How Does the PSIA-AASI National Team Employ the Learning Connection?

One basic question guides PSIA-AASI’s approach to refining the educational tenets of the American Teaching SystemTM: What is great teaching? This focus inspired the development, in 2015, of the Learning ConnectionSM – a framework, first introduced at the 2015 Interski Congress in Ushuaia, Argentina, that offers simple guidance for creating deeper connections between student and teacher.

The Learning Connection emphasizes that great lessons rely on the instructor’s ability to offer a blend of people skills, teaching skills, and technical skills. Whether students are new to skiing and riding or experts seeking greater mastery of their chosen sport, this approach creates informative, fun, and personalized experiences that keep students engaged in the learning process.

Here, PSIA-AASI National Team members discuss how they are employing the Learning Connection on snow this season.

Q: Where do you want to improve this season, especially in regard to the individual people, teaching, and technical skills of the Learning Connection?

A: This season’s goal is to continue my skill building in connecting with people. This was set in motion in the first year of this term. The connection process I am working on has allowed me to effectively use my knowledge and skills to produce positive results.

– PSIA Telemark Team member Keith Rodney

A: People skills: I am always looking for ways to better engage in meaningful two-way communication. My plan this year is to formulate good questions and allow as much time as needed for the person to express their opinions on the topic.

Teaching skills: Allowing for more time to facilitate the learner’s ability to reflect upon experiences and sensations.

Technical skills: After being at Interski and seeing so many inspiring skiers, it’s hard not to come home and reflect on some of your own core beliefs. My goal this year is to focus on how the upper body complements the lower body or vice versa.

– PSIA Alpine Team member Troy Walsh

A: My main focus this season is on my ability to mentor future leaders. I think it will be imperative to maintain and broaden pathways to leadership within the organization within the next few years.

– PSIA Alpine Team member Zoe Mavis

A: My push for personal development is geared toward how I can help the next generation of instructors and trainers. I have been working on developing my leadership and facilitation skills so I can be a better resource for those around me. As the training manager at Mt. Bachelor, I have been using my connection with the national team to help develop a more powerful staff training program.

On the technical side, my big focus is overall fitness – keeping my strength and mobility up to be able to create more dynamic skiing. I have also been working on my mental game and improving my awareness of my body and how I am moving. I would also really love to up my alpine skills this season.

– PSIA Telemark Team Coach Gregory Dixon

A: For my own personal development this season I am working toward becoming a Level II assessor in the Rocky Mountain region. This means I will continue to develop my people skills by practicing use of the SBI (Situation-Behavior-Impact) Model to deliver objective feedback. In the teaching skills arena, I am working to use more creative ways to provide students and trainees with learning experiences. In the technical skills arena, I will continue to try and develop new freestyle tricks, as well as clean up and create more autonomy with older tricks.

– AASI Snowboard Team member Lyndsey Stevens