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CNH3 Deliver Alexander Technique teaching


This standard is about delivering Alexander Technique teaching to learners. The Alexander Technique teacher will work with learners to enable them to learn the Alexander Technique and will monitor and evaluate their progress in understanding and applying it. The Alexander Technique (AT) is a taught practical discipline with significant healthcare implications.  AT lessons help people to free themselves from unhelpful postural and movement habits and develop a more intelligent and skilled control of the manner in which they engage in activity. An important part of teaching is the use of specialised hand contact combined with verbal instruction and explanation which helps learners identify and reduce interference with the working of their innate mechanisms of balance and coordination. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. The history and development of the Alexander Technique
  2. The purpose and scope of the Alexander Technique
  3. The published works of Alexander
  4. The writings of teachers trained by Alexander and other relevant texts
  5. The key principles and concepts of the Alexander Technique including:
    1. conscious guidance and control
    2. direction/giving consent
    3. end-gaining/means-whereby
    4. inhibition/withholding consent/non-doing
    5. nature of habit
    6. primary control
    7. psycho-physical unity
    8. re-education
    9. sensory appreciation
    10. use and functioning
  6. How to maintain your own conscious direction of use when engaging with learners
  7. How to establish a good learning environment
  8. How to develop a professional relationship and effective two-way communication with learners
  9. How to identify learners’ initial and changing requirements including problems, challenges or aspirations which learners’ wish to address, and other factors which need to be taken into account
  10. How to observe, analyse and evaluate the conditions of use present in learners
  11. How to take into account individual differences including particular beliefs, attitudes and preconceptions which may interfere with or facilitate learning
  12. How to judge whether lessons in the Alexander Technique are appropriate for the individual
  13. How to explain the Alexander Technique and the commitment necessary to acquire skills in applying it
  14. How to deliver one-to-one teaching and, where appropriate; group teaching
  15. How to plan and deliver lessons which engage learners in a variety of ways in order to facilitate practical understanding of the principles and procedures
  16. How to evaluate the purpose, advantages and limitations of classical/traditional teaching procedures, activities of the learner’s choice or activities devised by the teacher
  17. How to evaluate, choose and implement different ways of working with learners including:
    1. working with hands
    2. oral explanation
    3. being an example
    4. examination of underlying ideas and beliefs that interfere with learning
    5. demonstrating and working through practical procedures and activities
    6. answering questions, giving advice, responding to concerns
  18. How to determine the most appropriate ways of working with different learners and their requirements
  19. How to adapt your teaching appropriately for each individual
  20. How to identify problems that learners may experience and help them find solutions
  21. How to engage in effective two way communication and provide feedback by sensitive questioning, listening, use of hands, verbal instruction and explanation
  22. How to recognise and interpret the indications that can be used to evaluate the understanding of the learner
  23. How to evaluate learners’ progress and understanding
  24. How to involve learners’ in evaluating their own progress and understanding
  25. The structure and function of organs and systems
  26. The structure and function of the skeletal system including the types of joint, their individual structure, function and range of movement
  27. The structure, function and location of muscle
  28. The postural mechanisms and the control of movement
  29. The structure and function of the nervous system
  30. The respiratory and breathing mechanisms
  31. Pathology relevant to teaching Alexander Technique

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. ensure that the environment is suitable for learners’ requirements
  2. maintain your own conscious direction of use according to the principles of the Alexander Technique
  3. determine individuals’ requirements in relation to learning the Alexander Technique in a manner which encourages their participation
  4. provide individuals with all the necessary information to support their decision making about learning Alexander Technique
  5. determine with individuals if there are reasons why taking lessons might be inadvisable or inappropriate at the time and if necessary help them to consider other options
  6. evaluate the information obtained and determine an appropriate course of action with the individual
  7. obtain consent to work with your hands with individuals as part of teaching the Alexander Technique
  8. enable learners to learn the Alexander Technique by working with them in accordance with professional codes of practice, and legal and organisational requirements
  9. deal effectively with the learners responses and make appropriate adjustments to the teaching to meet any changing needs
  10. monitor and evaluate the learners’ progress in their understanding and application of the Alexander Technique and give the required support where needed
  11. review with learners’ their progress in understanding and applying the Alexander Technique in daily life
  12. provide clear and accurate advice with regard to future plans and actions
  13. maintain confidentiality within the requirements of the law
  14. complete and maintain records in accordance with professional and legal requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB7 Interventions and treatments This standard has replaced AT1, AT2, AT3 and AT4. Related Functions Principles of Good Practice CNH1 Explore and establish the client's needs for complementary and natural healthcare CNH2 Develop and agree plans for complementary and natural healthcare with clients LSILD02 Facilitate effective learning
CNH3 Deliver Alexander Technique teaching
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health,
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