COMPANION

P. B. Ballard

Philip Boswood Ballard (1865–1950), Scottish headmaster, author and Inspector of Schools, and pupil of F. M. Alexander.

Life

Philip Boswood Ballard (1865–1950), British Inspector of Schools, Doctor of Literature and author. Boswood was Headmaster of Pupil Teachers’ School, Tondu, Glamorgan, 1898–1903, before he became an Inspector of Schools: in Glamorgan 1903–05, and then with the London County Council 1906–30. He was twice president of the Association of Inspectors and Educational Organizers, was a member of the Child Guidance Council, and president of the Child Study Society (to which Alexander gave a lecture, published in Articles and Lectures[1]).

He wrote text books on English and arithmetic, was editor of the Thorndike Junior Dictionary (1947, 1948), and contributed articles to The Times Educational Supplement on educational issues. He also published his memoirs, Things I Cannot Forget (1937), and a collection of essays, Handwork as an Educational Medium, and other Essays (1910).

Writings on the Alexander Technique

Although two of Ballard’s books are listed in Man's Supreme Inheritanc[2] and in an introductory booklet to the Technique (1935) as containing educational references, it has not been possible to find any references to the Technique in Ballard’s writings.

Ballard’s letter of support, quoted in the booklet by The F. Matthias Alexander Trust Fund in 1935, is:

I can, from personal experience, testify to the value of the psycho-physical education invented and practised by Mr F. Matthias Alexander. Its aim is self-control in the fullest sense of the term. Beginning with the commonest acts of everyday life, such as standing, sitting, and walking, it seeks to re-educate the whole of the human organism so as to render it capable of serving the needs of life with the maximum of grace and efficiency and the minimum of waste effort. To do this, bad habits have to be broken down and good habits put in their place. This is a very difficult task, and one to achieve which Mr Alexander has devised a special technique. The object of the system is, in fact, the education of the whole man about which so much has been said of late and so little has been done. Mr Alexander’s way of doing it is both original and effective; and the application of this method to the education of young children is an enterprise rich in promise, and deserving of the fullest support.[3]

An extract is quoted in The Universal Constant in Living.[4]

References

[1] ‘An Unrecognized Principle’ (1925) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), pp. 141-62.
[2] Man's Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), p. xvi.
[3] ‘A New Technique,’ booklet (c. 1935), pp. 8–9.
 [4] The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), p. 106.