Friday, 27 June 2014


USA and Hungary, young and old
Two lists on the same day

Ten lessons from Conductive Education...

Jalyss Zapf, newly qualified American conductor, lists on her blog –

See the bigger picture. 'Holistic' is a bit of a buzzword in Conductive Education. Despite appearing heavily motor-based, CE is actually an integrated, holistic system that aims to facilitate cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development... it goes beyond individuals and their disabilities, taking into considering the family and community environment, culture, and social structures around them.

Aim high. Expectation is massive. Across the board conductors expect more. It will be hard, it will take time, but progress will be made... Humans have incredible abilities to adapt to difficult situations, often we just need someone else to expect it from us, to believe in us.

Be outrageously positive. Seriously positive... Be realistic, but be extremely positive... If there is a positive angle to find, a conductor will find it.

Look for small victories. It matters! Something may look small, but it’s a big deal. Huge moments may sometimes look pretty average.

Be careful with language. Use negatives, not positives... Be very specific, to help people link what a movement is and what it feels like... draw attention back to what they are doing and how it feels.

Not ability but potential. This is not just semantics... CE chooses to concentrate on the cans rather than the can'ts, trying to overcome a deficit.

See everything. See what is important... Conductors don’t compartmentalize, CE is about everything, all the time. But you’ve got to look for it.

How not to care. Conductors care about those they work with, but are not there to care for them. Instead, they enable. If they struggle, offer encouragement, don’t offer to do it for them... It is the conductor's responsibility to give people opportunity to have responsibility for their own lives.

Plan. Every tiny detail.... Being forced to put that level of detail down on paper helps one start to think in that kind of detail. Thinking in that kind of detail helps one focus and makes for a more effective educator.

Manage time. Plan to use the time available to its full potential, not wasting a minute

Twelve questions about the Pető Institute

Hungarian Member of Parliament Timea Szabó has tabled twelve written questions to Zoltán Balog, Minister for Human Resources, about that happens now over the Pető Institute. In summary, these cover the following –
  • remediation of problems over the accreditation of the Peto Institue's degrees, and what she regards as the insufficient actions of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee
  • involvement of the health-care system with the Pető Institute's work
  • integration with special education training
  • medical supervision of foreign children served by the Pető Institute, both in Hungary and abroad.

A new world dawning?

I do so hope that the future of CE can now lie increasingly with fresh formulations from young individuals rather than in questions to old institutions. It is encouraging to see over on Facebook that mention of Jalyss's 10 points is notching up approvals:

Another world still

The title of this posting evokes the late Urie Bronfenbrenner's little book, Two Worlds of Childhood: US and USSR. This wasby far the best thing that he ever wrote (and yes. I do know about all that 'ecological' stuff!), and essential reading for anyone concerned with the pedagogy of upbringing.

My ancient copy appears to have been nicked. No problem nowadays, as there are plenty out there going for a song, for example:

I have just ordered a replacement copy for just one penny!

For those who do not know it (most people nowadays, I should think) this jolly little book should raise some interesting questions about placing (and developing) conductive upbringing in the contemporary Western world.


– (2014) Mi lesz a Pető Intézettel? Népszava, 25 June

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1970) Two Worlds of Childhood: US and USSR, NY, Basic Books

Zapf, J. (2014) 10 things Conductive Education has taught me, Hop, Skip and a Jump, 25 June

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