Originally Posted by BigE
(In fact, 49.9% of all people are below average...
And, just to show that precision of vocabulary is important, this statement can
be true, but it often isn't, since much data is skewed so that the arithmetic mean does not divide the sample population in the middle.
However, it is true that 50% (or slightly less, depending on whether n
is even or odd) of a sample population will be below the median
Of course, in order to calculate a mean value, it is necessary to assign numerical values to skiing ability, which opens up a whole new can o' worms!
I think I understand Big E's point, though, which I believe is that CSIA, in order to enforce some precision of terminology, has developed a specific set of standards regarding skill acquisition and internalization in order for a particular term to apply. It bears some resembalance to the "conscious-unconscious" skill aquisition and use spectrum mentioned elsewhere.
Resistance arises, of course, because so many of us are accustomed to rather fuzzy conventional uses of the terms in question, because so many skiers clearly do not meet the standards specified by CSIA, and because our egos (or those of our clients) are
involved, so many regard anything less than "advanced" as pejorative. Many (most) practitioners of the sport see it as a purely recreational activity, rather than a discipline like one of the Martial Arts. Skill acquisition and refinement may not be high on the list of priorities for most skiers, but they don't want to be called "novices" by some elite bunch of know-it-alls.
What to do? I certainly don't know. I can understand what CSIA wants to accomplish with respect to a useful vocabulary, but I can sympathize with the more generous use of the term "intermediate" accepted by the rest of the world, as well as most dictionary definitions. Instructors entering the CSIA milieu need to understand, and accept, both the internal definition and the one used by everyone else in order to communicate successfully both with other CSIA instructors and the general public.
And for those in the U.S., the CSIA model may be something that is useful to understand, even if it's not used in daily practice and you don't agree entirely with the application of some of the terms.