Thursday, 9 January 2014


In place of education

The other day the Internet served me up a 'famous quotation' about Conductive Education:
[Conductive Education] is not a good fit for other disorders, like autism and Down syndrome, ... It's designed specifically for motor skill disabilities and it doesn't work well with cognitive disabilities…
To be honest, I was rather surprised that there are any 'famous quotes' about Conductive Education, so I looked to see who had said or written this one, when and where?

Quotation lists

This quotation appears on line as one of a huge list of quotations on all sorts of topics. Its author is given as Stephanie Reed, but with no further information to suggest who she is and where or when this was published. I did find that there are a number of such quotation lists on line, intended for students looking to embellish their coursework. Several of them include this quotation, plus another half dozen also attributed to Stephanie Reed on Conductive Education. This is the collection that I found first:

I do not know whether in 2014 many students around the world are writing assignments on Conductive Education. If they are, and if a proportion do indeed use such cribs, then these seven quotations from Stephanie Reed are indeed de facto famous – and Ms Read must be a bit of a superstar to the assignment-writing classes.

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie Reed may not know that her words have won such attention.

She is the mother of a child with cerebral palsy. The usual therapies were begun at eight months of age but by two years Stephanie realised that something else was required, and She first heard mention of Conductive Education. In February 2004 the 60 Minutes TV report on CE galvanised her into action, and she took her daughter to Grand Rapids for four weeks. Then she privately hired conductors, Erika and Peter Bartos, and the decision to open a center in Bluffton, South Carolina, soon followed

In August 2005 Stephanie told her story to her local newspaper – a familiar enough story across North America, and the rest of the English-speaking world and some of Western Europe. This write-up, written by local reporter Jacqueline Lewis, was indeed rather better than some such that one might read elsewhere. This article is the source of all seven famous quotations listed. Though the particular quotation that first caught my attention is a bit off target, the other half dozen taken together offer a fair picture. Quite an achievement, Stephanie and Jacqueline.

I wonder whether either realises what wide use this report has been put to.

The center was the Grace Center, still running. Stephanie Reed's daughter attends high school, but Stephanie is still with the Grace Centre. So are Erika and Peter Bartos. Jacqueline Lewis is still with the newspaper. Good innings all round.

And Stephanie's words have lived on. Rightly or wrongly, they help fix Conductive Education in the culture.


Those who routinely write assignments, and those who set and mark them, might be surprised at my initial bemusement at the chance generation of CE's seven famous quotations.

Knowledge commodified to feed the perceived requirements of students within the education system. There is nothing really new here, I suppose, except the electronic tools of the trade – and the sophisticated electronic tools that teachers and lecturers routinely use to combat it.

Almost as bemusing for me are the social structures that have created an apparent need for all this activity in the first place. Nothing specific to Conductive Education, of course. All work for the working man, and woman. And such a waste of time.

The quotes are free. For a small fee, of course, you can have the whole assignment written for you. It looks quite a service. One of its advertised features is 'No plagiarism'!

A precedent

In a less technological age, in pre-War Austria, writing other people's coursework was one of the ways in which András Pető made a living. Allegedly.

Now, if you would like to quote from or about him...


Lewis, J. (2005) The Island Packet, 30 August

Maguire, G., Sutton, A. (eds.) (2013) CEP Quotationary of András Pető and Conductive Education, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press

Reed, S. (n.d.) Quotes, Custom Papers Network

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