Monday, 12 January 2015


And it stands alone

Just before the New Year Conductive World briefly noted the free online availability of a review article from the United States, on Conductive Education:
Read the full article and judge for yourself whether in the specific case of this article the world is the poorer because of this – or otherwise.
Over the last couple of weeks more that a hundred people have clicked across and maybe read this article, perhaps even come to their own conclusions of its worth. My own take is that the article was a chance missed, both what was written for publication and in how little over the five years since its publication this article appears to have been used to spark desperately needed professional attention and discussion of Conductive Education.

The authors' account of what is CE is misguided, just chewing over yet again the old, mistaken 'principles'. How on Earth can anyone realistically consider that such activities could create the varied practices that constitute Conductive Education, and its enormous significance to those who become involved? There is no indication that the authors have actually examined the experience or substance of Conductive Education other than through  one case study and a selection of the literature of usual suspects.

The concluding discussion is largely descriptive and does not actually say much. Some of what it does say is just vacuous. What for example does the following sentence intend to convey?
Because of their focus on developmental goals, the programs are not appropriate for typically developing children.

It looks like the writers just cannot come to grips with what they perhaps sense might be involved, so they  shy away or prevaricate, as here for example:
The philosophy of CE does not fit with the philosophy of inclusion, but the social benefits of spending time with children with similar disabilities may be worthwhile.

Their coverage of CE research and what parents might conclude from it fails for the same reason.

The article was published in 2009, since when Conductive Education has edged a little further forward, in some places and in some respects. The published materials referred to in this review look antediluvian. In so far as the economic recession has unleashed a flood of suppressed stresses across its social environment, in a very real sense antediluvian is exactly what they are! Since then, there have appeared an as yet unresearched and still expanding range of new practices, and rather more literature in which one now read more widely around Conductive Education, in practice and in theory, from a variety of viewpoints.

For the meantime, however, this inadequate and misleading review article still stands lonely and prominent in the 'special education literature', defining Conductive Education to a disinterested educational world.


Ratliffe, K. T., Sanekane, C. (2009) Conductive education benefits and challenges, Teaching Exceptional Children, vol. 41, pp. 68-72

Sutton, A (2014) now free and online: American special-education article on CE, Conductive World, 29 December

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