At The Performance School, the practice of the Alexander Technique is grounded in a thorough understanding of the principles of the Technique. We believe that it is essential for students to have an active understanding of those principles, an ability to apply those principles in their daily lives, to articulate them clearly and to convey them to others.
What characterizes our teaching is the conscious intention to always keep the principles of the Technique primary in our work, so that our practice of the Technique is always an expression of our best understanding of those principles. We challenge students to develop their personal understanding of the Technique by constantly exploring how the way they work embodies their conception of the principles involved.
Our goal for our students is for them to see their understanding and embodiment of the principles of the Technique as something that will continue to evolve and deepen, and at the same time as something in which they can have genuine trust as the basis for their teaching practice.
Our philosophy of teacher education is to allow students who are independent and self-directed learners to develop a program that fits their individual needs, within the basic structure of our Teacher Education Program.
At the Performance School, our Teacher Education Program is based on the faculty-developed Performance School Teacher Education Workbook, which is used in the first two courses, Principles in Practice and Teaching Principles. The Workbook provides a structure for students’ learning, with guided questions, explorations and experiments.
The Performance School Teacher Education Program is nominally a three year program. There are three main courses: Principles in Practice, Teaching Principles and Supervised Teaching.
Graduation from the Program is based on our Graduation Criteria. When students have fulfilled those criteria, they will be qualified to teach.
We invite students who have had experience with the Alexander Technique and who are interested in teaching it to contact us to design a program that will qualify them to become teachers.
Courses in the Teacher Education Program
Principles in Practice (Year One)
Principles in Practice includes Human Structure and Functioning and Voice and Presentation Skills (both taken concurrently with Principles in Practice)
Teaching Principles (Year Two)
Teaching Principles includes Professional Development: Ethics (taken concurrently with Teaching Principles).
Both Principles in Practice and Teaching Principles may be taken remotely via Zoom.
Supervised Teaching (Year Three)
Supervised Teaching includes Professional Development: Marketing (taken concurrently Supervised Teaching)
Principles in Practice
Alexander is famous for telling people that they can do what he does if they will do what he did. What did Alexander do to discover and develop his Technique? Principles in Practice uses the first chapter of The Use of the Self, “Evolution of a Technique,” to answer that question. We will go through Alexander’s process, doing the experiments he did, seeing where he failed and why, and how he finally found success. Examining what Alexander actually did deepens our own understanding of the work; lets us make choices about learning and teaching the work; and know how our choices fit or do not fit with Alexander’s choices.
Teaching Principles explores how our clarity of intention when teaching determines the effectiveness of our teaching. We will look at what Alexander wrote about teaching and how that reflects the principles of the Technique; and whether his ideas about teaching changed over time and the nature and significance of those changes. We will also examine models of teaching other than Alexander’s to understand the principles and belief structures underlying them. We will experiment with how working from a particular model affects what we say and do to teach, and, most importantly, how we transform our own understanding of the principles of the Technique into our personal model of teaching.
Voice and Presentation Skills
Voice and Presentation Skills applies the principles of the Technique to the development of effective verbal communication and presentation skills, for both one on one and group settings.
Human Structure and Functioning
In Human Structure and Functioning we explore the anatomical basis of human movement, and how misconceptions about our basic structure can interfere with our moving well.
Professional Development: Ethics
With Professional Development: Ethics, students will begin formally discussing the ethics of teaching. We will compare and contrast teaching the Alexander Technique with other techniques for improving human use and functioning that involve touch; discuss boundary issues and how to recognize and deal with possible concerns; and explore challenging ethical situations.
Professional Development: Marketing
Professional Development: Marketing focuses on helping students develop ways to market and promote themselves as teacher. Students will be expected to know the business requirements of their locale (e.g. city and state business licenses, reporting, etc.) as well as federal requirements; and will develop a least one type of promotional material (e.g. flyer, web site, business card).
Supervised Teaching is an opportunity for students to develop in a safe and supportive environment the skills and tools they will need to teach the Technique. Students, in conjunction with the faculty, will develop supervised teaching opportunities; they will meet with the faculty to plan their teaching and afterward to analyze and discuss what they did. Some Supervised Teaching can be done via recording lessons and posting them for viewing.
Principles in Practice is typically a two term course, Teaching Principles is a three term course. A term is 10 weeks long, two hours per week.
A term of Supervised Teaching is a quarter in length, i.e. three months. Students take as many of these Supervised Teaching terms as they and the faculty feel are needed for the student to complete the course. Course completion means satisfying the Performance School Graduation Criteria as they apply to teaching. Students are encouraged to teach as much as their schedule allows during any one term. While evaluation will occur each time the faculty observe a student teaching, formal evaluation (i.e. written evaluation) will be done at the end of each term.
Courses are scheduled depending on the schedules of the students and instructors. We find this flexible scheduling allows people to continue with their own lives and interests while studying to become a teacher. Depending on schedules, it may take more than one calendar year to complete a given course.
Each term is $400.
Contact Catherine Kettrick, catherinek@ performanceschool.org or by telephone at 206-522-3584.