Miles, that is quite a question! It would be hard to say if lessons are more effective now than in years past. The lessons would have to change with the technology, wouldn't they? And it would depend upon the teacher.
For instance: Instructor X (Speed Racer's nemesis) was teaching some fantastic lessons in 1984 when everyone was skiing on Course SL's, VO Slalom's, and Quantums. His student's were happy, his lessons were sought after... he made huge tips. 14 years later, shaped skis happen and he decides that he is too Prima Donna to update his lesson, making his contribution LESS effective!! Sounds out of this world, right? Wrong. I see it more than I like even at the "big" areas. The standard answer is "Fire his ass!", I know, but it doesn't happen that way sometimes.
Anyway, back on subject. I think that technology, in combination with the changing expectations of the skiing public, Ski Area Management, and the Instructors themselves can make it difficult to determine what was more effective. Then or now?
Yes, people have easier access to the slopes with the advent of Magic Carpets, High Speed Quads, etc. Yes, shaped skis have helped re-define things. Yes, instructors have greater access to learning materials and resources. But I leave the ability to teach to the instructor. You've either got "it", or you don't got "it". You either are able to get "it", or you'll never get "it".
For me, it's hard to explain. I just think that, in my own particular experience, I've had to change the things I do to accommodate the times. Some may call it "Fad-ism" or whatever, but I feel that I've always been an effective instructor (though not every time!) and I try to get better with the years... so I guess there's your answer. You'll always have a new crop of freshman instructors who may be good, but could be better. And you'll always have that adaptable veteran class in any school who will always be just as effective, if not more so, as they were 15 years ago. Like I said... quite a question.
On a side-note, Hockey season is just around the corner. (Oct. 10) I've got San Jose and, of course, Detroit going deep into the playoffs. One of the two will take the Cup.
PS. If anyone is still strictly "Old School", as I would define it anyway, they are definitely LESS effective in today's market. The thing to remember is, 15 years ago "Old school" was "new school". 15 years ago, Flock of Seagulls had a top 40 hit. 15 years ago, Micheal Jackson was black. 15 years ago... "blowing snow" had more to do with snorting a certain Columbian import than freezing water on a ski slope. Things changed from then to now and so did I. Yet I'm still here... hmmmmm [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img][ September 22, 2002, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: Notorious Spag ]