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Instruct the sailing instructor

Instruct the sailing instructor

Pending the definition of the Act of Government n. 101, which introduces new provisions relating to the figure of Sailing Instructor Training, as required by the reform of the Code of yachting, under Legislative Decree no. 229/2017, again present an interesting study of the topic by Prof. Roberto Puja, Director of the Cultural Center LNI Science, Education and Culture Nautica.

The article has already been published in the journal “ALLOY NAVAL” the March-April 2018, mirroring the position of National President of the Italian Naval League and is here reproduced as a stimulus for reflection.

The law October 7, 2015 n. 167 delegates to the Government the reform of the Code of boating pleasure. Article. 49 d, in order to convey the knowledge and skills necessary to sailing, establishing the figure of sailing instructor whose activity is defined to be a “professional” even if not necessarily performed in exclusive form and / or continuous.

Specification, then, that the knowledge and skills that the sailing instructor must possess and be able to convey are the techniques of sailing …. Not only must also own and know how to transmit these techniques in all their specializations and pursued under any type of units.

It is to be frightened and to dwell on the suspicion that the legislature could perhaps have done take a hand now, in laying on the shoulders of the poor sailing instructor a task so vast and pervasive. A task that unless tempered by some wise form of interpretation, would shake Columbus, Straulino and Tabarly!

E ‘, therefore, reasonable to assume that the transition from the sphere of practical application principles will interpose, as well as with the many regulatory measures, the precious mediating role of the implementing regulation.

The law details (art. 49 d and 49 e), on which it, the formal and psycho-physical requirements that must have a sailing instructor and the conditions under which they are subordinate the maintenance and renewal of qualification. Less structured appears, however, the text with regard to content disciplinary practice and skills that make up the sailing techniques, specializations and types of units.

We know that you can go to sea in many ways and for different purposes. What we call the general culture of the sea is in fact such a vast archipelago of skills, practices and ways of use of the boats, the result of the stratification of centuries of practice of living on the sea and that, like all forms of man’s relationship with nature and with the technique, he has undergone and continues to undergo processes of articulation and specialization according to the purposes and the specific guidelines. So much so broad as to make difficult an overall representation in a text that obviously has objective limits.

In other words, the way to go to sea and sail of an explorer of the coasts, a sailor of the Navy, a fisherman and that of an athlete, while sharing foundations, knowledge and skills that are necessary conditions for safe practice and environmentally, it is different precisely because of the primary purposes of the relationship with the sea and sailing and represent different forms complementary – not alternative – to interpret the techniques of sailing.

Who instructs the instructors and how

The law identifies the Navy, the Italian Naval League and the Italian Sailing Federation subjects which, in elective form although not exclusive, is assigned the task of preparing the instructor Sailing Professional.

Three bodies with extraordinary wealth of knowledge, experience and human resources which, precisely because of the traditions and the specific of each statutory purposes, interpret and substantiate the sailing expertise, focusing on specific aspects of going to sail the sea . This variety is a great richness to be preserved and handed down.

We will have an impoverishment if in characterizing, through specific provisions of the implementing regulation, the content of knowledge and skills of the future instructor Sailing Professional, we build its profile in the light of the particular emphasis that throughout its history, each of the three organizations has imprinted the theory and practice of sailing.

More wise, build this technical and educational giving it a necessary component, consisting of those essential knowledge to the proper and safe navigation of the vessel sailing, and a component, so to speak, featuring optional, consists of the specific focus that each organization, in throughout its history, he has distilled, building what specific accent that characterizes the statutory objectives of each organization.

A task is certainly not easy, but not impossible, if guided by an orientation tended to preserve and transmit the best that each body has been able to build, in order to maintain the identity in diversity.

And this leads us to turn our attention to mechanisms for the definition and comparison of contents, represented primarily by reference to the credit systems.

The legislation refers in this regard, the SNAQ system, which, however, requires to be well understood in its structure and in its purpose and on which it is possible creeping some dangerous misunderstandings.

In a nutshell, at the time of detailed definition of the different progressive levels of the figure of the instructor of Vela (the Sail Instructor Base, the Sailing Instructor Coast and Velista Expert) and use in the assessment of skills and workload with the credit system, you should be aware that the SNAQ must be used wisely, remembering especially as every credit system is a tool created to translate and measure skills and knowledge that stems from specific contexts, sometimes different, requiring to be harmonized and non-rigid devices of content.

The seemingly necessary connection between the use of the credit system and the particular curvature of this system gives the CONI, is something to think prudently and carefully. All or almost all, the evaluation systems in terms of academic and professional credits derived dall’ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), born in the academic world as a system of measurement of the workload, but not as a descriptor of content. Just as an indication of a measure does not determine by itself the nature of the measured object (the act of measuring the leech of a mainsail does not tell us what material it is made the mainsail), the adoption of a system of credits It does not determine by itself the contents of knowledge and skills which must, however, be described and determined independently, so to speak, in another context and on the basis of content-related and not of measurement considerations.

To exit from those that may appear (but are not!) Exclusively formal aspects – still very relevant, because substantiate the logic behind the content – and get back to the realm of the concrete task of preparing the professional sailing instructors, we said that there are many ways to go to sea and sailing. You can go to the sea because you want the competition or you can go to contemplate nature. The competition is a good thing and CONI, for example, is oriented, as everyone knows, the competition, but it must be clear that competition is one, but not the only approach to regattas. And so, the two-way relationship that seems to exist between the credit system and the competitive spirit is far from the only one possible.

All credit systems adopted in Europe arise basically from the need to harmonize, not to flatten on one, hands-on training and education in view of the free movement of citizens and the opportunity to pursue activities and, especially in the countries of the Union , making recognizable and translatable, though not identical, educational qualifications and professional skills. Therefore, a very ductile reading system.

So, if it is perfectly legitimate that in the preparation of its athletes in view of the competition, institutional task of CONI, it adopts a credit system, this does not mean that the use of credit systems is linked in itself biunivocally to competition. Both those who go to sea for pleasure, both those who do it to compete in the race, must be able to do safely and competently, but as it is not a necessary condition the presence of an opponent competitor to make a sail, it is equally true that much as those who sail regatta should know how to conduct a correct and safe boat.

Receivables and the resulting systems are models of interpretation, not normative reality. Not the content, but the measurement system of the content.

Concluding these considerations of principle, I believe that the LNI, in preparing the training of its expert sailors, not necessarily is producing the path of an oriented to competitive sports technician, but rather to an instructor who knows and teaches, at various levels , the sailing practice and that such practice sail can be oriented in more than one direction.

If the aim had been to the perfect identity, there would be no need for any comparison and translation system, such as that of credits.

In the construction of the curriculum and the profile of the progression of the various levels of competence, you will need to devote a scrupulous attention to content and teaching, aware that there are many potential sailors and experienced sailors beyond the more than legitimate athlete and sports star. And maybe it would not hurt to remember that the original meaning of the word “sport” does not necessarily refer exclusively to the competition, the race and even necessarily to one gymnastic-exercise, but pleasure, as in the expression “do something for sport”, ie to an activity whose purpose is intrinsic: it is the pleasure in itself and individual fun all internal and devoid of practical economic interests: do something for sport is a little like art for art!

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