The biginner ski progression is not officially in text yet, but I should have it soon. It uses the experiental learning model and is best experienced in an actual clinic rather than described in text. A quick summary might give you some rough idea of how it works. After the usual greeting and equipment check, the focus is on how you stand in the boots, ankles flexed to have some contact to the tongue of the boot. This starts on dead flat terrain at the bottom of the biginner hill.
This is where it departs from many other lesson formats. We walk without loosing contact with the tongue of the boot, which is a marching step (flat footed), we march on the flat with a follow me, I start up hill noting it is easier to climb with the toes out and also noting the soles of the boots are tipped to the inside of the bottoms. We travirse acrost the hill noting we are using one inside and outside of the soles of the boot. Side stepping up and down facing both directions with the awareness of using the sides of the soles of the boots. We then walk down hill keeping the contact to the tongue of the boots (toes in the only way) and note the soles are on the inside edge. As we circle back up and down, I watch the group around me and watch how the individuals step around the turns and make a note of which ones step around the inside foot and which ones lead with the inside foot (to be used later for more of a direct parellel spin-off). The key is to keep moving with the group, asking them if the boots are flat on the snow or tipped, and repeating toes out while climbing, toes in while walking down and moving both ways in circles. The next step is one ski on and off and back on, we then scooter around a circle, ski on outside. The task is to not pick-up ski when going around the circle and of course ankles flexed. Done circling in both directions (instructor must help those who are picking up the ski instead of using leg rotation). Next step is 2 skis on on flat and then repeating the very same as the boot drill, climbing up, toes out, side stepping up and down and then walking stepping down, toes in and as I reach the flat, I start circling back up making the class wedge (toes in) step around, both directions. Next climb up, we toes in step around towards the botton with only 2 steps, both directions, the next time down, one long slow motion step around, both directions (already making wedge turns). Some practice on this task before combining two turns. Group is truning both ways, linking turns and able to stop by turning. As some of the more motivated people in the class climb higher, it gives you time to help others get their turns linked.
This drill only used about a 20' X 20' area and in a small beginner area, many groupes can co-exist.
The next step is the use of the beginner area lift (magic carpet, pony lift, etc.). At the top, we then test our brakes by turning to stop a number to times both ways. By that time, we are half way down the beginner hill. We then link turns to the botton, I hang back to help anyone who might need it. From that point on, it is practice time by giving different tasks of truning and stopping and some traverse.
During practice, I take the ones previously noted who steped around turns in boots by leading with their inside foot. Their task is to flex the inside ankle (dorsi flexion) by also lifting the big toe to the top of the boot (eversion). Vola, a parellel turn.
In a private, one hour lesson, many are able to progress to the novist hill using this progression, but it is not my goal. With the constant movement, climbing and focus on a balanced position on the skis, edges, and rotary, the hour and forty minutes goes by quickly and there is no waisted time standing and waiting for your turn. Everyone sees me doing each task many times as they cycle (climb) back up. Again, this is just a summary of the activities in the progression.
The lesson is done without poles b/c the focus in on the feet and it is a lot safer for everyone else in the area with no flailing poles. The interesting this is, the whole lesson is first done in boots, and then repeated with skis. People are able to do it, there is no time for them to loose focus, they see others doing it in front of them, each task is so simple that everyone gets it before a new task is given, and it establishes a strong foundation for future learning. I am shure the people reading this post have many questions on this, and without experiencing how it is done in a lesson, or understanding how the experiential learning model works, it may seem a little strange, but it works.
I agree with you on the points in the exam, or maybe electives. I feel that going through the 3 basic levels of certification are stepping stones in the journey to become a top instructor and there is always room to explore different catigories along the way. I thought about taking the ACE exam last spring, but had a prior committment exam day. This year the ACE ecam is on the same day as dev team and dcl tryouts. I have to chose which direction I want to take this year.
Without seeing you ski in your 2 exam attemps, congrats on passing, there is no way to access why you didn't pass one and not the other. Sometimes, something that seems small to you in your skiing, makes the difference on whether or not you meet the national standard.
Hope this is interesting to you.