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The PMA’s Teacher Training Summits provide a forum for delegates to deliberate over issues critical to the future of Pilates education. To date, there have been five Summits, in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
Some of the key developments from the Summits are listed below.
2016 – The fifth Summit took place on June 9 – 12, 2016 at the Marriott Hollywood Beach in
- Educational Standards for comprehensive Pilates training schools were introduced.
- The PMA’s new School Approval Program was explained (to launch in April 2017).
- 4 workshops were presented addressing a variety of subjects specific to teacher training.
- Presentations assisted delegates in understanding how to position information on their school within the online School Approval Program application.
- An explanation was given of how the Registry of Schools will be phased out, as the School Approval Program will be phased in in 2017.
- Feedback, questions and comments from delegates were taken regarding the Standards, as well as on the pricing and timelines for the School Approval Program.
- April 1, 2017 - The School Approval Program will launch.
- June 30, 2017 - The last date for renewals or new applications for the Registry of Schools. The Registry of Schools will remain in place through June 30, 2018, at which point it will be discontinued.
2014 – The fourth Summit in San Diego, CA established definitions of some key terms.
- As a result of research and deliberation in the preceding year, definitions of the terms “observation”, “self-practice”, “student teaching”, and “supervision” were proposed. Delegates provided feedback, their suggestions were incorporated, and the definitions were ratified for the purpose of the minimum standards template.
- Defining the terms above provides clarity for the minimum standards template, and enables delegates to revisit how the PMA’s minimum 450 hours of study should be distributed across the essential teacher training components.
- The minimum standards, expressed as a template, provides structure for teacher training programs, while remaining flexible and broad enough to accommodate a range of well designed programs. (Adherence to the template is NOT be a requirement to be part of the Registry of Schools at this time.)
- Approximately 75 teacher trainers and school administrators from around the world attended.
For the foreseeable future, the minimum standards template should be a tool for schools to use:
- To assist with transferability of credits
- To assist with program design for those establishing new programs
- To serve as a guide for the public, and for potential trainees, to understand what is taught in a given school
2013 - The third Summit in Miami Beach, FL continued the work begun at the 2011 Summit.
- The 2011 and 2013 Summit investigations involved gathering data from a large number of Pilates schools from around the world in order to reveal to the delegates’ proposed minimum standards for teacher training, as drawn from the data.
- The 2013 delegates reviewed the proposal, deliberated, and made necessary changes.
- The Summit Development Committee (SDC) was established.
- Approximately 100 teacher trainers and school administrators from around the world attended.
2011 – The second Summit in Vail, CO began a statistical exploration of teacher training programs.
- After collecting data by means of surveys, the ways that comprehensive Pilates teacher training programs were structured across the field was presented. All survey responses were kept anonymous.
- The data was presented (expressed as statistics), in order to reveal structural similarities and differences among comprehensive Pilates teacher training programs.
- A comparison was made between the statistical findings and the tasks presented in the PMA’s 2005
Role Delineation Study, which outlines the capabilities of a comprehensively trained Pilates teacher.
The comparison revealed that the variance between the two was minimal.
- Approximately 60 teacher trainers and school administrators from around the world attended.
2009 - The first Summit in Dallas, TX presented essential facts about the field of certification.
- Delegates agreed to cease using the word “certification” to describe the result of teacher training.
- It was agreed that the word “certification” should only be used in reference to a credential, established and administered by a third party such as the PMA Certification Program, as the result of a Role Delineation Study, following established norms in the US. Such a credential is granted to eligible candidates after passing a psychometrically validated exam. Third party credentials are available to candidates who meet established eligibility requirements, and is not related to any one school’s curriculum.
- It was established that as a result of completing a Pilates education program, a graduate earns a “certificate”, “diploma”, or an “ABC” (Assessment Based Certificate.)
- The Registry of Schools was proposed and established.
- Approximately 80 teacher trainers and school administrators from around the world attended.
- It was the first time the teacher training community had convened to work together.
Summit meetings are exciting and informative events. No other organization has undertaken such an industry-wide investigation of teacher training activity, and no other gathering of educators are working to shepherd the Pilates teacher training community forward in this way.
Please note: the establishment of minimum standards was/is not an attempt at establishing a standardized program; it is an industry's attempt at providing the public with a glimpse of what comprehensive Pilates education should provide, minimally.