, does anyone here train at a school with the rotation curriculum?
 

Laurentkd

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If I recall right, Grandmaster Bill Cho -- to the amazement of some course participants and parents of his students -- said this method of teaching can boost private lessons revenue. i.e. students who missed one of the blocks pay instructors extra to catch up. The method, he seemed to suggest, could be useful if you are a Taekwondo instructor with plans of owning a Bentley.

I had forgotten about the private lesson part of the rotation :shrug:
 

Archtkd

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I guess St. Louis is an expensive city to live in. Most schools in my area seem to charge around $100-$120 a month.

Dancingalone. You are right about the average prices. St. Louis would be about the same, but Grandmaster Cho is a different story. At the FIC course in Chicago, he seemed to suggest such figures are too low. I think a three-year contract for $7,000 or higher was more like the figure he mentioned. Other folks who attended the seminar can correct me if Iam wrong.
 

Miles

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I don't utilize the rotating curriculum and frankly don't understand how it can work regardless of the number of students. I think the student is better served by having them split in groups of beginner/intermediate/advanced or by keup/belts if you you have a huge number of students.

I can't recall what GM Cho was charging students-I was so fixated on the hot chocolate machine example that I must have zoned out...sorry! :)
 

terryl965

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Rotating the curriculim is a bad ideal, except you are trying to make a million of of the school.
 

Andrew Green

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I'm not involved in TKD in any way, but a couple things on the idea of rotating curriculum.

It is a good idea, but one that I think is easy to get wrong. Most schools have a sort of "core" curriculum that has to go in a specific order, and a bunch of other stuff that is less dependent.

In a TKD school I could see this being self-defence material, weapons, grappling (if your school does any)

Those thing it might make sense to rotate, and possibly even some of the forms, but roing the entire curriculum I think would be a mistake. Things do build off of previous material and students like to feel they are learning more advanced things. If the Brown belts are being taught the same things as the white belts something has likely gone wrong. It could possibly even give a poor impression to the whites as they would see people that have been training for a couple years struggling with the same things, and in the case of a natural athlete might even be doing better then the browns.

But, lets say your school does 3 weapons: Staff, Sai & Nunchaku. It doesn't really matter what order they learn them in. If you take the 3 rank groups that should be learning those and group them together you simplify teaching as you have 1 group instead of 3. You also have more people to pair up for partner drills, also a plus.

It does come with draw backs though, everyone has to move at the same pace. Which is where that private lessons thing comes in. If you miss a few classes the class doesn't wait for you, so the school uses that as a means to catch you up. Might even increase retention, as people would hopefully be less likely to skip a few classes if they knew they would actually fall behind, rather then just picking up where they left off.

It's almost more of a academic model to teaching. Where you need to complete x number of credit hours to graduate. While there are some prerequisites a lot of the courses can be taken in any order, at least within some sort of grouping (ex 1st year courses, 2nd year courses, etc)
 

xfighter88

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If I recall right, Grandmaster Bill Cho -- to the amazement of some course participants and parents of his students -- said this method of teaching can boost private lessons revenue. i.e. students who missed one of the blocks pay instructors extra to catch up. The method, he seemed to suggest, could be useful if you are a Taekwondo instructor with plans of owning a Bentley.

I can't say I am a fan of this method especially if that is the motivation behind it. A white belt learning hwa-Rang before Chung Ji is a bad idea. It's so weird. What is the point of a belt system when the black belt forms could be introduced to yellow belts and black belts at the same time.

The only redeeming thing that I could see in this is that a lower belt can see how sharp the movements should be by watching the other higher belts.
 

bluekey88

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This is an interesting discussion. I definitely see the inherent flaws of rotating or blocking the entire curriculum. However, in my school, the system is also flawed. We split the classes up by relative rank (beginner, intermediate advanced) and then split those classes up by rank. for each rank there is a set list of material they have to master to test. When a student does a technique well enough they would pass at a grading, they get a piece of tape on their belt. When they get all their tape, they can request to test.

I like this system in that it lets me know what students need to work on from class to class (I don;t always work with the same group from week to week). It lets the kids know what they need to work on as well.

However, it has flaws. I find that physically gifted students tend to get tape pretty quickly ( Try to limit that by not handing out more than 2 pieces of tape when I teach...not all other instructors do that though). The kids get the idea that once they have the tape that they"got it" and the stop practicing. No matter how often I tell them to keep practicing....they won't. As things progress, a cohort of students will tend to working the missing tape and not review as much. This isn't a big deal if they all get their tape quickly and there is a lot of time between when this happens and the next test...then we spend a few classes reviewing. However, if one student struggles with a technique or two...those get focused on in the group...and the stuff that they got early on doesn't get the same level of review. I find this to be problematic.

So, I think the solution is to rotate certain aspects of the instruction (Focus on forms one week, sparring the next, one step the net week, etc.) rotate the focus of instruction from week to week maybe e over the course of the month. So Everyone focuses on forms and form related stuff one week but they do so at their rank level (No one is learning a form that's above their rank/experience level). If the don't get it, it'll roll around again later. This would slow down the advancement,ent for many students, but I think would help guarantee that stuff gets reviewed more often.

Thoughts?

Peace,
Erik
 

granfire

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So, I think the solution is to rotate certain aspects of the instruction (Focus on forms one week, sparring the next, one step the net week, etc.) rotate the focus of instruction from week to week maybe e over the course of the month. So Everyone focuses on forms and form related stuff one week but they do so at their rank level (No one is learning a form that's above their rank/experience level). If the don't get it, it'll roll around again later. This would slow down the advancement,ent for many students, but I think would help guarantee that stuff gets reviewed more often.

Thoughts?

Peace,
Erik

We have a break neck speed between tests. there is a lot of stuff to cram into 8 weeks, so we 'rotate' content during the cycle. first we prioritize forms then sparring or one/three steps etc.

and 8 weeks go by quick!

the ranks are also split, so you have the beginners (white and yellow) intermediate (green and blue) and advanced (brown through black) together. Though with kids ranging from 6 to 14, I'd prefer a split in age over the rank...

Adult classes are usually mixed, there are not as many of us.

(and everytime the Bentley is mentioned I feel the urge to giggle...awesome)
 

dortiz

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This is complete problem focused on a business model and not a teaching one.

Sad.

Dave O.
 
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