My visitors today

Sunday 20 April 2008

And back to the Seele

Policing at the five-year level

It seems that the Seele will be cropping up often in my writings.

Andrew Sutton and Norman Perrin have both mentioned in recent blog postings a situation concerning a young man with Down’s syndrome and the police force in Scotland , reported in The Times newspaper.

Andrew Sutton wrote in his posting "Philology, philosophy, action”:

“The upper echelons have demonstrated some sense, but what does this whole sad shambles say about the educational level (yes, and the intelligence and sheer common sense) of the ’professionals’ and the 'managers’ who actually provide public services? I cannot see that without these important elements the worn old panacea of ‘more training’ can alone work the oracle. “

My immediate reaction to this was that you can offer more courses, insist on post-graduate degrees, offer further training, but will any of these help solve problems like the one with the young man and the Scottish police?

In my opinion it comes down to the Seele again. In this story it seems to be missing, where is the consideration for other people, intercommunication, unity and love? Sensitivity is needed in specific situations, spontaneity is needed, as is the skill to use initiative and adaptability. These are all things I have written about in previous postings. All of them comprise a huge part of a conductor’s training, which brings me back to the conductive Seele. The following is an extract from my own posting "Die Seele in my conductive practice" on 13th March 2008.

I could not work without mine or without its being in touch with that of my clients and helping them be in contact with (or feel) their own. The clients cannot work to the full without the Seele being involved, without my first getting through to their Seele. But what exactly is it? Is it the inner voice, deep within? Not only the client’s Seele is important, and that of the conductor, but the Seele of the group, the atmosphere created, is also important.”

In Norman Perrin’s posting “Special educational needs in initial teacher training”, he talks more extensively about “special training” for “special (school) teachers”. Or rather the lack of it. Norman writes:

”Is it fair and reasonable to conclude from this that when newly qualified teachers in England (and presumably the rest of the UK and Northern Ireland) begin their first day of teaching in a special school for children with cerebral palsy, they are largely bereft of the slightest clue what they are doing and why?

As I read this extract, I am also reminded that conductors have undertaken 3-4 years of specialist initial teacher-training to work with children with motor disorders before setting a first step in a classroom in earnest.”

I know exactly what he means because I started teaching in a “special” school with a teaching qualification as a secondary school art teacher, I also had a diploma in art therapy and two years' experience working with adults with multiple disabilities, which helped to some extent. Even so this was not enough not to feel out of my depth and from the first day I was looking for an opportunity to learn how to do the job that I had been appointed to do. It was during this search that I discovered Conductive Education.

After I had discovered CE and gone on to study at the Petö Institute I made many more discoveries. The most important of these was discovering what I now call my soul. Actually I rarely call it the soul, I usually refer to it using the German word “Seele”, which I learnt many years later.

I discovered that I was absorbing Conductive Education not only through my brain, but also through my body, something like osmosis, and it seeped deep into my inner self, into my Seele.

Not all teachers, therapists and other “people professionals” find the path leading to a full conductor-training in Budapest. Do they then ever find the means to do the job they are appointed for?

Do they discover their Seele?


Seele (German) -soul

Seep - to percolate slowly, to flow slowly through fine pores

Osmosis - any process by which something is acquired by absorbtion.

Andrew Sutton: "Philology, philosophy, action - It helps to watch your language "

Norman Perrin: "Special educational needs in initial teacher training"

This is London, 18 April 2008

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