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Is it me? the rise of teh "trainee"
#31
P Prentice Wrote:that's what supervisors are for. and yes i can train most people to be perfectly adequate diggers in two weeks and i can train a supervisor in two years

I don't think it is possible or at least that statement needs qualifying......the point of 'skills' is surely one of practice and application. How can anyone experience all of the potential scenarios where skills might be applied in 2 weeks at the same time as learning the skills.....

We are currently training staff in the setting up and use of the TST. After 2 weeks they are competent enough to set up the station and backsight prism on their own within about 10 minutes.....but do they know anything about resectioning, traversing, non-digital survey, offsetting, digital data editing or even how to get the set-up time down to less than 5 minutes......er NO!! That would come after several weeks/months/years more training and experience.....

I recently watched a number of folk planning using a combination of planning frame and offset lines......a job that would take me (or BAJR!!) 10 minutes or so took others between 30 minutes and 2 hours for roughly the same size feature. I could claim that having shown a length of string, a frame, a pencil and drawing film to those folk for 5 minutes that they were trained, but I couldn't cos that wouldn't be the truth.......when they can show competence, accuracy and speed, thats when I'd consider them trained!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#32
well said Kevin!

there are at times huge skills gaps between field-workers which are invisible in terms of pay and grade - i've seen what can happen when '2-weekers' are being led by '2-yearers' (bless 'em), and its not exactly award winning...
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#33
kevin wooldridge Wrote:How can anyone experience all of the potential scenarios where skills might be applied in 2 weeks at the same time as learning the skills.....

Of course they can't. Every archaeologist is learning every day of their working lives, as every site and every feature is different and needs to be treated as a new and unique challenge. You cannot teach someone in two weeks how to deal with all of these challenges but you can teach them to consider that each feature is a new and unique challenge.

In two weeks you can teach someone how to use a trowel, shovel, mattock and wheelbarrow and you can teach them what the natural looks like and what soil needs to be excavated and what soil needs to be left in place. You can't leave them to determine where the most optimal place to locate a section to investigate the relationship between a sequence of intercutting features, this takes experience and this is what supervisors are for.

You can teach them to identify finds, what a worked flint looks like, what iron pan looks like etc. You can teach them how to draw a section or plan, how to fill in a context sheet. You can teach them about stratigraphy and how to construct a Harris matrix. They may make a few mistakes or be slower than someone with more experience but I don't buy into this 'mystique' around being an archaeologist. The basics are simple and easily taught. The rest comes with good supervision and experience.
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#34
GnomeKing Wrote:i've seen what can happen when '2-weekers' are being led by '2-yearers' (bless 'em), and its not exactly award winning...

University training dig? }Smile
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#35
:face-angel:...it would be ok if it was...
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#36
Sikelgaita Wrote:[...] you can teach them what the natural looks like and what soil needs to be excavated and what soil needs to be left in place. [...]

I've dug features where even very experienced POs haven't been certain which is which... Made me feel slightly less incompetent! Smile
I reserve the right to change my mind. It's called learning.
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#37
Kevin wouldnt it be better to weed the incompetants out at the earliest opportunity? Your probably wasting your time if they haven't got a decent maths GCSE, something like a A, A*, if not done science at "A" level.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#38
Tool Wrote:I've dug features where even very experienced POs haven't been certain which is which... Made me feel slightly less incompetent! Smile

I presume the competent PO told you to dig into the uncertain soils so as to better understand them?
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#39
Marc Berger Wrote:Kevin wouldnt it be better to weed the incompetants out at the earliest opportunity? Your probably wasting your time if they haven't got a decent maths GCSE, something like a A, A*, if not done science at "A" level.

Big Grin

Those that draw sections using a mixture of inches and cm's?
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#40
kevin wooldridge Wrote:I personally don't believe there is a shortage of archaeologists...what there is is a shortage of archaeologists who will work for shit wages on shit contracts....the industry knows full well the answer to the shortage of staff, but they are hoping they can attract another generation of f...wits who will paper over the cracks that the industry has created for itself...rant over!!
nail on the proverbial, coming your way soon - amazing opportunities for school leavers - fancy being an archaeologist? - sign up here for on the job training and fast tracked career progression to qualified digger.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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