Teaching Tips are a series of articles published in the ART Works. They cover topics such as coaching, motivation and learning theory applied, with plenty of examples, to the teaching of ringing.

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Teaching Tips

How long do I go on working on improving my learner’s handling style?

To help us as ringing teachers understand how long we should continue to work with learners we need to learn about the learning process. Learners need a different approach to teaching when they are at different stages of learning. The different teaching techniques are all about coaching the learner rather than just teaching ...

IDEAS for teaching bell handling

There are three major ways in which people learn new skills. Individuals show a “style” or “preference” for learning in a certain way and they will find it much easier to learn if they are taught in the way that makes the most sense to them. If the subject matter is not presented to them in a way which “makes sense” to them, that is, the material is presented in a way which does not coincide with their learning style, then learning will be slowed ...

Are we giving our ringers what they really, really want?

Do our ringers come ringing purely for the pleasure of the ringing itself? The likelihood is that most of them do not. You might think that it will depend on the standard of the ringing they are involved in but it is not that straightforward!


Ringing terminology is seductive. The more we use it, the less we are aware that to the uninitiated (including those we teach) it can mean something completely different. The worst case is when the intended meaning overlaps the perceived meaning. A good example is ‘catch’ as in ‘catch the sally’. Experienced ringers use the phrase without thinking about it. It is just a verbal label for the complex, semi-automatic action that starts with our hands on the tail end and ends with them on the sally ...

Feedback - mind your language

Feedback is an important teaching tool when progressing a learner with their ringing. Without feedback it is difficult for a ringer to understand and modify their ringing. Learners who obtain feedback tend to perform more consistently over the long term ...

Engage in some reflective practice

Do you reflect on how you could improve your teaching? Do you take for granted that your teaching is OK? Do you discuss your teaching with others? As you teach more and more your skills will improve however it is useful for all teachers and coaches to engage in some degree of reflection. This reflection may lead to a “certain openness to new ideas” and help to improve your skills as a teacher ...

Keep your ringers ringing

How to take the step from novice to improver? The new ringer has learned to handle a bell and is now ready to ring rounds with others. The next stage of their learning experience will be very different. The teacher and new ringer have been working together intensively on a one to one basis. The new ringer has been at the centre of the teacher’s attention. Now the learning curve will flatten out. As the ringer progresses towards elementary change ringing they will have to wait their turn to ring on practice nights. Progress often seems hard to achieve, which can lead to frustration. Interest and motivation often wane ...

Keep ALL your ringers ringing

Every activity wants to keep the numbers of participants as high as possible and keep people involved for as long as possible. Ringing is no exception. We want to retain the ringers we recruit. The traditional model of ringing development is the Pyramidal Model. In this there are fewer participants as progress advances. The drive is to improve performance with a wide initial base and an increasing dropout rate. Constant pressure to progress means this model is associated with a high “burn out” rate, with many participants unable to progress and leaving the activity ...

Participation to performance

The last Teaching Tips article explained the most recent ways of thinking about training people. The latest research shows that more people stay actively involved if the training follows a participants’ needs-led model. This approach to training creates a larger pool of people who remain actively involved and from whom high-end performers and experts can emerge over an extended period ...

What type of ringers do you teach?

In the last Teaching Tips article we looked at the stages of development of new ringers from the novice to expert and at the different rates of progress ringers make. We identified that specific types of ringers need different coaching approaches and the fact that as individual ringing teachers we are unlikely to be able to become expert coaches for all of the different groups. You need to cater for the various coaching requirements of different types of ringers ...

Get going with goals

Goal setting has been shown to be one of the most important motivational tools a tutor or coach can use when developing the skills of a participant in an activity. The principles of goal setting are generic and apply across the board to many activities including ringing. Goal setting improves performance by increasing motivation ...

Get GROWing with goals

The previous Teaching Tips on goal setting explained how using goals when teaching is one of the most effective ways to motivate those learning. However, there are various factors which will make the use of goal setting work better for your ringers ...

Score from successful goals

In this article we will look at the various types of goals which can be used and when each type of goal might be useful when teaching ringers. Do you have a long term goal for your ringers or for your band? What do you think of when you set goals for your ringers? How do you plan the actions necessary to achieve your long term goals?

Elementary … practices for Module 2

At Rattlesden, Suffolk, Assessing Mentor Pam Ebsworth has a number of Teachers who have recently attended ART Training Scheme Module 2 - Teaching Elementary Change Ringing. Pam was wondering how to give her Teachers more teaching practice. The problem was that these particular Teachers were not tower captains and were finding difficulty getting opportunities to teach at the necessary level. After discussion with other Mentors it was decided to hold a dedicated Learning the Ropes Level 2 practice ...

Teaching call changes

Call changes is the skill that most new ringers are taught after learning to ring rounds. It may be thought of as simple but there is more to it than might originally be imagined! What skills does my ringer need to have or develop before learning to ring call changes?

Teaching call changes - putting it all into action

Putting into action the skills discussed in the previous article. How to make the first moves a success, how to use feedback to improve accuracy and how to move onto more complicated changes. Finally call change skills are reinforced and improved using variations.

Teaching Kaleidoscope Ringing

Kaleidoscope ringing is a series of exercises made within two places. It can be started at handstroke or backstroke. The simplest form is “long places”, 4 blows in one place. This is
followed by “place making” with two blows being rung in each place and then by “dodging.”

Advanced Kaleidoscope Ringing

Last time we looked at teaching the basics kaleidoscope works. But there may be times when more advanced sequences may be useful to your band. When might more advanced kaleidoscope ringing be useful for developing skills in my ringers?

Teaching ringers to cover

Building the skills required to cover confidently and well with the goal of ringing a quarter peal on the tenor to a Doubles method.

Teaching ringers to plain hunt

All the things that need to be covered in order to get your ringers confidently ringing Plain Hunt - theory, bell control, ropesight and place counting.

Interested in the ART Training Scheme?

The ART Training Scheme is available in three modules: the teaching of bell handling; the development of good foundation skills up to plain hunt; and the teaching of elementary change ringing. If you're interested in joining one of our schemes then have a look at the courses in more detail, including their entry requirements; decide which is the right one for you and then apply.

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