Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Looking back and looking forward

How the future looked in the year 2000

Exerpted from a conference presentation of fourteen years ago –
Nasty nineties. The nineties were a hard time for Conductive Education in the United Kingdom ... The trend was towards unpaid assistants, technological solutions, or even total change of paradigm. Paradigm-change has been striking in special education where the very concept of 'special' has been questioned to the point of denial. The strongest expression of the inclusion movement in the United Kingdom ... is explicit denial that there is any such thing as special pedagogy at all...

Survival. ...A few centres went to the wall in the Recession but most kept going and new ones have opened ... the conductive centres have learned to work harder and more frenetically in the continuingly harsh and unforgiving economic climate ... everyday survival has had to become a major (often the only) strategic goal.
Strains ...Several organisations entered the nineties with grandiose plans. They had to cut their cloth to suit the new times ... and only one adheres to a dream of the eighties that so many once shared, of providing an all-age system (even within the childhood years).
Division. ...For many, the prime drive has been to establish a local service in response to the needs of a family member … A further divisive dimension has been a general tendency for conductors to form one camp, their employers another ... the overall picture of Conductive Education in the United Kingdom for most of the nineties has been of individual organisations and sectors fighting their own corners to little wider effect...
Tectonic shift ...evolution appears increasingly to be readying itself for more radical change ... The precise shape of the emerging conductive map of the United Kingdom over the next few years remains obscure, though it seems likely that the new map that emerges will differ significantly from the map of the nineties.
Globalisation ...Conductive Education represents a strong and vigorous philosophy but collectively, in every country, its institutions are fragile and vulnerable in the face of powerful forces such as the drive for inclusion, professional hostility, financial constraint and demands for evidence-based practice ... Traditional methods of cross-national collaboration (mutual visits, conferences, publication etc.) require surplus wealth and wider aspirations frankly beyond the scope of most conductive centres which, as a result, often pursue their own development in almost total isolation, squandering scarce resources in continual reinvention of the wheel... 

The past is another country – isn't it? And we already know something of its future.


Sutton. A. (2000) UK 2000: tectonic shift (Paper presented to the eighth meeting of the European Association for Conductive Education, University of Siegen, Germany), April

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Blogger NormanP said...

"The strongest expression of the inclusion movement in the United Kingdom ... is explicit denial that there is any such thing as special pedagogy at all..." That denial is the nub of it all, for me, Andrew.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 at 22:27:00 BST  
Blogger NormanP said...

And it's effects are still with us. Who needs special pedagogy when "top tips" will do? http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/apr/09/special-educational-needs-tips-boosting-attainment?utm_source=

Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 22:26:00 BST  

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