Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Coedited by a conductor
Seventeenth CE book over last five years

Conductor Zsoka Magyarszeky is one of the two joint editors of a book published at the end of October by the Free University of Amsterdam. This is not in itself 'a Conductive Education book', though Conductive Education is in there within a wider ecological whole –
This book describes the development of a differentiated network of disability care in a developing rural area consisting of a number of townships in South Africa. The network includes residential care for abandoned, neglected and orphaned children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities; semi-residential care in group homes for young adults with a disability and daily care in day care centres for families with a disabled child in the surrounding townships; and home-based care for families with a disabled child at their homes. Then an analysis is provided about how home-based care is carried out in two other African countries, Uganda and Zimbabwe, by a non-governmental organization in The Netherlands, aiming at direct child assistance and capacity development in developing countries. Finally, in-service training activities are described that are necessary for the transition from a residential nursing-oriented facility to a community-based care organization.

Conductive Education's intervention in Sizanani Children's Home is probably the boldest project to date to step out of old ways of doing things that were based upon the experiences and possibilities of Socialist Hungary, and to reformulate radically to meet the exigencies of a developing society. Along the way, thanks to the University of Utrecht, it has probably received the most intensive, continuous academic evaluation of any conductive project. Specifics aside, in an ideal world the Sizanani project would merit careful and critical consideration by everyone seriously attempting to make institutional innovations based on Conductive Education, and evaluate their outcomes. This does not apply just to the developing world – most certainly not.

Zsoka's co-editor on this book is Professor Adri Vermeer of Utrecht University.

Recent books in and on CE

Slowly, slowly Conductive Education is establishing a corpus of published works. On a quick, informal count Gill Maguire tells me that seventeen books have been published recently within the amorphous category of 'in and on' Conductive Education'. She is very aware that there may be others.

What is 'recently'? Gill arbitrarily sets this as as the last five years, starting in 2010. Within this bracket the predominant language for publishing books in or on Conductive Education has been English (German is second), with and most of the works being collections. Only one of these seventeen books might count as an academic book (given the nature of the field this is not necessarily a bad thing).

There are some good things here, for sharing with families, for practitioners and academics – and even for briefing media and politicians. Inclusion on this list should not necessarily be taken as a recommendation.

Seventeen books published on Conductive Education over five years, that is more than many might guess, though still not enough yet to constitute 'a literature' (academic or otherwise), and certainly not yet linking together to constitute a coherent body of knowledge. Within this context, Zsoka's book is notable for being the 'academic' one.

Most recent item on this topic


Vermeer, A., Magyarszeky, Z. (eds) Disability care in Africa: community-based rehabilitation in rural regions, Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit

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