Originally Posted by TheRusty
If we take the author at his word, he is saying that it is hard to believe that anyone could pick up the teaching skills in a week. Otherwise he would not have been amazed. PSIA-Intermountain awarded the pins. The examiners included the demo team coach/Snowbird SSD Rob Sogard. I'd like to hear from anyone who has skied with Rob who thinks that he would give out pins to people who did not meet the standard. As easy as it is to believe that the pins were simply a PR stunt and not possibly deserved, anyone who has skied with the alpine team members who were involved (Sogard, Rogan, Barnes, Lipton, Lyon) or Ron Kipp should not have any problem trusting their judgment and should not have any problem believing that those folks have some skill at teaching people how to teach.
This article on the PSIA website makes it a little more believable that the L3 teaching was achievable.
3) The teaching approach to what PSIA-AASI has is similar to what we do, but we learned to make it more formal and to think through what we’re trying to accomplish in order to build a progression. Having to do it, teach it back, and understand it better than who you’re delivering the information to was an excellent learning opportunity for our coaches and athletes.
The high level of skepticism about this is both understandable and healthy. But at some point after reading all of the articles written about this you either have to believe that this is coordinated attempt to BS everyone or you have to take the word of the people involved that this was a valuable experience and the pins were fairly awarded. Rearick said the goal of the event was to "was to get our athletes and coaches together in what is a non-traditional setting for us and really work on skiing". He said "PSIA-AASI can be a tremendous help in broadening the base of their knowledge, and provide a broader skill base to coach and teach from." I can't remember where I saw the last bit, but someone said the ultimate motivation was to get better results in competition, That's the ultimate measure of the value of this event. I'm much more skeptical about that, but I am hopeful that those expectations are realistic. I believe it is healthier to feel hope than to feel insulted. I could be wrong. There might have been something else in that Kool-Ai....
Thanks for that link, Rusty. Better results in competition for USST because of this week? I'll choose to be "hopeful" as well.
I've skied with some of those D-team folks, and yes they are superlative teachers. I wish I could ski with them more.
I guess the thing I'm expressing skepticism about is the teaching capability of the racers and any of their coaches who don't spend time teaching non-racers. Those folks are so beyond my capabilities in skiing that I probably should not even be contributing to this discussion. So maybe after this 7-day event they really can teach a group of 10 never-evers on crowded slopes during Christmas break, when some of those never-evers barely speak English and some have never seen snow, and all but one are in boots too big. Maybe they can teach this lesson as well as any Level III instructor out there who earned their pin in the trenches.
There's a reason I have the excessive courage to speak with any skepticism on this topic here. I have a sore spot with regard to teaching. Many people think being able to teach follows directly from being able to perform, but it doesn't. Most people seem to respect the ability to perform more than the ability to teach. I wish this were not so. They are different animals.
I am participating in this thread and expressing skepticism only because some people may not be skeptical that those pins reflect PSIA LIII teaching skills. I have no problem with this event being a worthy, collaborative, team-building, information-sharing event between two fantastic groups, and I'm glad it happened. I don't think staging the event was BS or problematic at all, as long as it gets recognized for what it was. When I read the article, I took some of its words with a grain of salt. These things go on; it's necessary if these organizations are going to move forward towards more important targets.
So I'll go ahead and label myself overly SENSITIVE with respect to the topic of teaching as a skill, not the topic of issuing pins to these worthies in order to build connections between PSIA and USSA.
Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/25/14 at 8:28am