PSIA-AASI Participates in International Education Exchange

PSIA-AASI sent a delegation of association executives and national team members to Lake Louise, Canada, last week to share best practices with members of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA). The group also discussed innovations in snowsports instruction.

“Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Herrin, Board Chair Eliza Kuntz and current team members Stephen Helfenbein and Josh Fogg, gave an update on the implementation of our strategic alignment initiative. Built off the Learning Connection framework, our strategic alignment initiative enhances our members’ professional development opportunities and increases the integrity and value of our credentials,” said PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling.

Dave said that with Interski occurring every four years, “It’s important to keep communication lines open with our international colleagues. Over the years, we’ve worked closely with CSIA, and we’re looking forward to making it more official and consistent.”

On and off snow conversations focused on what facilitates exceptional, inspirational, and contagious learning.

“Both of our countries aim to answer this question and how to continually evolve with the dynamic snowsports industry,” said Dave. “We’re excited to reciprocate and complete the exchange this spring during National Academy in Big Sky, Montana.”

With mid-winter quality snow, Stephen said Lake Louise was skiable from top to bottom. “The fun factor was high! Especially for mid-November. We were able to play together which created a quick and authentic bond between us all.”

Stephen said instructors on both sides of the border value a student-centered, experiential teaching approach which is reflected in assessment processes. “CSIA created actual teaching scenarios to see if candidates can interpret student actions and adapt their teaching appropriately.”

“We both share the desire for clear, concise technical information,” he said. “Our ski culture touches two oceans and covers vast geography and diverse demographics, so the approach to skiing has to be versatile, functional and accessible.”

“We have a practical interpretation of what skiing is relative to its technical aspects,” Stephen said. “How we teach it may not have received enough attention along the way and we now want to emphasize that.”

Watch this video to see the group making turns at Lake Louise!