COMPANION

Directed Activities (‘Games’)

A directed activity is the application of the Technique to a simple, everyday movement, frequently broken down into a progressive series. It may include the classical procedures.

Directed activities were developed by Walter Carrington after Alexander’s death as a teacher training course aid. He called them ‘games’, a name since used on some teachers training courses. They are also used by some teachers in their private teaching.

In this Companion the difference between classical procedure, directed activity, and application approach are defined as:

  1. A classical procedure is normally performed fully as a single activity, in one go.
  2. A directed activity is a simple to perform activity, which is often divided into a series of steps, starting simply and progressing step-by-step towards the complete activity.
  3. The application approach takes an activity a pupil wishes to work with, however fast or complex, and works with the pupil performing the activity, although it may be slowed down or broken into steps as well, depending on circumstances.

Writings

  • Gerard Grennell’s diary of the directed activities carried out by Walter and Dilys Carrington 1991-93 is the most detailed record published.[1] The foreword explains the reasoning behind and the purpose of directed activities.
  • ‘The development of games’ by Alice Olsher describes Walter and Dilys Carrington’s development of and reasoning behind ‘games’ (a directed activity), a component of their training course.[2]

Origin

Walter Carrington relates on the origin of the games in Personally Speaking:

Nowadays, at the start of the afternoon session, I demonstrate something simple like walking, taking a step, or lifting a telephone directory, and then get the class to work in groups of three once again under the supervision of the teachers. Because of the way the timetable is structured this means that everyone is doing the same thing. We call this afternoon procedure ‘games’ because I realised very early on that people ought to approach this part of the proceedings in a non-endgaining way. No one, for example, is expected to do it ‘right’ or necessarily perform very well. It’s not intended to be seen as a formal ‘exercise’ in any sense.[3]

Walter Carrington describes the origin of games in Taking Time,[4] and in the journal Conscious Control.[5]

See also Teacher Training Courses, Teacher Training.

References

[1] Directed Activities by Gerard Grennell (Mouritz, 2002).
[2] ‘The development of games’ by Alice Olsher in The Congress Papers 2018, Advancing Global Perspectives edited by Paul Marsh (STAT Books, 2019), pp. 155–58.
[3] Personally Speaking by Walter Carrington, Seán Carey, (Mouritz, 2001), pp. 21-21.
[4] Taking Time edited by Chariclia Gounaris, Crissman Taylor, Carmen Tarnowski, Novis, 2001), p. 41.
[5] ‘Two interviews with Walter Carrington’ by Hidemi Hatada in Conscious Control vol. 1 no. 1, edited by Jean M. O. Fischer (Mouritz, 2007), pp. 87-88.