My visitors today

Sunday 14 September 2008

No need for a spectacle!

The Traveller, 2003 by Susie Mallett

I have been away again.

Two weeks with one family and one week with another, and as usual the work was great. Of course there are ups and downs, and the children decide enough is enough and go on strike, but its all part of life and therefore conductive upbringing.

On my return to my computer I have just read on, Conductive Education World, Andrew Sutton’s “Relevant thought? A discussion point at least…?"

And it got me thinking.

I go to work in many places being a self-employed, peripatetic conductor and through this I have discovered that there are places where Conductive Education/upbringing takes place, with or without conductors, with or without the furniture, with or without a big institute and there are also places where it isn’t taking place.

It is of course possible to build your “arena” for conductive upbringing with bricks and mortar, you can fill it with the best equipment, plus ladderback chairs, plinths, wall bars and boxes, you can import some conductors or send some students off to be trained, but does this mean that there will be Conductive Education/upbringing?

Not necessarily.

I visit families for whom Conductive Education is completely new and they are working with their disabled child more “conductively” than some families who have been sending their child to a “ conductive” group for many years.

I have worked in some places where the “conductive group” is just that , a group which works conductively for a few hours a day or a week but the work does not extend outside the group into the daily life, to home to school etc. sometimes it doesn't even extend as far as the car (as I mentioned in "Time for finding your feet ", August 30th).

I have worked in family situations where every one from little sister to great grandfather are involved in the “upbringing” of the whole family and where the concept of conductive upbringing filters into every minute of daily life, and not only for the disabled child, everyone is influenced by it.

Even in the newest initiative with lots of funding behind it conductive upbringing can only take place when understanding is there and the will to make change is there, when the wish to “nurture and to educate and socialise children in their entirety” is there.

This quote comes from Andrew Sutton’s description of conductive upbringing at the beginning of Mária Hári on Conductive Pedagogy. He goes on to define it as implying more than just academic education but also as “ the creation, direction and correction of personal traits, behaviour, values and morals”.

I believe that the term conductive upbringing as Mária Hári described it and used it, has still not been fully understood everywhere where “conductive education” is being practised, the term Conductive Education having replaced it in general use and the concept then becoming one of academic education and not of upbringing.

Conductive upbringing is more than teaching, it is more than an education at “school”, it is something much wider involving many people and all aspects of a child’s life and personality.

Successful conductive upbringing does not depend on how big and polished and grand the arena is, on how many conductors are on hand, on how many hours a day a child spends in a conductive group, it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a system.

I believe that conductive upbringing can take place anywhere, not only in the arena, if given the creative atmosphere and interest, and of course the Seele!


Spectacle: something exhibited to view as unusual, notable, or entertaining ; especially : an eye-catching or dramatic public display

Andrew Sutton, Conductive Education World, “Relevant thought? A discussion point at least…?" September 8th, 2008.

Mária Hári on Conductive Pedagogy, Translations, terminology and statistics.
Edited by Gillian Macguire and Andrew Sutton
ISBN 1-897588-24-0


Anonymous said...

Suzie, on reading "It is of course possible to build your “arena” for conductive upbringing with bricks and mortar, you can fill it with the best equipment, plus ladderback chairs, plinths, wall bars and boxes", I was reminded of Andrew once saying "It's not about the bloody furniture!". The thought amused me then and amuses me still.

Laszlo said...


there is a phrase in Hungarian: A szambol vetted ki a szot! which shortly means I was going to say this...


Susie Mallett said...

Norman, I did think about including this "Suttonism" but decided to leave it unsaid, it appears my instincts were right, my readers knew exactly what I really wanted to say anyway!
This is one of the reasons I like working with children at furniture to get in the way of the understanding!

Laci, you also often "take the words right out of my mouth".
Work together with you one day I hope!


Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

Talking about 'best eqipment'and'Suttonism'my association was of Andrew's ciniq writing about those visitors who think that 'singing rimes over wooden ladderback plinths" is what conductive upbringing is all about... said...


Unfortunetly Peto Method "is about
the bloody furniture!"...the most important when the kids are very young.

I wonder "what the heck" Laslo is talking about...I would ask Laslo?
Are you still a CONDUCTOR???

"Suttonism" Never heard about it it. Perfect fit to Andrew's CE contribution.

Susie, I hope you are not going to remove my comments....