Thursday, 20 April 2017


Crazy word. Crazy world
All our futures?

Visitor Map

I am surprised that I first came across this word only a few days ago when I read it in The Times.

It refers to an all-pervading process in contemporary economics, finance, business, management, politics, social change. It signifies something that we all know to be an integral feature of modern life, like the air itself so pervasive that one hardly needs mention it at all, what we used to call 'cutting out the middle man'.

Pick your own, do it yourself, self-service, vending machines, automatic tills, self-driving vehicles, eBay, e-commerce, e-publishing, artificial intelligence, robotics, cost-savings, delayered management, redundancies, obsolete jobs, retraining, unemployment... See it all around you.

As I sit at home preparing to self-publish this posting, I see that the (automatic) spell-check on my personal computer is well ahead of me and already recognises 'disintermediation' as part of the English language. No doubt there are equivalent words in languages other than English.

There is also a word 'reintermediation' (not yet in my computer's spell-check, but Google has it).

Conductive Education?

Conductive Education's provision, development, even its very theory, are at any time and in in any place inextricably part of their social, material and ideological contexts. They share the technological and economic constraints and opportunities of the differing societies in which we live and work.

The Hungary in which all those years ago András Pető, Mária Hária  and others developed and consolidated what we today call Conductive Education was a society that was predominantly low-wage, low-cost, and nominally socialistic. This saw emergence of a particular conductive practice and provision. The Western world into which these have now seeped over the last thirty-odd years provides some very different contexts. Hong Kong has provided a quite different one again. So of course does modern-day Hungary!

From the outset of Conductive Education's internationalisation, financial constraint has been an almost universal governing factor in what has been done and achieved. Spot your own examples of how this comes across, remembering that what people do will may soon be reflected on how they talk about it, and how they think and explain. Even what they believe.

Remember too that, like them or loath them, the resulting developments need not necessarily be either good or bad.

From the outset of this internationalisation parents, conductors and others have sought and found diverse ways to escher the notion of a large-scale institutions, going instead for direct client-provider models, at first within families' own homes, often of late through conductors' own private practices.

Still to be articulated in the context of the modern world, however,  is the radical disintermediation of cutting out the too-expensive and barely available conductors, as was first exemplified, articulated and advocated by Karóly and Magda Ákos back in the nineteen eighties – and largely ignored ever since..

Impossible? Even ten years ago, who would ever have thought of a driverless taxi? Before discounting the very notion of conductorless conduction, just think of all those other jobs, trades and professions that have already vanished or will follow them very soon. As Mária Hári used to say –

There are many roads to Rome

One such possible way as Goethe put it (the Ákoses quoted this as the epigraph to their book Dina)

There is a way... the mothers!

There could doubtless be others.


Ákos, K., Ákos, M. (1989) Dina: eine Mütte praktiziert die konduktive Pädagogik Education (Petö System), Ulm: Alabanda Verlag

Ákos, K., Ákos, M. (1991) Dina: a mother practises Conductive Education (Pető System), Birmingham and Ulm: Foundation for Conductive Education and Alabanda Verlag

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home