How To Learn — Training Course 2017-07-27T08:46:14+00:00

The PAAT Training Course

Individuals who train with PAAT attend a four year course designed to equip them with the necessary skills to become excellent teachers.

The PAAT Training Course was founded in 1979 by Brian Door, author of Towards Perfect Posture. Brian Door qualified as an Alexander teacher in 1972 after completing his training with Walter Carrington. Mr Carrington was one of the first teachers trained by Alexander himself.

From the outset, progress through the course and final qualification has always been determined by written examination and practical demonstration.

This policy of rigorous examinations continues today.

Teacher Training

Teaching the Alexander Technique is a serious business.

You need to know Alexander’s books inside out and be proficient in the use of your hands.

Everything you say must be verifiable in terms of how human beings function. You won’t get far without extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology and movement studies.

You need to be adaptable in your approach: How you introduce the Technique to a group of medical students will differ from helping a new pupil to sit comfortably while meditating.

But the most important aspect of teaching is how you apply the Alexander Technique to your own life.

Without this practical application, you’ll have nothing to teach.

The PAAT training course prepares you to teach others to understand how they are pulling themselves out of shape and limiting their potential through habitual mind and body sets.

From here, you can help them to take their lives forward on a more conscious and reasoned basis.

PAAT Training — How It Works

Admission to The Training Course

You’ll need a little preparation before you can make a start as a trainee teacher.

Aged 18 or over, you’ll have taken lessons for a year, or attended an introductory course and spent some time on the Association’s Recreational Course.

The Recreational Course is an ongoing course offered in terms of 12 weekly sessions each lasting 2 hours. There are 3 terms per year and you can choose not to attend all three.

As an alternative to lessons, you may have attended a course run by PAAT members in a college or university.

Course Details

The PAAT Training Course is based in Birmingham and will take you four years to complete.

Currently, sessions are held from 6 to 9.30pm on Thursday and Friday evenings and from 8.30am to 1.30pm on Saturday mornings. This way, our course is accessible to as many people as possible.

You’ll need to spend at least eight hours a week in private study of the set texts in order to complete assignments and pass the examinations successfully.

In addition you’ll attend a week of extended study at a residential centre once a year.

There are no formal academic requirements for entry to the course, and if your study skills or English aren’t good, we can help you.

Each academic year runs from September until July and is divided into three terms.

Each term is thirteen weeks long and includes a half-term break.

Each week requires twelve hours attendance.

Over the four year period this means you’ll receive two thousand hours of tuition.

Current course fees are £800 per term.

PAAT Training — Year One

In all years the emphasis of practical work is on the change of the individual student.

As a teacher, you’ll need to know the Alexander Technique inside out, and this year of the course provides you with a solid foundation.

Here’s what’s on offer:

Alexander Studies: an in-depth analysis of Alexander’s four books.

Anatomy: osteology — preparing detailed drawings of each bone.

NOTE: Everyone can learn how to draw. Help is given. Developing this skill is an added bonus of the course.

Practical Alexander Studies Part 1

PAAT Training — Year Two

As the Alexander Technique gains wider recognition, more and more people are writing and talking about it.

But is everything that’s said about the Alexander Technique true? And if not: why not?

This year is all about developing your critical thinking skills:

Alexander Studies: in-depth analysis of a selection of books on the Alexander Technique. This will always include Barlow, Jones, MacDonald and Westfeldt, along with ten other titles. You’ll compare these texts with what Alexander had to say.

Anatomy: syndesmology, myology, arthrology — a detailed study of ligaments and muscles (using the latest edition of Gray’s Anatomy as a guide). In addition, you’ll begin considering bones, ligaments and muscles as functional joints.

Physiology: introduction to the study of physiology, the basic concepts and functions.

Practical Alexander Studies Part 2

PAAT Training — Year Three

The changes you’ll make in Year Three will unify your teaching experience.

As part of the process, you’ll learn to transform the jargon of the Alexander Technique into language that people will understand.

You’ll also become literate in the scientific language needed to back up your Alexander Technique teaching.

Here’s how Year Three looks:

Alexander Studies: consolidation of previous work and collecting material for a comparative study to be presented in year 4 as a Project of 15,000 words.

Anatomy: angiology, neurology, systematic study of blood supply (including Iymphatics) and nervous system – thinking about anatomy from a regional point of view.

Physiology: deepening study of this topic, including physiology of blood supply and breathing.

Movement Studies: an introduction to the science of movement and maintenance of posture.

Practical Alexander Studies Part 3

PAAT Training — Qualification Year

This is the year of your final examinations.

It’s also the year that you will demonstrate your practical application of the Alexander Technique.

After you’ve qualified, every lesson you give, every course that you run, will be examined by your pupils. Your services may also be in demand from universities and other organisations for talks and demonstrations.

The qualification year is where you learn to maintain your poise and composure in the face of scrutiny.

Briefly, Year Four works like this:

Presentation of five essays (each 12-15000 words) giving an exposition of the Alexander Technique.

Presentation of a 12-15,000 word Project.

Two three-hour written examinations on Alexander Studies.
Demonstration of proficiency with your hands together with the ability to communicate an understanding of the Technique to pupils.

Practical Alexander Studies Part 4