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Technique and Methodology

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
In another thread, someone posted a link to Ron LeMasters site. He mentions a distinction between technique and methodology.

According to Lemaster, technique involves the movements that an athlete makes as dexcribed byan observer.

Methodology is the information presented to the athlete with the intention of illiciting the desired behavior.

Some people took issue with these methodology the dogma, and technique the doggie tricks?

[ April 24, 2002, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #2 of 24
First of all, it's not one vs. the other.

Technique is WHAT.

Physics is WHY.

Methodology is HOW.

Those involved are WHO.

The terrain and conditions are WHERE.

The student's readiness is WHEN.


[ April 24, 2002, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: nolobolono ]
post #3 of 24
It's easiest for me to operate as a ski pro and trainer with the belief that methodology is the teacher's set of tools for imparting and anchoring technique, while technique is the performer's set of tools for performing.

Of course, nlo it's not one or the other, but for me methodology and technique are both what and how, depending upon who's doing it.

[ April 24, 2002, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #4 of 24
I agree, Weems. Both/and. In my post I am suggesting there are more than two variables in play in a learning environment.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Good point! Edited topic heading! This is the first time I've ever heard of people making a distinction. Just sort of got me thinking....
post #6 of 24
I agree with the above, I had never given a lot of specific thought to the exact usage of the two terms. My initial reaction was to equate methadology as "style". I do think that while some style is part of what makes us individuals, that if style is *coached*, instead of tecnique, that athletic performance suffers. Those who would teach others (or themselves) to do something because it 'looks' good, or because its the 'right way' rather than working towards the goal of effecient movement (and in recreational skiing - FUN!).

My initial interpretation of these terms usage does not however fit with how that are actually being viewed by Weems and others. And now that I think about the terms more, I agree with them.

Its funny, think of how much words, even 'technical' words about a specific sport, are open to interpretation! How seemingly sterile description terms can carry with them a specific 'feel' and meaning that differs to each of us. Hell, with such variation in how we interpret even teaching language, its clear there is never any hope of agreement on this planet about the much more loaded and variable language involving things such as politics and religion!

[ April 24, 2002, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: Todd M. ]
post #7 of 24
Todd M

You left out
post #8 of 24
Taking this away from skiing for a moment, in my world we define methodology as the way you go about a task. i.e. what methodology are you going to use to ... Using this simple explanation, then, applied to ski teaching is that methodology is the way we go about teaching someone.

Almost like the distinction between strategy and tactics, but not quite.

What technique do we use to make short turns? And then, how are we going to teach short turns? We're going to use a certain methodology.

Within our own teaching methodologies we may use techniques. A technique might be problem solving, guided discovery, different forms of feedback, or whatever.

So, with LeMaster's definition:
Methodology is the information presented to the athlete with the intention of illiciting the desired behavior
I would only add one word:

Methodology is the WAY information is presented to the athlete with the intention of illiciting the desired behavior

Aren't PSIA's ATM and PMTS two different (but often quite similar) methodologies?


[ April 24, 2002, 12:26 PM: Message edited by: WVSkier ]
post #9 of 24
Originally posted by nolobolono:
I agree, Weems. Both/and. In my post I am suggesting there are more than two variables in play in a learning environment.
And you are absolutely correct.
post #10 of 24
I agree with wvskier, exactly.

The only reason this distinction makes any difference to me is that I have found that instructors often tend to teach the students about the models they use for analyzing and putting together lesson plans, rather than how to ski.

For example, I don't think I ever taught "centerline" or American Teaching System to guests, but I've seen instructors do that. We become enamored with our models and methodologies, when what the guest wants is to have good (functional, simple, accessible) technique so that she can really have some big fun.
post #11 of 24
a question I've always wanted to ask...

how is "methodology" different from "method"? I always thought that people tacked the "ology" onto the end to add 3 syllables of "prestige" to an otherwise mundane word. Is there a true difference?

Is it kinda like "active" vs "proactive," a distinction without a difference?
post #12 of 24
I have heard methodology being defined as the science or the rational behind the method(s) in question.
post #13 of 24
From Merriam-Webster
Main Entry: meth·od·ol·o·gy
Pronunciation: "me-th&-'dä-l&-jE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -gies
Etymology: New Latin methodologia, from Latin methodus + -logialogy
Date: 1800
1 : a body of methods , rules, and postulates employed by a discipline
: a particular procedure or set of procedures
2 : the analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular
#1 verifies -
Like Nolo said: HOW we teach
#2 verifies -
But with more of an organized rational foundation than STYLE would represent.

STYLE has it's own special function and value in convieing our individual passion.

And so then.....
Main Entry: tech·nique
Pronunciation: tek-'nEk
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from technique technical, from Greek technikos
Date: 1817
1 : the manner in which technical details are treated (as by a writer) or
basic physical movements are used (as by a dancer); also : ability to
treat such details or use such movements <good piano technique>

#1 verifies -
As Nolo said: WHAT we teach
Or Weems: WHAT we use to perform

The standard deffinitions seem to fit our usage well enough (how unusual?).
post #14 of 24
What a strange idea! Check the dictionary.

Watch out, this might lead to consistent communication!

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok! I'm honestly not sure why this is important, but I keep thinking about it, so here goes. How then, does "SYSTEM" fit into the grand scheme of things?
post #16 of 24
Shall we look it up or figure it out?

How about examples of systems: the solar system, nervous system, circulatory system, heating/cooling systems, etc.

What common features do all of these systems have? Reinforcing feedback loops? Other?

How do we count an element in or out of a system?

How do we identify this thing X as a system, rather than a method, formula, algorithm, or heuristic?
post #17 of 24
In my world, system is a methodology.
post #18 of 24
OK then here's something I was wondering. The S in PMTS stands for system. Does PSIA officially have a system? I saw Todd refering to Perfect Turn which sounds like a system and is taught by PSIA instructors. I think other resorts have other teaching systems (whatever the Vail one is).

Does PSIA advocate a specific system, and how do these resort systems fit into the picture?
post #19 of 24
System: A definite scheme or method of procedure or classification.

That's the meaning Weems seems to have in mind.

System: A group of units so combined as to form a whole and to operate in unison.

That's the meaning I go to first.

Why do you ask?
post #20 of 24
Originally posted by epic:

Does PSIA advocate a specific system, and how do these resort systems fit into the picture?
Traditionally PSIA has used the American Teaching System, which was first the American Teaching Method, and that was descended from the American Technique. In the 70's Horst Abraham posited the idea, and we bought it, that all great skiers use essentially the same technique to ski, but that what really varied was the methodology used to teach it. We all, with his guidance, came up with the ATM, saying that although we all ski similarly, Americans responded to different teaching styles than Euros, and that we would respond to the American need by developing a system or methodology that was student centered, not performance centered. Horst's statement was that the Euro system was a behaviorist system (where the student must rise through his mistakes to the level of the behavior), whereas ours should be a humanist system (where the behavior was subject to the needs of the student).

I don't know why it changed to ATS, but maybe to accomodate Nolo's preferred use of system.

We don't use the title anymore, but the same concepts are very much alive in PSIA today.
post #21 of 24
It became a system in 1987 with Strategies for Teaching, by Lundberg, Porter, Ryman, Warren, and Vagners. Maybe it was just a way of intimating that it was an improvement on ATM. It has been ATS up until Megan Harvey's Alpine Technical Manual (2002).

There's the Dewey decimal system, the Gregg stenography system, and the Weight Watchers system. The implication is: follow this system and you will achieve the desired outcomes.

Personally, I would call them methods (or methodologies), and not systems, because I think of the student as a system, the class as a system, the lesson as a system, the company, my house, my household, etc. This kind of system requires the use of design principles, not manufacturing principles (which a method has at heart).

Weems, your note about how PSIA (consumer-oriented)education changed from behaviorism to humanism is interesting. Has this occurred in our instructor training? It seems that certification, the test of instructor training, is all about replication of a model performance.

A system is different than a method in this way: you have all these elements, like in a ski lesson you have lift lines, rides, warmup, terrain, weather, a lesson theme, feedback, exercises, drills, practice, chitchat, questions, explanation, victory lap, what's next, etc. And you want to meet the students' needs for achievement, excitement, knowledge, and relationship. How one weaves these and any other desired elements together to meet the requirements of each unique person is pure design.

Design adapts to the user, and inherently involves a customized process; method works for one or 1,000.

A method accounts for technical complexity, but doesn't take into account social complexity. System design takes both into account.

[ April 25, 2002, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: nolobolono ]
post #22 of 24
...inky-dinky, parlez-vous...

did I ask whether "methodology" was a word? NO. I asked if it's different. I don't mean technically different, in that its definition is mildly distinct. I mean, can one say "method" instead of "methodology" and say the same thing.

every time I hear "methodology" I hear someone speaking of a method. I have never heard anyone use the word "methodology" as it truly is defined -- the study of various methods.

this thread hasn't used it in its true sense.

once again, the evil head of puffery and obfuscation, designed to inflate by adding useless syllables, is reared and getting larger on the horizon.

method. NOT methodology.

thank you.

cripes, this is as bad as saying "utilize" instead of "use," or "purchase" instead of "buy."

next thing you know, some folks will stop saying "eat" and will start saying something like "phagic action"

lay off the superfluity, eh?
post #23 of 24
I so completely agree with your exception to the word utilize for use that I accept the correction.

Please accept my apology for using more syllables than necessary. Must be the Russian that compels me to add letters to the end of perfectly good words.
post #24 of 24
next thing you know, some folks will stop saying "eat" and will start saying something like "phagic action"
How about: ingestive behavior, energy intake, nutrient acquisition, correcting a caloric deficit, suffering from acute hyperphagia, gustatory stimulation, or just saying "no" to satiety?

[ April 26, 2002, 07:21 AM: Message edited by: BadRat ]
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