Friday, 25 February 2011

Those immortal words...

  1. The conductor
  2. The programme
  3. The task series
  4. Intention / Rhythmical Intention
  5. The group

I begin increasingly to to fear that these words will indeed prove immortal, and continue to drag down Conductive Education for as long as it survives in recognisable form.

I have never been an enthusiast for changing the name but perhaps this increasingly represents a strong reason for doing so. Perhaps one might begin to think of abandoning the term 'Conductive Education', leaving it to encompass that whole entangled mare's nest of dappy descriptions (such as these 'elements'), dodgy neuro-babble, implausible organisational structures, myth, misunderstanding and commodification.

These endure, presumably because it suits all kinds of different interests that they should. Empirically speaking, they continue to constitute a considerable proportion of what is said or written about Conductive Education. Mention Conductive Education (or its equivalent in many other languages) and some or all of this soon appears, to divert attention and confuse the issue. They thrive on the Internet.

Perhaps the time approaches to restate the whole endeavour. I admire Susie Mallett and those others who have taken up the banner of 'conductive upbringing' and 'conductive pedagogy'. Maybe that way lies salvation. Maybe there are other ways. I should like to write 'Doing nothing is not an option' – but I know better!

I drafted this quick note as a Comment to a recent posting:

I have elevated this response to a posting in its own right because I realise that my besetting irony might not have been recognised as such, and because I have watched fascinated as, by the very modest standards of Conductive Education on the Internet, this latest outing for these wretched words has gone viral. A contrary view merits greater prominence.

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Anonymous Andrew said...

Further comment:

Friday, 25 February 2011 at 12:14:00 GMT  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

There have been many discussions in Germany about the words that are used in German, Konductive Förderung, to describe officially our work. I have written about the name of the game often on my blog and most recently I have published a letter I received from a good friend with his views on it.

I have always considered myself lucky to have never worked in a country where the title conductive education has been given the work that I do. I am glad that I have not had to bring up children conductively in a school with curriculums to stick to. I am glad that I have not had to fight against the first impressions of that name. We have our own fight with the name because of who should pay for it here in Germany but I think that is a different story although part of the whole too.

I arrived in Germany after having trained in konduktiv nevelés in Hungarian and having learnt about the theory of conductive pedagogy and upbringing in Hungarian. I was not using the description conductive education at that time and never have done because I am an up bringer that is why I got involved in the first place, that is what I wanted to learn to do, to bring up conductively.

When I came to Germany and was asked to describe my work, in English I translated it to conductive upbringing and in German to Erziehung. Upbringing is a word used often in the German language. The people who look after young children in Kindergarten are called up bringers. So although I did not know it in those early days, as my German was not good enough, it was a really good choice of words. Especially as a lot of the conductive upbringing in Germany actually takes place in Kindergartens often with Montessori trained “up bringers” working alongside conductors.

Officially the name remains conductive development but there are so many alternatives here in Germany.

Being a “conductive up bringer” has certainly helped me not get into tight corners when describing my work (up bringers are not really expected to speak neuro-babble), and when teaching families, children and adults how to live conductively.

Friday, 25 February 2011 at 21:31:00 GMT  

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