Friday, 21 February 2014


What is conductive upbringing?
A few more published resources now

For some reason a five-year-old item from Conductive World has bobbed up as being a most frequently visited posting over the last month:

Sutton, A. (2010) What does 'upbringing' mean? Conductive World, 31 January

I have been back and corrected typos and layout. Substantively, however, the document seems to stand.

Change over the last five years?
  • My feeling is that more conductors begin to see themselves explicitly in the business of upbringing rather than just pedagogy but I cannot concretise this (it would be wonderful if somebody else would try to confirm or refute this). On the other hand, there remains a considerable public understanding that sees Conductive Education as a kind of 'therapy' – not even pedagogy – a long, long way removed from upbringing.
  • Susie Mallett has continued to describe and develop conductive upbringing practice through her two blogs, and gone on to elaborate the notion of conductive lifestyle ( and
  • Through her Conductor Nürnberg Press she has also published three relevant resource books, Let me tell you a story, It came like a bolt from the blue, and George's Travelogues.
  • Conductive Education Press too has published two resource books offering insights from within various conductive upbringings and lifestyles, Intelligent Love and Never, Never Quit.
These are small changes in themselves but perhaps they are signal that five years down the line the question 'What is conductive upbringing?' is ready to be addressed anew, now from within the world of Conductive Education itself.

Perhaps accumulation of descriptions of what is experienced as happening within conductive upbringings (and lifestyles), from the perspectives of those directly involved in such transactions, might prove heuristic to further innovation in practice, and to raising hypotheses for the analytic attention still needed here.

Here is one obvious hypothesis: the specifics of conductive pedagogy may be a very good thing but, without their being applied within a framework of conductive upbringing (lifestyle), they are reductionist and therefore limited in their potential outcome. This is hardly a radically original suggestion: I have heard it expressed so many times and in so many ways over the years, in so many voices, but it has massive implications for provision, training and research. Five years on, can the world of Conductive Education yet face these?

Meanwhile, to play it again:

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