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Tests of principle in physical education

Material type: 
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
2008
April
28
Page position: 
54-69
Language: 
English
ISBN/ISSN/DOI: 
CCO008JE1.05
Notes and abstracts: 
George Trevelyan trained as a teacher on Alexander’s first training course 1931–34. In this paper, first published in 1938, Trevelyan compares principles and assumptions of physical education to the Alexander Technique. This comparison is still valid today. Five key points in the Technique are briefly described: 1. that the organism works as a unity, 2. that defects are mainly the results of “doing”, 3. that sensory appreciation is unreliable, 4. that we need to change from the known to the unknown, 5. that the primary control governs our use. These points are used to refute four assumptions in physical education: 1. that development of the whole can be achieved through the development of parts, 2. that the ability to perform a certain activity means that it is beneficial for us, 3. that instructions as to what to do can be communicated verbally reliably, and 4. that there are “right” positions. Three criteria by which to judge any method of physical education are suggested.
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