As you can probably tell, words like "proper" grate on me too. But we have a dilemma, especially as instructors. People want to know the "right way." They want clear instructions.
American ski instruction made big progress in the 1960's and '70's by moving away from the rigorous, technique-oriented European skiing "systems" to our more humanistic approach, with the "Skills Concept." But we got into trouble when we could no longer define what made a "good" turn. "Well, there's a lot of ways to make a turn. If you enjoy it, it's a good turn." Fuzzy statements like that one don't turn too many people on, when they're looking for a clear, simple answer to "what should I do?"
But the answer "there are lots of good ways to make a turn" really IS true! So there's our dilemma!
PSIA's "Center Line Skiing Model" of the late 1980's was an attempt to solve the problem without returning to the rigorous "There is only one way" European methods. (Sorry to put you through this, SCSA--but it IS important history!) The Center Line Model provided a "map" where all possible skiing movements and every turning variation had a place. It identified specific movement patterns as those of the Center Line itself, which represented contemporary, efficient, precise "line-control" "offensive" turns. It traced those basic movements as they developed from early beginner skill levels through expert, with several distinct, but arbitrary, "milestones."
The Center Line Model put other movements and turn types "off" the Center Line, and introduced the concept of "Linear" and "Lateral Learning." "Linear Learning" involves developing the same skills and movement patterns to a higher level--progressing up the Center Line. "Lateral Learning" involves exploring DIFFERENT movement patterns and other turn types, which may also include different conditions and tactical situations.
So everything is there. The Center Line answers the basic question (theoretically) of what are the fundamental, habitual skills and movement patterns of good skiing. "Lateral Exploration" recognizes that these "Center Line movements" are not the only important movement patterns out there, but helps instructors and students know where they're going when they explore "off the Center Line."
That's the theory. In practice, unfortunately, far too few instructors seemed to grasp the intent of the Center Line Model. For many, the movements of the Center Line became the only movements they allowed themselves to practice and to teach--which for practical purposes returned them to the inflexible dark ages of the past! Others saw the "milestones" along the Center Line (Wedge Turn, Wedge Christy, Basic Parallel, Dynamic Parallel), as being goals in themselves, rather than mileposts along the roadside. In so doing, they missed the point that the fundamental movement patterns of each milestone are exactly the same as all the others, and they emphasized instead the DIFFERENCES--primarily the wedge vs. parallel arrangement of the skis, the presence of absence of a pole plant, the amount of ski bend, pressure, and "carve".
And that confusion got us (PSIA) into a lot of trouble--rightly so!
Anyway, PSIA is working on trying to clarify its models so that inexperienced instructors can become more effective more quickly. Other organizations like PMTS have tried their own approaches, most of which involve (as will PSIA's new models) a clearer, more narrowly focused progression to teach "fundamental movements."
I fear that the pendulum may again swing too far toward the inflexible past, but perhaps that is preferable to the confusing present! Ultimately, the real solution will only come when ski resorts recognize that there is NO WAY to "create" truly effective instructors with only 5 days of "training"! They'll either be clear but inflexible, automatons teaching the same lesson to all students, or they'll be dangerously creative and unclear, teaching who-knows-what because they don't fully grasp the big picture!
Alas! Folks--the solution is up to you! Demand experienced, qualified instructors, and the resorts will have no choice but to pay enough to keep these people around. It's out of our hands....