Monday, 6 October 2008

Expansion continuing in Western Australia

Something happening in Victoria too
What are ‘teacher-conductors’?

Two previous reports this year (Sutton, 2008a; 2008b) have drawn attention to ambitious plans based around Carlson Street School in Perth, Western Australia.

At the end of August the school announced approval of part of this plan in a very detailed job advertisement for two ‘teacher conductors’ (possibly the most detailed job advert for conductors that I have yet seen published).

In September the School posted a second advertisement, pulling out the stops to attract yet more teacher-conductor applicants (number unspecified) to take up post in January 2009.

Meanwhile in Melbourne…

Belmore School, a small suburban special school on the outskirts of Melbourne, is advertising for a ‘teacher/conductor’, having been operating a ‘mobility program based on the principles of conductive education’.

Again, a fuller-than-usual job description is provided.


From the late nineteen-eighties conductors trained at the Pető Institute in Budapest received a dual qualification, as conductors and schoolteachers. When working in English-speaking countries, conductors qualifying on that course have often stylied themselves ‘conductor-teachers’ The training course in Budapest has now been radically changed, however, one outcome of which is that henceforth there will be no more conductor-teachers – just ‘conductors’.

In the early nineties a collaborative training course at Keele University produced ‘teacher-conductors’, the change of word-order being said at the time to reflect the greater balance of emphasis on teacher-training within that particular course.

Complicated? That is only the tip of the iceberg in the complex world of conductor-education!

It is important here in understanding what the two Australian schools actually want. The two job descriptions provided illustrate the exceptionally ‘educational’ emphasis of the services being developed.

More fundamentally, it is more widely important because the future supply of conductor-teachers and teacher-conductors into the conductor labour-force is now closed off and will remain so unless another institution somewhere in the world takes up the baton. Conductors wanting to work as teachers and schools wanting to employ conductors as teachers will either have to think of post-qualification teacher qualifications (as some have done in some parts of the world) or look again at their long-term aspirations and models of working.

This is yet another tension within the existing ways of doing things, that can only grow over the forseeable future and will require accommodation and ultimately resolution in forming the future of Conductive Education.

Notes and references

Job adverts for Carson St School



Previous news reports on planned expansion in Western Australia

Sutton, A. (2008a) Expansion in Western Australia. Limitation now is employing sufficient conductors, Conductive World, 20 August

Sutton, A. (2008b) Major expansion in Western Australia. A giant awakes? Conductive World, 30 May

Belmore School



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