I was at the most recent Instructor Training Workshop referenced and am glad to see some of the feedback we provided is going to be incorporated in to future training.
As Damien points out:
In my opinion, this quote identifies the biggest shortcoming of the Instructor Training - the lack of practical applications of instructor training lessons within a Software Carpentry Workshop. In fact, I was planning on doing the exact same thing that Damien references in an upcoming workshop in which I will be an instructor.
One factor that likely leads to the approach Damien referenced is that many people (including myself) attending the Instructor Training haven't experienced a Software Carpentry Workshop in the first place. Having no experience with how an actual Software Carpentry Workshop is conducted, it's difficult to figure out how/where/when to apply the concepts taught during Instructor Training. For example, why would I need to use a concept map (which, btw, is a great teaching tool that I learned about at the Instructor Training!) when teaching a workshop when the lessons are already prepared (and, likely, already field tested and known to be useful)?
Additionally, since we're teaching under the Software Carpentry umbrella, it's not clear how much (or little) freedom/flexibility we have in teaching these topics. We're now representing Software Carpentry and there's a fair amount of pressure (perceived and/or real) to provide a quality experience to workshop attendees that will be representative of what Software Carpentry strives to provide. Thus, following/using the lessons provided on the Software Carpentry website should ensure that we, as instructors, cover the various topics with sufficient depth that attendees will be satisfied with the content covered/learned and ensure that we've sufficiently represented Software Carpentry as intended. Deviating from those lessons could jeopardize the Software Carpentry reputation, if any changes to those lessons aren't properly implemented.
With these considerations in mind, I don't find it surprising that instructors solely rely on the lessons provided on the Software Carpentry Workshop website.