Sunday, 20 February 2011

Black and white

Black and white swans at Whitlingham Broad, Norwich

Sometimes I read things over and over again on the sites that I am linked to by Google Alerts. This happens with all that stuff about the brain that we have been reading about and discussing recently on various blog postings, and it also happens with other statements about the state of the world of conductive pedagogy and upbringing.

Facts and figures

A statement that I have read several times recently has turned up again today:

http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/diane-sawyers-american-heart-cincinnati-grandmother/page-2/

It says that there are thirty-six "conductive schools" in America and twenty-two "in the rest of the world".

Figures and facts

What does this actually mean? Are there really thirty-two conductive centres in America that are schools? Or does this number include centres that offer conductive courses or visits to homes outside children's schooling?

There are well over twenty-two centres in Germany, some offering more, some offering less. There are very few schools as such, if any. There are conductors working alongside teachers in schools, there are after-school-care provisions, like our own in Nürnberg, paid for by the local council, that are conductive, but I struggle to think of one actual school.

I know of a few in England so perhaps there are only twenty-two schools in the rest of the world.

Are really there thirty-two schools in America? It would be interesting to know what a school is as described in this article. Is it a conductive centre that is officially providing the legal schooling requirements for a child of school age, or does it mean that a centre is providing extra-curricular conductive courses? Or what?

I am sure there are many conductors over the water in the Americas who could clarify this.

Good luck to you whether in schools or conductive centres, with promoting the cause during the North American CE Awareness Day, on 24th February, and of course at all other times. But do please make sure that you get right what you say.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

I don't know. My general advice to people now is not to believe a thing that they read about Conductive Education unless they have checked and cross-checked it, and then run it through a personal plausibility test (like 'Would I really believe such stuff in any other context?').

Just this afternoon I was watching a pleasant lady and her teenage daughter being interviewed yesterday about thier experience of Conductive Education, on an American TV news show. Very nicely they did too.

But this was part of North American Conductive Education Awareness Week, so the interview just had to end with a bit of social policy – comparative social policy at that:

...people in Germany, in France, in England, they are referred by by their governements to the International Pető Institute, and in the United States nobody knows about it.

http://www.irishcentral.com/video/?videoTitle=Video:+Conductive+Education+Day&clipSynID=2232024

Let me assure anyone who reads this posting, in the United States or anywhere else, that none of these governments has ever referred anyone to the (at one time International) Pető Institute. Nor, as far as I am aware, has the government of any other country. For anyone with authority to do anything for CE in the United States, such a statement fails an immediate pesonal plausibility test. It is patently not true, because there are no mechanisms, political, financial or administartive, whereby such a thing could ever happen in any developed Western democracy.

And if people in authority hear or read read such patent misinformation about CE, they may then also dismiss anything alse that they hear about it. So in other circumstances would you.

It is cruel to let parents be surrounded by such misfounded belief and, for this sort of thing to go out as part of a national awareeness campaign, it is a serious and counterproductive tactical error.

The family was great, good on them. They deserves better, so does CE.

Andrew.

Andrew said...

My general advice to people now is not to believe a thing that they read about Conductive Education unless they have checked and cross-checked it, and then run it through a personal plausibility test (like 'Would I really believe such stuff in any other context?').

Just this afternoon I was watching a pleasant lady and her teenage daughter being interviewed about their experience of Conductive Education, on an American TV news show. Very nicely they did too.

But this was part of North American Conductive Education Awareness Week, so the interview just had to end with a bit of social policy – comparative social policy at that:

...people in Germany, in France, in England, they are referred by their governements to the International Pető Institute, and in the United States nobody knows about it.

http://www.irishcentral.com/video/?videoTitle=Video:+Conductive+Education+Day&clipSynID=2232024

Let me assure anyone who reads this posting, in the United States or anywhere else, that none of these governments has ever referred anyone to the (at one time International) Pető Institute. Nor, as far as I am aware, has the government of any other country.

For anyone with authority to do something for CE in the United States, such a statement would fail an immediate personal plausibility test. It is patently not true, because there are no mechanisms, political, financial or administrative, whereby such a thing could ever happen in any developed Western democracy.

Think about it. You know that it could not be so.

If people in authority hear or read read such patent misinformation about CE, they may then also dismiss anything alse that they hear about it.

It is a cruelty to let parents be surrounded by such a misfounded belief, and for this sort of thing to go out as part of a national awareness campaign, it is a serious and counterproductive tactical error.

The family was great, good on them. They deserve better, so does CE.

Andrew.

Judit Roth said...

Just a quick comment:
When I moved to the United States in 1997, I was shocked to learn that we were able to call our CE Center a school. At that time in California, programs that provided services to at least to six (6) children, were qualified to - legally - use the word school in their name and program description. The law may be different in each state regarding this, so please make sure to check...