October 2018 will herald a new era for the Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors (IASI) with the publication of the online IASI Manual. This new work builds on the ideas and content of Parallel Dreams Alpine Skiing, which has served as the association’s unofficial manual since 2007.
Being an ‘online’ manual, with each of the seventeen chapters being available in PDF format, makes this new publication both ‘green’ and user friendly. Members and other interested parties will be able to download single or multiple chapters based on their immediate interests or course requirements. There will be no need to print anything and indeed, users will be encouraged to use electronic devices to store and read each chapter. And because the chapters are all in separate PDF documents they can easily be updated helping to ensure that the content is always current. Also, in line with the association’s philosophy of Learn it, Love it, Live it and a willingness to share, the manual will be freely available to members from other associations. This also coincides nicely with the forthcoming Interski Congress in Pamporovo, Bulgaria, March 2019 where participating nations will be encouraged to read it.
The underpinning content of the new manual is what has been labeled 'The Four Key Concepts' which are depicted in the Figure 1 below.
The manual takes each of these concepts as the lead chapter for the four main sections of the manual, which are titled;
The fundamentals we need
Stages we move through
What we teach
How we learn
Each of these sections has several chapters that build on the initial lead chapter/key concept.
In terms of functionality, the manual will be accessible from the home page of the IASI website taking the user to the manual’s ‘home’ page which is laid out in a similar way to Figure 1 above. Clicking on the relevant key concept will take the user to the relevant section of the manual where all the chapters will be listed with PDF documents available to download. The central picture will link to the manual’s table of contents, foreword and general introduction which importantly emphasises IASI's philosophy and mission.
The principal authors of the manual are Jamie Kagan, Federico Sollini and Derek Tate with a notable contribution from Pete Gillespie on the 'guest experience'. The content has been shaped by previous attendances at Interski not to mention the wealth of experience and knowledge gained by the authors themselves from teaching snowsports professionally for many years and their involvement in teaching and learning both in the world of sport and across other life domains. It is this ability to pull together knowledge gained from a large range of sources that has led to a manual that is at the cutting edge of snowsports instructor education. Throughout the manual all sources are clearly referenced and further reading and resources recommend to users so that they can delve deeper into the subject areas.
However, a manual can never replace face to face teaching and learning so this new publication is merely an addition to the education program offered by IASI and it's education team supporting members as they progress through the qualification pathway and as they deliver lessons to the wider public.