Sunday, 15 November 2009

More thoughts from the congress.

"The plinth"

" Still smiling "

" 8.30am - filling up"


The plinth

What more is there to say?

At last weekend’s congress we listened, some of us patiently, others attentively, for all of an hour about the use of a plinth.

Nothing was said about what conductive upbringing is all about and, when I tried to bring this into the discussion later on, no one really wanted to go along this road.

The presentation was all about how useful a plinth is to teach children different movements. It actually took a whole hour for the presenter to say almost exactly what Szathmary Judit said much more concisely in her comment on Andrew Sutton’s plinth posting recently.

My argument was then and now has sbeen that we can do all we wish to do in our work, using anything that is available. This doesn't need to be so-called Petö furniture. We just need to use our creative thinking. No one carries a plinth around in a pocket to facilitate movements, so we have to know how to use what is there at hand. We need to show from the beginning how we can to do whatever it is that tat we want to do at any given moment and in any given place, not only on or around a plinth.

A plinth as a tool is often used in a very abstract way in the group.. I admit it can in the right place be a good tool but I still believe that a much better tool would be an adventure playground!

Maybe a good tool but it has no more to do with conductive upbringing than singing while climbing the stairs has. They are all tools of the trade.

What is the trade?

Learning to live.

Just on possible tool among many
I am not really against plinths but I am for showing the ever-growing world of CE that a plinth is not essential to a conductive upbringing. As the CE world gets bigger and bigger it seems that the furniture myth grows at the same rate.

After this presentation someone we work with in Nürnberg whispered in our conductor ears: “You don’t do that in Nürnberg do you? The only good use I can see for them is to stop the little ones crawling away”

There are other means to stop little ones crawling away if they need to be stopped, and yes perhaps this is a reason why some people use plinths, or even a well-padded therapy-bench. Others use motivating games to keep the children interested in the task in hand whether on the floor or on a bench, and some include crawling around in the activity whenever possible.

If children decide to crawl away then they can be motivated to crawl back again.

Spontaneous activity is our aim, isn't it?

PS

We still have a garage full of plinths in Boxdorf. I don’t think that after the “use of a plinth” presentation we will have many people knocking at the door to take them away, which was I think the aim of including it in the congress.

I felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall when I was trying to explain to an audience, that was longing for their tea-break after an hour of staring at plinths, that conductive pedagogy is really a very simple, holistic way of looking at life and doing what is needed to live it to the full.
I was trying to explain that it can be far from easy to realise this simple holistic theory in practice, and in fact very hard work for all concerned. If a plinth helps in this hard work then use one if it is available. But in doing so never forget that we are using it as a tool to get along the road to living real life.

PPS

A blind man approached me at the after-congress dinner to find out what a plinth is like. He asked if he could come to my group and find out for himself what it is that makes a plinth so special that it became the subject of an hour-long presentation to an audience of two hundred.

He is, I hope, coming to visit my stroke group next week, together with his guide dog, to check us out, and of course the plinth.
More I hope on this later in the week.

Notes

Congress -

Andrew Sutton on plinths -

1 comment:

Laszlo said...

When I read that the plint was not essential to CE in this post I stopped for a little while to think.
I have to agree with your sentence as a global expression what points out that the basic importance in CE is the human dimension and the psychoplogy behind it.
However,
I truly believe that the plinth is totally essential to my aquired head injured and stroke clients (towards not to use them anymore)
Laci