Monday, May 31, 2010

Transformational Structure #1

I write a lot of things, and some of my material lies languishing in piles around my office.

Are you wanting to transform your life?
Do you work in group teaching situations and need a fresh perspective?
Are you teaching, and want to know an underlying structure that informs your work?

I wrote a particularly long and thoughtful piece on "A Plan for Teaching Groups" which I've decided to run in sections in my blog for awhile. It's not been published anywhere. I gave it to teachers at my class in the Congress in 2008, otherwise that's it.

I don't know if it is about running groups, so much as about the process of transformation that I use structurally in all the work I do.

So the beginning of this article goes like this:

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A Plan For Teaching Groups

BACKGROUND
This is a generic plan that works for anyone wishing to move towards a new situation in their life, whether that involves the gaining of a new skill, the transformation of a social situation, or becoming a different kind of person from the one you perceive your Self to be at the moment. This plan is the context for teaching a person to gain autonomy in achieving what they want for themselves.

WORKSHOP
This plan becomes the basic structure of both an individual piece of work with one person, as well as the structure of the entire workshop. The workshop or lesson is not primarily about helping the person to feel better by co-ordinating better, the primary purpose is to demonstrate how this process works, how it helps you achieve what you want, and how you can practice it on your own.

TEACHER TOOLS
Your own personal understanding of the scope of the work determines the skill set you need to help others. The basic tool set is a precise understanding of your own co-ordination compared to the average person, and the ability to consciously manage your co-ordination in any activity of life. With this skill set, you gain the ability to understand how others are dealing with this issue. From this skill, the ability to influence other people's choices about their co-ordination will naturally flow. The "touch" ability of an Alexander Technique teacher is a subset of their own co-ordination, unless that teacher develops a touch guided by the ideas of intervention and manipulation. Alexander's own pedagogy leant towards the category of manipulation, a word that is he often writes in his books to describe the way he uses his hands in teaching.
In workshops, another essential skill set is the ability to manage the overall quality of engagement of the participants of a workshop, and a use of language as a tool for positively influencing the ability of others to correctly conceive the information that is being offered.

ALEXANDER
The plan for this workshop is based on Chapter One of Use of the Self "Evolution of a Technique." In that chapter, Alexander moves through all the steps described below. If you study the chapter, and compare it to these notes, it is easy to understand how the plan below follows the stages of Alexander's discoveries. My language is different, but careful study will reveal that it is still essentially the same description as Alexander's own in that chapter. By getting this point clear in your mind, you can create a clear workshop structure and gain an understanding of the learning plan we are asking our students to apply to their own wishes for change, growth and development.

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TOMORROW: Stage 1: The Wisher (in us all)

That's all folks!

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