III. Teacher Certification

Only ATI Certified Teaching Members receive teaching certificates. (1994 Policy)

Confirmation of training: ATI requires written acknowledgement that an ATI Teaching Certificate Candidate has completed a process to teach the FM Alexander Technique. This requirement satisfies the following: each teaching certificate candidate submits to each ATI Sponsor before being evaluated a copy of the candidate’s training certificate or a letter from an Alexander Technique teacher confirming successful completion of training. This Alexander Technique teacher plays a significant role as trainer or mentor. A “significant role” means a relationship of continuous work and study. A copy of either document must be included in the certified teacher application packet. (2011 Policy)

Teacher Certification

  • To receive an ATI Teaching Certificate, a person must be a member in good standing of ATI and complete the ATI Teacher Certification process.
  • The process consists of a certification application (completing the application for ATI Teaching Membership and/or ATI Teaching Certificate) and completion of both parts of the teacher evaluation process with three ATI Sponsors. (2004 Policy) 

Among the three ATI Sponsors, only one may be a primary teacher of the candidate. Primary teacher is defined as the director or any resident faculty member of the candidate’s training course who teaches 20% or more of the course time. Under exceptional circumstances, the board may make special arrangements. (2001 Policy)

Teacher Evaluation Process consists of two parts:

  • The Demonstration of Knowledge includes information on Alexander’s life, some history of the technique, and principles of his technique as described in his books (II-B from the ATI Criteria);

anatomy (II-C from the ATI Criteria) and ethics (II-D from the ATI Criteria).

Knowledge in the above areas is specified in a set number of written questions. These questions are publicly available. Candidates are asked some but not all of the questions in each area. Candidates respond to the questions orally or in writing, in person or via mail/email or audiotape. The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is responsible for the development of these questions, which are presented to the membership for feedback and approval. In order for ATI Sponsors to evaluate, we recommend the Certification Coordinating Committee (CCC) develop a means of training ATI Sponsors to ATI standards. 

  • Demonstration of Teaching Skills (II-A and III from the ATI Criteria for certification of teachers Hyperlink to ATI Criteria):  During the Demonstration of Teaching Skills, three ATI Sponsors evaluate a teaching member candidate separately. 

When the teacher candidate has successfully completed this process, the ATI Board provides the candidate an ATI teaching certificate. (2004 Policy) 

Procedure: CCC determines when the paperwork is complete.

Ethics Demonstration of Knowledge is based on the content of the ATI Code of Ethics. The guidelines for the Demonstration of Knowledge of the code are ethics scenarios with the relevant paragraphs of the code cited. It is understood that members need to continually discuss ethics and ethical concerns, and the content of these guidelines can be changed by the membership through a consensus process. (2012 Policy) 

The ethics scenarios for the Demonstration of Knowledge are published on Member Pages. They are not published on the public pages of the website. The Certification Coordinating Committee has a procedure to make the ethics scenarios available upon request. (2018 Policy) 

Content of the Alexander’s writings portion of the ATI Demonstration of Knowledge

Part I:

A student needs to demonstrate knowledge of the key elements of F.M. Alexander’s biography as they relate to his development of the technique.

  • Basic biographical information

Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in 1869 in Tasmania, Australia, and died in 1955 in London, England. He published four books: Man’s Supreme Inheritance, Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, The Use of the Self, The Universal Constant in Living, and numerous articles. F.M. Alexander’s early work focused on respiratory re-education (at first he was called “The Breathing Man”). His brother, A.R. Alexander, helped him develop his work.

  • The story of F.M. Alexander’s initial discoveries – as described in The Use of the Self,

Chapter 1, Evolution of the Technique. (2015 Policy)

Content of the Anatomy Portion, Demonstration of Knowledge

“Candidates for an ATI teaching certificate are able to demonstrate an understanding of anatomy and physiology as they relate to human movement and behavior; be able to help pupils understand how their mistaken ideas about their structure interfere with their best use; answer pupils’ basic questions about anatomy; and refer them to other sources for more detailed answers.” (From the ATI criteria for evaluating candidates for an ATI Teaching Certificate)

When presenting themselves for certification as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, candidates need to use language appropriate for a pupil with no anatomical knowledge:

  • Share their knowledge about the relationship between the skull and the spine (the atlanto-occipital joint) as it relates to the use of the self as a whole, including how changing that relationship affects functioning throughout the whole body. Candidates are prepared to discuss any information about the location and structure of the atlanto-occipital joint to educate a person.
  • Discuss how a pupil’s concept of their anatomy impacts their use, movement and/or behavior; give examples of some typical misconceptions and their results; as well as accurate conceptions and their results.
  • Describe the natural process of breathing and how a person can interfere with this process and what the effects are.
  • Demonstrate how they provide interested pupils with appropriate resources to satisfy their anatomical curiosity. (2017 and 2020 Policy)

All ATI trainee members and teachers applying for ATI certification pay a determined fee for ATI teaching certification. (2016 Policy)

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