Chapter 1: Education and Re-Education

1. Why does a state of confusion and uncertainty exist when attempting to make decisions about the merits or demerits of a particular system?

2. What is all important in the sphere of acquiring knowledge? Why?

3. On what are ordinary teaching methods based?

4. What is present when misunderstanding occurs?

5. From what is the process of reasoning inseparable?

6. By what is a person’s understanding or conception conditioned?

7. By what is a person’s psycho-physical functioning conditioned?

8. Upon what does the accuracy of the individual conception depend?

9. What is most essential in the matter of conveying knowledge?

10. What has not been considered an essential in education schemes?

11. What is the problem with which we are faced today vis-a-vis education?

12. What needs must a teaching technique meet in order to be satisfactory?

13. What does the educational process mean to most people?

14. What several factors do most parents overlook in the process of “education?”

15. With what is the idea of “right” almost always associated?

16. Upon what processes does any undue excitement of the fear reflexes have a serious effect?

17. What will happen to the child if attempts are made to improve any particular, while harmful conditions are present?

18. What is one of the impeding factors which make for the dreamy condition?

19. What is the fatal defect in all instances of educational reform?

20. What further complicates the problem of the child’s psycho- physical experiences?

21. With what will the child’s efforts always be in accordance?

22. What two impeding factors could account for the general lack in the majority of adults to link up knowledge?

23. In what lies the value of knowledge?

24. What should be our first consideration in all forms of education?

25. What will follow from putting this consideration into effect?

26. Of what does the test of our advance through progressive evolutionary stages demand a consideration?

27. Upon what does the degree of our success depend in meeting the demands made upon us in education and all other spheres of activity?

28. Upon what principles are all teaching methods on the subconscious basis formulated?

29. Of what does the “doing” that a pupil must do to eradicate defects consist?

30. Upon what principle is the procedure of teaching on a plane of constructive conscious control based?

31. What immediately becomes the dominating factor when a child or
adult attempts to perform any psycho-physical act?

32. What follows if a pupil is more or less badly co-ordinated?

33. What point is overlooked in all schemes of reform or remedial work?

34. What is bound to result from any attempt made to use an unreliable sensory appreciation in order to follow instructions given to correct a defect? Why?

35. What will a teaching technique that will meet the difficulty described in question 34 involve?

36. What must a teacher of such a technique be in possession of?

37. What is necessary for the development and establishment of reliable sensory appreciation in the case of individuals who have developed defects?

38. From what premise has this technique been developed?

39. By what are our misdirected activities influenced?

40. Of what are psycho-physical derangements the forerunner?

Thought Questions

1. Alexander writes (p. 112) “…the child of today does not start life with the standard of co-ordination and sensory appreciation enjoyed by the children of, say, two hundred years ago.” Do you think this comment is a case of “things sure were better when I was a child!” or had children’s functioning seriously degraded to the extent Alexander believes? More to the point, what about children of today? What changes have occurred since Alexander’s time that might effect children’s standard of co-ordination and thus their ability to learn?

2. Alexander writes (p. 123) “that the correct sensory experiences to be acquired by means of this technique cannot be described in writing or by the spoken word in such a way as to be of practical value.” Is the object of his technique to acquire correct sensory experiences? If so, to what end? If the purpose of acquiring them is presumably so that they may be repeated and “guide” us in activity, then by what means do we produce (or reproduce) these correct sensory experiences? If acquiring correct sensory experiences is not an object of the Alexander Technique, but merely a by-product to the learning of a new way of thinking and consciously directing ourselves, then what difference does it make that these experiences “cannot be described in writing or by the spoken word…?”