Friday, 20 February 2009
Most of the children in our group have Velcro fastenings on their shoes so we have to find other ways other than "real life" to learn to tie shoelaces.
I have just been reading the honest, informative and heartening reports from a mother who is currently at a CE camp with her daughter. Parent-blogging is going to add a whole new transparency to CE services/programs of every kind and, if this early example is going to be typical, then such reports will offer those with time and sense to follow such blogs a golden opportunity to begin to draw much more sensible conclusions about the process, goals etc of conductive pedagogy. Do hope that future researchers will have the time and the sense to try this.
But ooch, ouch, I also hope even more that readers will have the sense to try and discern what is really happening here, and look beneath the language used to describe this and the false conclusion to which this discourse almost inevitably leads. Here’s a small example that relates to working between two lines (my own emphases added):
‘…you must walk with left foot forward, right hand up and alternate. Interesting to see how difficult this is for children with cerebral palsy. It takes lots of correcting and concentration. Cassie spent a lot of time doing this type of therapy and she really excels in this program.
‘She has to concentrate and correct her foot placement each time. Such easy exercises that could be incorporated into any physical education program or physiotherapy program. Hope to keep these up when she returns to school. [She] thinks these are such fun.’
No one can object to exercising skills learned and exercising the body, but teaching such skills in the first place, that takes pedagogy, and this posting of yours, on shoe laces, clearly illustrates the difference.
More, however, it also shows the wider world of upbringing into which such pedagogy should be part, and I can see why you have indexed this posting into your-Upbringing-category.
No criticism here, by the way, of the lady writing this blog. We all of us come into Conductive Education weighed down with our previous understandings and this may frame our understandings of what we do, hear, see and experience, sometimes for a very long time. This was certainly true of me and I would guess of you too. Her posting was written only a week or so into the camp. She’ll-learn!-Most-of-us-do.
This is the blog I referred to in my last posting, this is the Mum who discovered my blog which triggered me to categorise my postings. It is also because her daughter Cassie and my group were tying laces on the same day that I wrote about cipőfüző at all.
This Mum is really enjoying her daughter's successes and supporting her so well on the bad days.
Whole families at camp are supporting each other and enjoying this too.
It is so important, as you say to ignore some of the language that hurts my ears just as my Norfolk accent hurt the French teacher's ears at school, and to look further.
This mum’s blog contains so much information which is invaluable to me. As I read her reports each day I learn more about the needs, and even demands, of families with children with disability.
I can then go on to use what I have learnt in my own work. I can begin to mould my "one man band" so I can offer these families something of what they are asking for.
As people will know if they already read my blog I am very interested in language.
I have had a very unusual life and I have had to learn both the importance of what words mean and the enormous importance of the sense which lies behind the meaning. I have been told that Luria, who lots of people in Conductive Education talk about and very few actually read, was very hot on this distinction, sense and meaning. The two are different but of course they are connected.
I love looking at people's blogs for the sense of what is going on there. I get to this I hope because I have my own strong sense of what is conductive and what is not. But I really do fear that people who have little or no such sense, or have the wrong sense, of this, will get hooked on the meaning of what they read and just end up with a very strange understanding of what they call “Conductive Education”.
This reminds me of my dear old teacher Mária Hári. We always used to say her explanations were wonderfully clear as long as you already knew what she was talking about!
Now I understand her much better.
Glad you are interested in reading a mother's perspective on CE. I am not sure I understand the point you are making about my perception of the individual program working between two lines. I have never heard the term "pedagogy" before so this may be why I don’t understand your point. Anyway, it is fascinating to see who is interested in what I write. My blog is a journal for my daughter, myself and our family and friends who are interested in my daughter’s progress here at ability camp. It is also a way to say thanks for the donations raised to support this very expensive camp. I take the pictures of Cassie if the conductors allow me to. I post them if the parents allow me to. There is only a short amount of time that the parents are allowed into the program. In the past Cassie has done extensive amounts of physiotherapy at Chedoke Children's Developmental Rehabilitation program in Hamilton Ontario. She used a Pony walker, regular walker, treadmill, gait training and other methods to learn to ambulate. I only have the Canadian physiotherapy perspective to compare CE with. There seems to be a lot of conflicting views.
Here at Ability Camp the CE conductors are presenting me with other options that are empowering and important to me.
I excitingly await more responses from others and love sharing information.
CANADIAN PARENT AS YOU
The children work so incredibly hard at camps, conductors too, but what for?
What about the parents, what are they learning? Who is teaching them, do they attend lectures, seminars or workshops at camp about conductive upbringing or Conductive Pedagogy? How do they acquire the information they need to continue the conductive family life once they get home?
What happens when the family gets home? Are there any home visits by conductors? Is there any follow-up work?
Do the parents know all that their children have learnt at camp, do they know what they can now achieve independently and how?
I do hope so.
But they are good enough, but often have not been shown how to be. How can they know if they don’t get taught at camp? At camp the conductors have the ideal place to continue outside the group to show the families how to live conductively. Families are there 24 hours a day. It would just need a second shift of conductors and Bob’s your uncle “conductive upbringing”!