I'd like to start out this thread with a quote from the recent steering thread. I am not at all singling out gcarlson or his post but I think it is representative of the thinking of many and numerous previous posts:
By their very nature, gliding wedge turns create edging because of the position of the legs which creates inside edge dominance. And done correctly with movement of the pressure and center of mass from over one leg to the other they also teach edge release. These skills are basic and an important part of arcing or steering. So to base your concerns about your son's learning on one lesson is not fair to the tried and true benefits of the gliding wedge when done with the goals of edging and edge release in mind.
Basically I am trying to stimulate discussion about whether skills taught in one environment necessarily generalize to other environments. In this particular case, gcarlson talks about the edging skills needed and used in the gliding wedge. My first questions is this case is whether this generalizes to a typical turn where the body is released down the hill and the CM fall outside of the base of support.
There is a large body of literature on this concept (which which I am only familiar enough to know that it exists). My impression is that motor and perceptual skills taught in one environment may or may not generalize to other situations. In skiing I think this is a critical issue to better understand.
My interpretation is that the proponents of a skills based approach have an assumption that skills will usually generalize and their experience seems to back that up. However, if you believe in an approach your experience will inevitably back up your beliefs if there is any kind of success. I hope to avoid that as an issue in this discussion. Rather, I would hope for more objective evidence about the questions of generalization, either from the literature or from objective on-slope evaluation.
My own bias is that I regularly question whether some of the drills and skills that people talk about are as effective as they think they are. I guess it goes beyond that in that as a new instructor I see the PSIA certification process partially based on the importance of individual skill development. I think this leads to an approach to teaching that I have questions about as well.
Thanks for any comments.