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Creative Teaching

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The Level II Alpine Exam has been changed slightly this year in PSIA-E. There is now a Creative Teaching Module. You pull two cards; one is the student profile and the other a technical description of the student’s skills. You then use an analogy to teach for transfer. (Attached is the full text from the PSIA-E Alpine Exam and Study Guide for your reference.)

My question is: what physical life experiences, images, analogies, and activities do you use to teach and whom do you use them with?

In advance thanks for all your input. Those of us going up for the exam will be very grateful. Also, we are going to be adding to our own teaching toolkits.

LEVEL II Eastern Exam (From PSIA-E 2004 Alpine Exam and Study Guide)

Creative Teaching Module

The purpose of the Creative Teaching Module is to find out if a candidate can use similes, analogies, metaphors, on-snow simulation activities, and past life experiences or any combination there of, to teach skiing in a creative non-technical manner. In the Creative Teaching Module, the candidates are asked to coach the group for 10–15 minutes, addressing a student profile and a student’s skill development. Candidates will be asked to draw from 2 stacks of cards. One stack of cards has student profiles describing mind set, goals, fitness, gender, and age. The other stack of cards has a technical description of the student’s present skill development. The combination of the 2 cards drawn will provide the student profile the candidate is to address. Candidates should be prepared to choose words and activities that are relevant to the hypothetical student(s) and of interest to the exam group. The candidate must use a physical life experience, an image, analogy, on-snow simulation activity, or any combination there of that can transfer a student’s prior knowledge/experiences to the skiing experience. It is likely that at the end of the module, candidates may be asked to briefly state how they might modify their presentation to fit a different skier demographic. (older, younger, male, female, fitness level)

The Creative Teaching Module is examined in an on-snow format allowing about one run or about 15 minutes per candidate.

Examples of student profile and skill level cards

Student Profile – 13 year old male, weight 130lbs, height 5’ 10”, shoe size 11, has trouble with sore shins and speed control

Skill development description– The student skis a mixture of stem Christie and parallel, with traverses between turns

Scoring for Creative Teaching Module

1. Power of the Transfer – Teaching Styles – Learning Modes (VAK)
This area scores how well the selected images/activities/experiences address the chosen student profile while matching the needs of the group. The coaching should create a bridge from the experience/activity to the skiing movements to be learned.

Needs Significant Improvement: The images/activities/experiences selected have little or no relevance to the skiing movements that are to be learned, and little connection to the group.

Variable: The images/activities/experiences have some relevance to the skiing movements to be learned. Taken as a whole, the program’s validity, execution and connection to the group is questionable.

Meets Standards: The images/activities/experiences pertain to the skiing movements to be learned and there is connection to the group. The ideas and activities shared are powerful enough to produce the desired outcome.

Strong: There is power and relevance of the images/activities/experiences and a great rapport with the group.

2. Technical Validity of the Teaching Concept
Alpine Exam & Study Guide 21

This scoring area pertains to the candidate’s understanding of ATS and the mechanics of skiing. The candidate’s coaching should enhance skills and promote fundamental movements.

Needs Significant Improvement: The images/activities/experiences selected transfer to movements that are counterproductive and understanding of the movements is inaccurate.

Variable: The images/activities/experiences selected for the transfer are incomplete, and or questionable. The understanding of skill acquisition and the fundamental movements is incomplete as described by the National Standards.

Meets Standards: The candidate’s sharing of ideas and activities promote the acquisition of skills and fundamental movements. The program’s content reveals an understanding of ATS and the mechanics of skiing pertinent to the National Standards.

Strong: Images/activities/experiences chosen are specific and relevant, and accompanied by advice that unmistakably reveals a strong understanding of ATS and the mechanics of skiing.

3. Group Handling Skills – (able to make age specific modifications)

This scoring area pertains to the way a candidate acts and reacts to given circumstances. This would include considerations such as:

Ø Presents information in an interesting, creative way at the right time.
Ø The ability to be student centered.
Ø Demonstrates awareness and understanding of safety considerations (The Responsibility Code).
Ø Modifies concepts to meet the needs of children as well as seniors.
Ø Addresses performance frustrations, fear, and anxiety.
Ø Leads group effectively in the alpine environment; includes making appropriate terrain choices.

Needs Significant Improvement: There is a general lack of awareness, purpose, and knowledge necessary for effective leadership. There are moments of serious inattention to the physical, emotional, or safety needs of the group.

Variable: At times leadership is ineffective. The ability to be student centered is questionable. Group handling style is one-dimensional. (Example: all command and follow)

Meets Standards: Leadership is effective, risk awareness is present, awareness of the group and the individual is present and the candidate has the ability to make age specific modifications if volunteered or requested.

Strong: Candidate shows student centered awareness in all actions regarding the alpine environment. Activities are well chosen from an educational and safety perspective.

4. Communication Skills – Group Involvement – Personal Attention
Alpine Exam & Study Guide 22

This scoring area pertains to how a candidate shares ideas and information with others. This would include considerations such as….

Ø Provides consistent, positively stated information at the right time and to the right person.
Ø Provides information that is appropriately descriptive and prescriptive.
Ø Gives clear, concise directives.
Ø Demonstrates effective verbal and nonverbal communication.
Ø Conducts discussions that involve everyone and create enthusiasm, excitement, and synergy.

Needs Significant Improvement: Communication is unclear/ineffective. Feedback statements are absent, demeaning or inaccurate. Communication is inflexible, teacher centered, and/or unenthusiastic.

Variable: Lack luster communication that creates confusion and questions for the receivers. Feedback is not specific and is incomplete with questionable timing and or phrasing.

Meets Standards: Communication is clear and upbeat, feedback statements are pertinent and personal.

Strong: Communication (verbal and nonverbal) is clear, concise and inspiring, everyone feels involved. Feedback is personal, helpful, well timed, and positive in nature.
post #2 of 6
What a great way to set up a teaching evaluation.

You might use the technique of spider-webbing to practice: start with a transferable activity, pick out a feature of that activity that is common to skiing, apply that feature to as many skiing movements as feasible; pick out another feature of the activity, apply that, until you have exhausted the potential for transferable features of that activity. For example, in swimming we use smooth alternating strokes. This could be transferred to pole action (stroke don't jab)--turns (skis stroke tip-center-tail left then right). Tennis--followthrough--finish turns. Golf--windup and release--short turns, J-turns, hop turns. Driving a car (aim), riding a bike (long leg-short leg), dancing (footwork) and music (tempo), martial arts (possibilities for transfer are huge), even bird watching (I compare the flighty reactivity of the small nervous birds to the calm responsiveness of the raptor species--soar like an eagle, )...there are few earthly experiences that cannot be linked somehow to skiing.
post #3 of 6
I like the concept of challenging the teaching instead of total concentration on skiing.

The next step "E" might take is to use real customer students. Our staff has done this, with prior arrangement of local customers, and it makes for an outstanding certification process. A free lesson isn't a bad deal for the customer and probably will be one of the best lessons they may take ever.

Unfortunately those real transferable experiences must be your and not ours. You can only teach good what you own personally.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

What a great idea. I like the spiderwebbing concept. Damn, I just love the synergy of this board. Thank you.
post #5 of 6
Personally, I think this format will better server our customers, yes its a bit harder than the older format, but I think its good that the creative module will now be on the fly (rather than something you bring to the exam fully prepared). Afterall when we teach, we can only plan so much. One of the best training strategies I found when going through the exam process was to not plan out any lessons (of course I'd have objective, like focusing on balance, or getting students back on skis, but the objectives would be vague), I learned to trust myself and my "bag of tricks" and how to quickly adapt my lesson to fit the needs/wants/abilities/limitations of my students.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Manus, I agree you need to use what you bring with you. I've seen people get into big trouble by doing what was in the book not what they had actually used. I don't mind the bit harder format. It is more client centered. This thread is just to help all of us expand our bag of tricks. The more stuff I pack in there the better able I am to teach.

To everyone who has posted. Thank you. That first post to start this one off is a bit long and not everyone is willing to wade through it.
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