Type of Resources
The purpose of this study was to determine if the Alexander Technique could improve Kindergarten through fifth-grade students’ efficiency and ease of movement. The Alexander Technique has many anecdotal accounts of personal benefit, but research is lacking that shows its benefit. The goal was to answer the following guiding research questions: Q1 Can the Alexander Technique improve efficiency of movement in K-5th-grade students? Q2 Can the Alexander Technique improve the ease of movement in K-5th-grade students? There were forty-nine student participants in grades Kindergarten through fifth-grade at a small, rural, private school in the midwest. Permission for this research was obtained first from the site, from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and then from parents of students and student participants. Research was completed within one month and consisted of teaching student participants six dance movements, observing their movement efficiency during one thirty-minute class period. Principles of the Alexander Technique were taught in the following class period. The final class period included re-executing the dance movements, and in-class discussion, and for second through fifth grade students, a journal page with four specific prompts. iii The methods used in this study showed that learning principles of the Alexander Technique does benefit students, although they are not necessarily able to clearly articulate a change in themselves or explain what may have helped them. There were multiple limitations of this study that included potential bias due to the researcher also being the teacher of the lessons, the school calendar and class schedule, a small sample from each grade or class, and unvalidated research instruments. Furthermore, the study could potentially benefit by students having a longer exposure to the Alexander Technique, employing Alexander Technique experts, reformatting the study, and editing the discussion and journal questions.
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