My visitors today

Sunday 27 December 2009


"My home", by Susie Mallett, December 1992

I received a Google Alert over Christmas and while I was travelling on the tram yesterday I composed the posting below in response to this one sentence out of the text that I remembered:

“Is the system selective with respect to the adults and children that it admits and, if so, on what basis.”

I then enjoyed my Boxing Day evening with friends and forgot about it. The notes would probably still be lying dormant if I hadn’t discovered today that the Google Alert had also reached Andrew Sutton and that he had blogged it:

Not only had Andrew blogged it but someone had also left a comment on his posting.

Both reminded me of my notes and I thought that there is even more reason now to get them posted.

Is Conductive Education selective?

Conductive Education is "selective" in only one account as far as I am concerned and that is what the conductor or the conductive centre can have on offer at a given moment.

If at a particular point in time neither centre or conductor can offer what the client is asking for or needs, then it could be said that “Conductive Education” is being selective, just as many education services can be.

If I want to study something very obscure at degree level, then I have first to find the university that can offer me the course that I am looking for, then get accepted on it. Universities are being as "selective" in this case as I am in the course I am searching for.
As I have recently experienced in Germany, junior schools are very selective in the pupils they take too, even when they do have on offer what is being looked for!

I remember quite clearly Dr Mária Hári telling us that, if a child responds then that child will learn. She also told us often about conductors' motivational skills, and about children only being tired when they fall asleep, and many other wise words that indicated to me that, if as a conductor/educator I wish people to learn, then I have to find the way to motivate them and teach them how to learn.

If I am willing and motivated to try this with everyone, then I have no need to be selective.

In the case of Conductive Education the “selectiveness” adopted depends upon the financial situation of the centre, how it has been set up and, what it wishes to offer.

It depends also on the experiences of the conductors employed and on the range of groups and sessions that they have on offer. It does not necessarily depend on there being more conductors to offer different sessions. It could be that at a centre where ten conductors work they are working in large teams because they have large groups, but they have a restricted range of groups available. On the other hand, it could be that conductors working alone or in groups of two or three can be more flexible and offer individual sessions and a larger range of groups than at a bigger centre.

It all depends upon the willingness and flexibility of the organisers and/or the conductors involved, and on what they make available at the given time. Conductive Education is not selective in itself. It is an educational system, and all educational systems should be there to create the fullest potential in their students. Shouldn’t they?

The Petö Institute was/is selective in as much as it provides only what they have chosen to have on offer. This has changed with the times and with what was asked of the staff there too. For example, there was a different clientel in the International Kindergarten group to that in the Hungarian ones, and it was different again in the German-speaking and Russian-speaking groups. There was a Russian-speaking group for older children when I was recently there. Very different too.
It not Conductive Education as that does the selecting but the people who are offering it, and that for a huge variety of reasons.


The title picture was drawn with a mouse, on the very first occasion that I came in contact with a computer. I was enthralled by this new method of creating images. I have just discovered that one or two of these have survived, hidden in the depth of my computer's painting archive!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Well said. One has to distinguish between as system of education and its specific manifestations in given circumstances.

By the way, I saw one of the 'Russian groups' at the PAI, last time that I was in Budapest. I have never seen such a 'mild group' anywhere, ever! Some of those children certainly did not have cerebral palsy, by any diagnostic criterion, and some did not have what I would conceive of as a 'motor disorder' either.

This is not to say that they did not necessarily all have no developmental or educational problems, simply that these too came from a particular social nexus.

Not precisely the same matter, I know, but it surely interacts, and not just in Russia!

And by the way, they all seemed to be loving the experience of being in that group, albeit for a short, finite time, and for all I know they were benefitting from it 'motorically' too.