>...You are saying that adult lessons require that we stand on the side of the hill talking and doing a lot of exercises in single file? ...
I'm saying that for even the most visual / imitative of adult students, less than a certain minimum amount of talk time has to vastly decrease the efficiency of your instruction, particularly, with multi-day students. This happens, if for no other reason than giving them a minimal vocabulary by which the student and instructor can chat about skiing with some reasonable degree of efficiency.
For example, with one level of students, you can give them the concept of corresponding edges by example, but unless you give it a name, each time you ever need to refer to it again, you will always be forced to say something long and tedious like, "...you remember that time when both of your knees moved in the same direction and so the left sides of both of your skis lifted up and you turned nicely? Well, you are doing it wonderfully, but yada, yada."
Would you prefer to get across the concept of inside and outside ski by investing a bit of time talking and defining the concept once, or trying to get across an inactive inside leg by saying something like, "in your turns to the left, your right leg was ok, but your left knee needed to be moved further left, whereas in your right turns, etc. blah etc. blah".
I'm not talking about any sort of deep discussions of technique (like we get into here) or obscure ski-instructor jargon, but just the most basic vocabulary. It may not seem like much, but getting across even that minimal amount of vocabulary will inevitably result in significant amounts of time spent standing around.
For students that you will only see for an hour or two, you can (as somebody mentioned a month or two ago) get away with grunting and mime, but a certain minimal vocabulary helps everyone, and getting this across takes time if they haven't learned it before the lesson and need to learn it during the lesson.
----------->...And that ski instructor training is a form of adult lesson, so the fact that ski instructors in particular have a tendency to stand on the side of runs talking...
If you are attempting to teach the instructors the differences between cognitive and imitative learners while they are out on the mountain, I would contend that its going to be pretty hard to do so without extensive use of language (and you can't very well do this while moving).
If, OTOH, you do this sort of work in an off-line classroom setting, and reserve the on-the-hill training to improving their own skiing, doing better demos, etc., then I would contend that the instructors are not that different from any other adult learner, just more advanced. The movements and movement blends are more subtle than at lower levels, the degree of perfection required is higher, and hence, I would contend that verbal explanations are even more needed at this advanced level than at lower levels.
For example, how does the coach handle the racer who asks why shouldn't I push my tails out (ie, versus turning tips IN). Sure, the coach can demonstrate the difference, but if there isn't an intellectual framework, its an instruction given in isolation - likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten. Don't forget, it has taken Bob Barnes hundreds of messages to get across concepts like the above or "skiing the slow line fast".
---------->...Well, no doubt you are a cognitive sort of guy, ...
Guilty as charged, Judge.
---------->...If they want to go into technical depth, our area provides a nice long ride up the hill....
As I mentioned above, I'm not talking about getting across matters of any great technical depth, just the basics.
---------->... I find I can get the message across with relatively few verbal cues. ... Most students I teach are more visual and kinesthetic ... What's the one thing we can change in your skiing in the next two hours that will yield the greatest benefit? That's how I frame the challenge. ...
I really like your "What's the one thing" approach, particularly with students you will only see for a short period of time. However, I must ask if you modify that approach with the group of women students that you once mentioned that you see for the entire season. Do you not find it at all adventageous to get across the appropriate pieces of framework and vocabulary as you are progressing through the season (ie, tasks requiring significant amounts verbal communication)?
Basically, all that I am trying to say is that IMHO, if you try to reduce the amount of standing-around listening time by too large a factor, the students will suffer in the long term, just as they will suffer in a different way if you yack at them too much.
All the best,
Tom / PM[ August 28, 2002, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]