My visitors today

Thursday 24 March 2011

More about brains

"A pink sky at night, a cyclists delight!"
Going home from work yesterday evening

I got spotted by someone who works for the City of Nürnberg

This someone wrote to me yesterday asking if she could put a link to the BrainWEEK postings on my blog on the Turmdersinne Blog (Tower of the Senses Blog) that she.

I was of course delighted to be asked and agreed immediately. This evening I received an email informing me that she has posted “BrainWEEK, an afterthought”:

Not only has this lady blogger mentioned my BrainWEEK posting, she has also mentioned the work that I do. She has obviously looked a little bit deeper than this one posting. I am particularly pleased that she has picked these paragraphs from my posting:

"There was not one doctor, who claimed to know what was going on inside our heads, but they had a lot of experience amongst them and could tell us quite a lot about how they work to try to normalise disturbances in the well-being of their patients.”

“The concluding questions and answers brought us to the fact that despite tremendous leaps forwards in the study of the brain in recent years we still do not know very much. One doctor said that what we know now is hardly scratching the surface of what is happening in our brains, and it is impossible to predict whether over the next hundreds of years much more will be discovered.”

I know that on my next free morning I will be talking a ten-minute walk up the road to visit the Turmdersinne to introduce myself to this fellow blogger.

The museum is in one of the many towers that are built into the city wall. The Tiergärtnertorturm (the Zoo Gate Tower is at the top of my road and a few towers down the hill is the museum, situated in Mohrenturm am Westtor (Mohrenturm at the West Gate)

Thank you, Turmdersinne, it was very nice to be spotted!


Susie Mallett -


Mohrenturm -


Andrew said...


Very nice to be spotted by intelligent peoiple outside the field who recognise that you have a useful point to make at a more general level than at the bottom of the CE golfish bowl – and have had what be one of the final words blogged about BrainWEEK in your county,

I must say that the lady's posting falls happily into all my nicest preconceptions about Germany.: sharp, civilised, humane. A most enviable and agreeable context to live in. But work? Bearing in mind that one must not overgeneralise, either about Germany or, particularly, about konduktive Fördering within it, I wonder whether 'German CE' as a whole takes such a sensible, critical and critical view as you do of the contribution of the brain sciences to living and to pedagogy. I admit that I have only the occasional German conference programme to go from, but I do find these to be burdened by medical academics and practitioners with lots to say about the apparent achievement of the brain sciences – and no real contribution to make to CE (sorry, KF,)practically or theoretically).

Trhat they keep getting invited back rather implies that the punters (conductors, other workers in the sector, the people who run services and, yes, maybe even parents) feel the need to wrap themselves in what might look like 'science' (in the English sense) – rather than a more relevant Wissenschaft.

I have found the invited presentations at successive World Congresses simiarly over-burdened wth neuro-folk. If there is to be another such Congress, as is planned in Germany for less than three years away now, then it will be facinating to scan the intended programme.

Coincidentally I facebooked a reference to a video from the Royal Society (the UK's premier scientific body) only a couple of day ago. This was a short presentation from Professa Uta Frith, a Fellow of the Royal Society, extolling what the brain sciences do and could offer the world of education.

Ms Frith came up through autism. I do not knbow what she conributed there but to be an FRS is certainly to have arrived at the top of the scientific tree. She sits against the splendid marqutry of what I guess to be the Royal Society and speaks with great assurance and authority.Go see this short video for yourself and judge what she has to offer:

Even presented in a nice marquetry box, this does not seem worth too much.


Susie Mallett said...

Andrew, thank you for this long and informed comment.

Yes, I think your general opinion of how people regard the neuro-sciences in Germany is probably right and German CE (KF), as a whole does not have what you call the “sensible and critical view” of the brain sciences and their contribution to living and pedagogy. But as I heard at the BrainWEEK lectures there are still many in the field of neurology who think rather like I do. I think that I need to get to know them better perhaps in preparation for the next conference!

It will be very interesting to see what tips the scales at the 2013 World Congress in Germany. As we see in your video link there are people in high places who have a very different opinion and these are the people who seem to have more influence on the thinking of the “punters (conductors, other workers in the sector, the people who run services and, yes, maybe even parents)”.

I looked at your video link to the German lady, Ute Firth, just after I had put up this posting. I thought it would do very well, in fact probably come on the top of the list, for my next posting of “Oh Dears!”

I sent your link to the lady who spotted me in Nürnberg. I thought that as she had picked out those specific paragraphs from my blog she may also be interested in listening to what the experts say. Perhaps it will not be her last BrainWEEK comment after all.

As you rightly say it is nice to be in contact with people from other fields with similar interests. I begin to wonder if CE has been trying to keep itself too much to itself for too long. It is strange how it has a tendency to do this considering what a varied group of people we read that András Petö himself communicated with in his younger days.

Being self-employed I think makes a big difference in the way I communicate with people in other fields. It always has been easier for me to do this than for colleagues who have been employed at a school or in a centre.

Because I have been trying to build up my own practise and not working at someone else’s centre I have chosen the path for myself. I have chosen where I work and who I speak to about conductive pedagogy and upbringing and most importantly how.
I think I hear a little bit of this same sense of freedom coming out in Anne Wittig’s recent postings. For us both our contacts are important and they need not necessarily be with other conductors or with conductive centres.

Over the years I have been approached by all sorts of people, physios, life counsellors, self help groups, teachers, educators, parents or therapist, who have either invited me to visit them in their places of work or have asked to visit me.

It can be tough being self-employed but I think that it is one of the really positive ways that CE is developing throughout the world. I can only recommend it and it sounds like Anne would do the same. There are many conductors now going it alone on a larger or a smaller scale, with a private centre or as peripatetic conductors. All with the freedom to go out there and meet different people and be recognised outside of the CE goldfish bowl.


Anne said...

Susie, you made me smile. As I read your comments our nice it is to be able to communicate with others outside CE, I immediately thought back to those past experiences. And about 5 lines later, you mentioned me. I agree, I do enjoy communicating with other about CE. To be honest it helps me to organize my thoughts and believes about CE and what our role is or should be working with people with Movement Disorders, their parents or caregivers and beyond.
Being self-employed is hard, sometimes lonely and makes it hard to earn enough pennies to make a living but then I do have the freedom to do what I want, what I like. I choose (possible in the same way they choose me) to speak who I want to, not have too. I am not willing to convince people who need convincing to even listen. I move on and find those, who do.
I used to want to make everyone see my point but I guess I am starting to realize that everyone has the right to see what they want to see. And will do anyway without me. Sometimes I know that now might not be the moment they can see what I do , but that one day there will be.
I guess you develop as a conductor the skill to read people like it and it never seems to stop amaze me when people come back to me and say NOW I know what you were trying to tell me for hours, days and years.

Anyway, finally have time to catch up with your blog - I am enjoying my read as always. Right now you are my teacher and who knows who will be tomorrow :-)

BTW figured out that I have problems posting my comments when I sign in after I wrote it. Might be a common problem

Susie Mallett said...

Thanks Anne,

You know what is also nice? Talking to other people about something other than CE. People who are interested because of what they do but what we speak about is not necessarily CE. I think that is what you were also saying in your blog earlier and this is what I delight in when I go to lectures at BrainWEEK or day symposiums on MS or Parkinsons disease.

About commenting and its difficulties.
Yes, if you are a Google blogger and you are already signed in then the comment goes up "ein Wand frei" (perfectly) but it also works with short comments if you sign in afterwards. Sometimes with longer comments the message appears to tell you that the comment cannot be published, ignore this and go back a page and start again and for me it always works becuase of having signed in already.

One important thing that I have learnt at my own cost, is not to write the comment directly into the blog without taking a copy of it. I have had the experience that it just disappears. The re-writing is a good exercise in memory training and sometimes the comment is better on the second attempt but re-writing takes up a lot of valuable time.