Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Liberation pedagogy

CE to a T?

In a posting on Conductive Education World a couple of days ago, I remarked that I regard myself remiss in not having spotted the relevance of Paolo Friere’s liberation pedagogy to Conductive Education, with respect to both substance and social situation. My sin, I have now had pointed out to me, is even worse than I had thought! Yesterday, Norman Perrin added the following comment on my posting.

In Looking Back and Looking Forwards: a tribute to Andrew Sutton, see ‘Conductive Education - a liberating pedagogy’ by Ray Kohn.

Ray writes ‘It was clear to me that CE, when properly practised, was a systematic structure of liberating pedagogy. I could imagine Paulo Freire smiling at my rather late discovery.’

Ray brings his contribution to a close with this remarkable testimony: ‘[Conductors] are amongst the most interesting educationalists I have come across over the past 30 years. Their willingness to adapt, their speed of understanding genuine issues of learning and their unusual skills give them remarkable insights into the possibilities that are always present for any learner.’

It really does show that I'm really getting old when I don't remember my own Festschrift!

My apologies all round, not least to Ray Kohn, and thanks, Norman, for bringing this so promptly to my attention!

This morning I tried to hunt out my ancient copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed – to no avail. Just where might such a little book have been filed? Maybe I had ‘lent’ it to a student in some distant past! I found some very interesting things from the seventies but not what I was looking for.

I see, however, that there are whole chapters of this little book published on the Internet. – and http://www.abebooks.com/ can find a copy for just a small handful of dollars.

We might hear very little about liberation pedagogy nowadays in Western education, which marches for the moment to a very different drum, but it's alive and kicking in Africa and other places where its need is recognised.

One point of Friere’s pedagogy was particular poignant to me today – for this has been the day on which this year's new cohort of student-conductors has started at NICE. Meeting new students always make me think of the qualitative change that they will have to undergo in order to become conductors.

On all of which, doubtless, more anon.


NB Paolo Friere was an educator of adults. That does not mean that his understanding cannot be recast to relate to pedagogic practice with children – but his ‘adultness’ should not be simply put aside.

Previous posting

Sutton, A. (2008) Something borrowed... something blue... Conductive Education World, 14 September


Thanks to the wonders of print-on-demand technology, copies of this collection of articles are still available.

In in the US, from:

In the UK, from:



Blogger Laszlo said...

From your note: "Paolo Freire was an educator of adults."
So was Andras Peto at the begining of everything. CE still works the best for those who mentally can follow you....I understand it as "a sort of udultness".

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 at 15:43:00 BST  
Blogger Laszlo said...

I meant Peto was dealing with adults. Of course, he was not an educator "but a transformer". Sorry

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 at 15:50:00 BST  
Blogger Laszlo said...

I meant he was dealing with adults. Of course, he was not an educator but a "transformer". Sorry

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 at 15:54:00 BST  
Blogger raykohn said...

No apologies necessary, Andrew. Paulo Freire is still smiling.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 at 20:05:00 BST  
Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

"The future is not something hidden in a corner. The future is something we build in the present".
Paulo Freire

I think that this quote might be one of the essential codes explaining why conductive education revive hope in parents. They become active partners in building, at present, their children's future. By doing so,they regain control and learn potency (opposed to learned helplessnes)

Thursday, 18 September 2008 at 11:29:00 BST  

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