Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Questioning angels

Dan's Marching Dinos by Dan aged 8, December 2008

This afternoon I was talking to a friend, who also happens to be one of my NICE angels, about my wonderful time in Norway. She had been reading my December postings and had really got the right idea. She realised that I had been having a whale of a time (more precisely a “dino” of a time).

Nice work if you can get it

She asked me to explain to her why it had been so good, what had made Norway so exciting for me. I described my fascination for the darkness and the amazing lights, the lovely, singing language and the fact that I could speak English to most people! Then I went on to the real reason that I had had a “Dino of a time"… the work was so good! Why, she eagerly wanted to know? In the end I told her: “Because it was just like working with you!”

My Norwegian NICE angels, Lill and Marthe, are just as much fun to work with as is Raphaela. It isn’t just the fun though, it is how they work and think that all makes for a wonderful working atmosphere, with lots of stimulating experiences for the children.

I must add that it is not only stimulating for the children when I work with these NICE-trained conductors, it is stimulating for us all, especially me. They all ask so many questions and I try to answer these to the best of my ability.
When Raphaela was still a student she came to work with me twice, and then later for a few more years as a newly qualified conductor. The flow of questions was never-ending, starting on the way to work and finishing on the way home. Even now we use up at least half of our very long phone calls on conductive questioning and problem-solving. In Norway my experience was just the same, often the Norwegians and I would sit together for a couple of hours after work deep in discussion about all things conductive. It was very beneficial for us all, not least for the children.

"You are not ready for that yet!"

Why am I writing this, why my excitement about the questioning attitude of these young NICE- trained conductors? Because while I was talking to friend Raphaela on the phone this afternoon I was reminded of just one of my own experiences as a second-year student at the Petö Institute, which encouraged exactly the opposite attitude.

I and fellow British students had been observing a group as part of our conductive pedagogy lectures and had gathered together with two senior conductor/lecturers for a short round of questions and answers about what we had seen. I and other students were asking questions relating to the theme of how we could begin to plan individual programmes for some of these children.

We all were given the same answer: “You are not yet ready to understand the answer to that question, you will learn about that next year! "

In those days I was too timid to reply with the response that was bursting to get out of my mouth: “Surely, if I know the question I am more than ready to hear and understand the answer”. This would more likely have been lost on the lecturers and we did not pursue it, we simply took our questions to our group leaders who were always more than willing to provide answers.

I sincerely do hope that students there are taught a bit differently now.

Note

NICE - National Institute for Conductive Education
http://www.conductive-education.org.uk/

2 comments:

Marthe said...

Thanks for the post. I love being a 'questioning conductor', I always believed that you will learn so much more if you ask questions and that's what my parents thought me. I guess it was good for something that they always encouraged me to ask about both this and that. :)

Miss you!

Susie Mallett said...

Missing you all too. Keep asking the questions I can answer them in emails or in my blog!
Susie