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Student, Or Guest, Directed Ski Instruction

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This topic came up in another thread. Rather than get sidetracked, I think another thread is in order.

There are two systems that are being used by some ski areas. Both were designed by Kim Peterson as part of his doctoral work at Denver University. Student Directed Ski Instruction and Guest Directed (may be "Centered") Ski Instruction. SDSI is an intergal part of PMTS. GDSI has a three part premise: Student motivation, student movement and student understanding. I contend that the latter should be changed to student<>instructor understanding.

While on the surface, this concept seems somewhat simple, it addresses deeper learning than most would think. For instance, movement can create understanding. Understanding movement can change motivations. Understanding can create movement. The three are intertwined. To put this into a technical perspective: Motivation is defined as affective
Movement is defined as physcho-motive
Understanding is defined as cognitive
These are three of the five elements of learning. The other two are social and moral. These two pretty well take care of themselves in a ski lesson.

I should like to explore this subject to see how the members of this forum have used GDSI and how it worked for you, particularly beginners.

post #2 of 20

i got a little lost in the lingo so sorry if i've misconstrued your post and am replying with an impertinent answer BUT...

the instructor i had my first day of skiing (Buttermilk, where one of the first things I was shown was the "phantom foot" move) was very interested in what i was trying to do (learn to ski) as well as the way i learned.
he was happy to answer all the questions i had and if something didn't make sense right away, he had another example/analogy ready. it was clear to him that the five adults in this first-timers class had different ways of learning, and he was able to adjust the lesson accordingly, and take each of us aside to address our respective specifics. when i picked up the basics fairly quickly and got the skis turning, he gave me some fine-tuning tips and sent me on my way. others, like the couple older ladies in the group, picked things up a little slower and he was quick to reassure them - important positive reinforcement - that it would come. and by the end of the day, it had, for each of us, at our own pace.
Again, sorry if this is a digression from your intent with the post.

also, re your "understanding movement," once it was made clear that by unweighting the downhill ski and toe-pressuring the "new turning ski" i would be changing direction, it was on and i was hooked.

the patience and "the only dumb question is the one you don't ask" approach, along with the capacity to clearly explain the basics to a group of people for whom "the basics" were not that unlike untranslated text, was a wonderful catapulting into our new adventure.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

From what you say, and I understand, you told the instructor what you wanted to learn. Then he gave you a movement to do. As you practiced the movement, you began to understand what you were doing. In the meantime, the instructor understood what you were looking for and was able to satisfy your needs and motivation. And your motivation changed because of your new movement and understanding of that movement.

One of the tenants of almost all reprodictive teaching styles is quality feedback. It sounds to me that you found a very good teacher.
post #4 of 20
post #5 of 20
ryan's hanging out in Aspen with all the stars - good for him.

"Psst. Hey buddy. Read this script I wrote".
post #6 of 20
post #7 of 20
yeah, checkin' out all the dead little animals keepin' the plastic ladies' shoulders warm. tres chic.
(ooops! did i say dead? i'm sorry; that's unfair. i meant murdered.)
post #8 of 20
Actually, he wrote a screenplay about that day, called "Buttermilk Extreme". Due to recent events, however, it has been shelved indefinitely.
post #9 of 20

Wait until our good friend Tog gets back and takes a look at that post. I see an other installment of Epic Screen Plays

post #10 of 20
Buttermilk Extreme is a GREAT title, Mel, er, Miles. Only prob, Mike, er, Miles, is that it's an oxymoron. Still, we'll do lunch, baby. Up on the hill at (FAMOUS ACTOR'S NAME HERE)'s house. We're like this, Milo, and he'll love ya. Anyway, though it's a great title we can't use it. But we'll option the thought for future reference. Here's 10-grand, make it last the weekend.
"Jax," baby, Jax.
(Sniff, sniff, fervent and repetitious rubbing of nose...)
post #11 of 20
I'll have my people call your people.
post #12 of 20
Done. Martini? Nevermind gotta page gotta go we'll talk.
post #13 of 20
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
You guys got off track! Can we get back to the issue? Guest Directed Ski Instruction. Anybody work with it? I would like to hear some comments.
post #15 of 20
It was, of course, all SCSA's fault. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #16 of 20
Rick H, I agree with you in part, but I have had many students that wanted to ski bumps, but couldn't make a decent short radius turn or exercise much control over their upper body. I felt it would be a disservice to take them directly to a mogul field and reinforce their bad habits while skiing in a survival mode.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Didn't We have this discussion in another thread?

At any rate, I have had a similar situation. From conversations with the students, they indicated they wanted to ski bumps. Off we go to a blue groomer. I ask them to do a ski-off, demonstrating their short radius turns. The best turn was a medium-long turn. Then I say to the group, "If you want to ski bumps you need to be able to turn around your pole." Then I demonstrate. The class, in unison says, "Oh, that short?" And I say' "Yup! Do you want to learn?" They say, "Let's do it." We do this task until everyone has mastered the short radius turn on the blue groomer. Then we move to an easy blue bump run and try out the new skills. And everyone has fun.

What has happened here is:
1. They had the motivation, but not the movements or understanding.
2. By showing the movement, created an understanding that they need to learn something new, hence a change in motivation.
3. By mastering a new movement, this created an understanding of their own ability and could apply it to more difficult terrain.

The bottom line is, I facilitated a lesson that was structured to satisfy the motivations and needs of the students. They achieved an understanding of their movements. And they came away better skiers for the effort. And they had fun making 5 foot radius turns.

In this lesson and lessons like this, I use three teaching styles, according to Mosston and Ashworth. Starting from Style A, Command (softly modified with no "I want you to do..."), to Style B, Practice, with lots of feedback, to Style E, Inclusion. Inclusion is where each student start a task at their own level, ie, steepness. A timid student would look for the shallower line through the easier bumps. A more aggressive student will look for the fall line.

Lucky, I got a bit carried away with the teaching styles, but I think they are important for all instructors to understand. So much more can be accomplished, understanding how to teach a willing learner.
post #18 of 20
Rick H, Great explanation. I did post the same thing on another thread, but didn't see your answer. Thanks.
post #19 of 20
This idea of student/guest directed/centered teaching is nothing new. PSIA refered to it as student centered teaching and although it was missunderstood by many instructors and therefore missused the core idea was there. Even before the term was used some form of student centered teaching was what the best instructors were doing (student centered teaching is what the best teachers do no matter what it is that they are teaching).

I would say that Kim didn't develop student centered teaching but that he did an excellent job of seeing what great teachers were doing and putting it into a form that other aspiring teachers could understand and incorporate into there own teaching.

Is it a good way to teach? As you can probably tell from the above I think that it is the only way.

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

It all started with Carl Rogers and his concept of client centering. He was a psycho-therapist who beleived the patient knew more about him/her self than the therapist did. Then Dr. Rogers got into education and applied the same techniques to education.

If you would like to learn more, go to Joan Rostad's http://www.hyperchangecafe.com and click on Whitepapers. There is treasure trove of teaching information there. Also click on BuzzWord for some dialog on teaching/learning, certification, skiing glossary and more.
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