Friday, 18 April 2014

FOREIGN BUSINESS

Trade with Russia

'Health tourism' is big business worldwide and one way to think of the internationalisation of Conductive Education phenomenon is, at least partly, in terms of this. In Hungary the work of the Pető Institute today is not merely a matter of providing for some Hungarian children (and a few adults) with motor disorders; it is also a part of the country's health tourism economy i.

Hungary's trade in Conductive Education with Western nations has by the very nature of their societies has been unstructured, fragmentary and subject to irresistible competition from individual parents and institutions, and independent conductors. Looking eastwards, however, despite the existence of a potential core of already trained Russia conductors, the countries of the former Soviet Union (the CIS, the Commonwealth of Independent States) have not experienced a similar scattering of spontaneously created, local conductive services.

In contrast, for some years now the Pető Institute in Budapest has hosted a steady stream of children and their parents from the territories of the CIS in its long-standing 'Russian groups'. This trade has been organised in a commercial way that would hardly be possible in the context of Western countries – though it is possibly rather more closely to how authorities in Hungary might have preferred things to have been everywhere ever since CE became a possible commercial product at the end of the nineteen-eighties.

Over the years there has been no contact between the activities around Conductive Education in the Western nations and in the CIS. This implies no Cold War or Iron Curtain, being probably no more than yet another, particular example of the isolation, failed communication and anomie within the fragmenting world of Conductive Education.

An advertisement

The Hungarian Medical Center [American-English name in the original] displays the following online Russian-language advertisement, renered here in loose English translation –

Conductive pedagogy at the Prof A. Pető Institute

Within the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States the company Hungarian Medical Center and its associates will assist parents with children wishing to undertake conductive pedagogy with travel arrangements. Classes may be held in already-assembled groups and individually, which is significantly reflected in the result.

The purpose of the conductive pedagogy method is the harmonious, integrated and interconnected development a child's movement functions (motorics), cognitive abilities, and the emotional and social skills necessary for everyday life and intellectual level.

Specialist conductologists ii create all the conditions necessary for the children freely to fulfil the tasks presented, with motivation thoroughly utilised as inducement to action.

The most important task of rehabilitation courses in conductive pedagogy is the simultaneous, maximal restoration of the organism's damaged functions, through the complex development of the child's whole personality. Such a program is aimed not only towards developing motor functions but also teaching children self-help skills, language development, and mental abilities .

Institute of conductive pedagogy

After undergoing a course of conductive pedagogy, children have usually improved significantly in their physical condition, they have better coordinated movements, and have formed more developed speech. For all children, there there is noted increase in mobility, coordination and self-help skills, and children also learn to use knife and fork and spoon on their own.

Furthermore, there is a significant improvement in attention and self-control. Self-possession appears, the children often consciously show motivation in their movements and feel confident in their abilities.

An important component of conductive pedagogy is teaching parents basics for developing their child further at home. Complying with all the specialist conductologist's recommendations plays a major role in shaping the child's future skills. One must understand that conductive pedagogy is not a temporary process – it is a way of life.

Conductive pedagogy is an especially integrated process of teaching and learning, worked out in such a way as to affect all the functions of a human organism with damage to the central nervous system. The tools of conductive pedagogy tools are complex programs tailored to the child's age and reflecting the nature and rhythm of life of non-disabled children (including their physical, mental and social needs).

The conductive pedagogy method was developed by Professor András Pető . He became one of the first to consider damage to the central nervous system, not as a disease but as a particular kind of problem in teaching and learning iii.

As with non-disabled children, children with CNS damage develop through the process of teaching and learning, the difference being only that the condition makes the condition makes the formation of motor functions significantly harder.

The method of Conductive Education applies in the following cases:
  • children with cerebral palsy
  • development of children with motor delay (starting at 6 months of age ) .
Conductive pedagogy provides the possibility of achieving good results not only in childhood but also in in the rehabilitation of adults:
  • recovery of motor function after spinal and brain injuries;
  • rehabilitation of adults with CNS disorders, post-insult (hemiplegia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ataxia)
The Hungarian Medical Centre's associates in your own country will arrange your trip to Hungary for group or individual sessions of conductive pedagogy from start to finish. To find out the cost and get an answer from a specialist conductologist, fill in the form below, specifying in detail the child's condition.


The above text and its attached form suggest a society and culture with a rather rather more sophisticated understanding of human development, its anomalies and what might be done about these, than is general amongst lay and professional people in for example the United Kingdom.

i    The notion of a Hungarikum originated as a marketing device to promote Hungarian exports.
ii    кондуктологи – konduktologi
iii   обучениe – obuchenie

Reference

Hungarian Medical Center (2014) Кондуктивная педагогика в Институте проф. А.Петё


Friday, 11 April 2014

BAD LANGUAGE

Orwellian

I have recently had to to read some pieces of pretty awful native-speaker English – and found myself staring aghast into what lies beneath. I was reading from professional-academic and corporate-managerialist fields. The malaise (as I experience it) is wider, and I am hardly the only one who baulks at it.

In the context of politics and public life, in yesterday's Times David Aaronovich invoked George Orwell –
Orwell's charge was that bad thinking and bad writing are inextricably linked. 'A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure,' he wrote, 'and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.' The same was true for language. 'It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.'
And [Orwell] went on to give some examples of the worst kind of writing, before showing how certain habits distorted or, just as often, obscured meaning. These habits would include the use of stale imagery, the replacement of concrete expressions with abstract ones, the deployment of long technical words instead of simpler ones and the use of phrases that are 'tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse'.
The specific occasion for Mr Aaronovich's article was the text of a recent open letter to the Guardian newspaper by nineteen left-wing (leftist?) worthies.
Orwell's point applies here. When you write this badly, when you are so unclear that even experts in your field cannot decipher your intention, there is a reason for it. It could of course simply be that you are an idiot. But two other explanations are more likely: either that you don't really know what you mean yourself; or that you do know but you'd rather not spell it out.

I know what he means. On the whole the sort of stuff that I have been reading is not written by idiots: they have been through the education system (perhaps not the most sterling test) and are managing well enough in their careers to be able to publish this stuff, So, either they don't really know what they talking about, or they are wilfully trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Or as likely, both.

Orwell's essay on the politics of language was first published in 1946. Looking back, its central message once just seemed part of the culture. Last year, Penguin republished it and I was disappointed to find parts of his argument rather unconvincing, and his own use of language not always of the best (though perhaps that rather confirms his point!). Even so, reading official and academic documents on for example 'special educational needs', or the pronouncements of corporate management, I sometimes just do not understand what is being said, and I think of Orwell, thus –
Orthodoxy of whatever colour seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style (p. 13)...

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits... (p. 20)

This is a matter not solely of language in the service of politics. I think guiltily of some of my own linguistic sins committed in the name of Conductive Education, and I hope that others will do so too, of theirs.

References

Aaronovich, D. (2012) Orwell would loath this leftie gobbledegook, The Times, 10 April, p. 29

Orwell, G. (2013) Politics and the English Language, London, Penguin Books




Thursday, 10 April 2014

MÁRIA HÁRI IN A CUPBOARD

We so nearly never knew her

Here's a little story that Mária Hári told me, a very long time ago. I did not take notes and memory is beginning to fade with time.

It refers to an experience of hers during the War. When I heard it, I did not then know enough to ask relevant questions so I just let her tell me as it came out.

I do not therefore know more exactly the date at which this happened, or where – or who 'they' were.

Mária had been born in 1923 into prosperous family, with a grand house in Buda behind where the Hotel Budapest now stands. Her father was a banker. He was Jewish, her mother was not. This made her a 'half-Jew'. This may not have been easy for her in the social climate in which she grew up but it became actively dangerous after the German take-over of Hungary in 1944. She was Jewish enough to merit extermination under the suddenly worsening regime.

I gather that Mária's father had gone Switzerland while he still could, leaving behind in Budapest his wife, Mária, and Mária's disabled sister. Mária was put to work sewing along with other women in a factory making shirts for the military. I do not know which military, the Hungarian or the German. Then the factory was cleared. She told me –
One day they came for us, and took all the women. I hid in a cupboard. Another girl also hid. I had to stay absolutely not moving for three days.

And the other girl?
She moved. They found her. She died.

Remembering Mária

Mária herself died in October 2001.

In October 2004 I made a contribution to the Memorial Day organised by Agnes Borbély and Moira in Budapest. The room was full of ladies from the Pető Institute who had known Mária and worked with her for years. Some has heard that little tale, many had not. How true was it that it happened just as I recall her telling me? I do not know, but it shoewd them a younger Mária whom they recognised at once from her later years. It was 'true' in that sense.

I spoke about Mária's contradictory characteristics, including her 'rigidity (her own word for it), with this little vignette of her three days silent in a store cupboard as one illustration –
Mária hung on, and lived. I can picture a crazy, frightened young woman in the store cupboard. Only someone with iron will could have survived, only someone 'rigid'. Perhaps this was exactly the person that Conductive Education needed to act as the bridge from the strange world of András Pető to the dawn of the new Hungary.

I have told this little story before, but it is worth remembering her and pondering what she gave to Conducive Education, both for those who knew her and those who did not.

References

Sutton, A. (2007) Mária Hári, from whom we still have much to learn (presentation to Commemorative Meeting hosted by Moira at the Budapest Technical University, 9 October, 2004), in Mária Hári and her Conductive Education, Budapest, MPANNI, pp. 60-66

Also translated into Hungarian by Földiné Németh Gabriella:

Sutton, A. (2005) Mária Hári, akitől még mindig tanulunk, in Mária Hári (1923-2001), Budapest, MPANNI, pp. 59-65






Wednesday, 9 April 2014

SPARTACISTS

Need context

The great explosion of interest in Conductive Education in the United Kingdom in the late nineteen-eighties (that forced open the door for the internationalisation of Conductive Education) was no spontaneous phenomenon resulting directly from the inherent virtues of the system. What happened in the UK twenty-odd years ago was that CE was advocated and fought for, vigorously, in a variety of ways, often individually but usually within a conductive movement that saw itself primarily as political, with the aim of replacing established ways of doing things.

I was reminded about this world yesterday by a chance meeting with Frank Clark in a street in Birmingham. He told me that he is still in touch with Tom Hanley. Frank and Tom were pioneer Pető-parents, and CE-activists. Yesterday Frank took some pleasure in telling me about an escapade of Tom's last year, that was nothing to do with Conductive Education.

Later I looked for this on line, then I exerpted the following account from Tom's local newspaper, the Bolton News
BOLTON’S mayor will not apologise for throwing a member of the public out of a crunch full council meeting — despite unions contacting the borough’s solicitor.
The meeting to approve this year’s budget, council tax rise and more than £43 million worth of cuts was interrupted twice after the mayor, Cllr Guy Harkin, was forced to halt proceedings because of disruption in the public gallery.
Unions had organised a protest outside the Town Hall and some members then entered the gallery to watch the meeting. The mayor — in his ceremonial role as chairman of the meeting — began by saying disruptions would not be tolerated and that he would clear the public gallery if necessary.
A shout of 'Get on with it' led to him adjourning the meeting for five minutes.

Several minutes later, another shout saw Cllr Harkin identify the Bolton Libraries campaigner, Tom Hanley, as the alleged source — and he was told to leave. Several voices were heard to shout 'It wasn’t Tom Hanley' and, in scenes reminiscent of the film Spartacus, a woman shouted 'I’m Tom Hanley'.
Cllr Harkin then ordered the public gallery to be cleared and police were called after two people refused to move.
Mr Hanley — who denies he was the person shouting — said he had refused to leave until he received an apology.
He was persuaded by council leader Cllr Cliff Morris, who said the Mayor would allow the public back in if he left...
Tom Hanley denied he shouted the remark. He said: 'I stayed behind to wait for an apology. I’m still waiting for an apology now.' Cllr Harkin said: 'I’ve known Tom Hanley for 55 years. I went to school with him and I know his voice. He was caught bang to rights. There’s no question of an apology'...
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/10257517.print/
Civil disruption played a part in creating and maintaining media and political attention for CE in the United Kingdom in the late eighties (Frank had a penchant for chaining himself to railings, those of the Birmingham Education Office and the Spastics Society come to mind). There were other parts played too, not least politicking at national level, active media-management, and 'shotgunning' professional and academic conferences and publications. The UK was not the only country where the movement for Conductive Education operated actively on a broad front.

I do not know how many years it has been since I last heard of the use of public trouble as a tool to create public awareness of the anger and the demands of parents faced with current services for themselves and their children. This approach seems quite out of kilter with current public-relations notions in the little world of Conductive Education.

Perhaps, if parents begin to think that they have been sold a pup with the new 'special educational needs' legislation, some may eventually become angry enough for direct action again, with Conductive Education catching the new mood. Nice to see that the Old Guard keeping its hand in, even if CE is no longer politicised.

The wider activity of which popular (populist?) action was once but a part is no longer apparent. Conductive Education, is rarely seen now featuring in national politics, it has virtually no media-presence (other than as something looking for funds), and makes almost no appearance at all in conferences and journals other than its own.

Reference

(2013) Cllr Harkin defiant over throwing protester out of meeting, Bolton News,28 February



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

MILLENNIUM'S END

Looking back to looking forward

How the future looked in the year 2000

Exerpted from a conference presentation from 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 very 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 not the present Great one, an earlier lesser example!]... 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......
http://web.archive.org/web/20030626224011/http://www.conductive-education.org.uk/html/news/tectonic.html
The past is another country – isn't it? And we already know something of its future.

Reference

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

Monday, 7 April 2014

HUNGARIAN ELECTION: DONE AND DUSTED

Final results at weekend

All over (bar the shouting)

The following is now certain (I think):
  • Fidesz ('centre right') attracted 44% voters, which gained it 67% of Parliamentary seats and give it a resounding Parliamentary majority and access to the magic two-thirds majority, enabling it not just to dominate Parliament but also to change the constitution if and when it wants to
  • Jobbik (far right) has won 10% of Parliamentary seats, representing twenty percent of voters
  • a loose opposition coalition (small left-liberal parties) attracted gained 26% of seats, giving it 19% of the seats, but is scheduled to dissolve into its constituent parts anyway now that the Election is done.
Am I sure of any of this? Final results are due this weekend, by which time a clear tabulation will surely have emerged.

Like it or not

The Hungarian people have made their choice, according to their laws. Writing on Facebook yesterday, conductor Minika Ildiko Pataki sensed that I am no fan of Fisesz, and less so of Jobbik –
Mr Sutton! Please respect the vote of more than 2 million Hungarians! It was a free election and this is the result... you like it or not...
https://www.facebook.com/conductive.world/posts/10203348117253918?comment_id=7177693&offset=0&total_comments=5

Monika is quite right to caution thus. I replied –
The voice of the people is the voice of God (8th century, maybe even Classical). Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time (W. Churchill).
As for yesterday's outcome, the dilemma facing Hungarian voters was not an uncommon one.

I stand behind the principle of choice, in politics as in parental choice of schooling, and children's voice. That does not mean that I have to approve and go along with of how they choose... I am not, however, sure that I would altogether go with this democratic ideal 
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

(often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs.

(The matter of young people's choice may amount as a contentious issue in the forthcoming reform of 'special educational needs' in England.)

And Conductive Education?

Like it or not, Hungarian national politics and the Hungarian people's choice might come to affect many of those involved in Conductive Education both inside and outside Hungary. 

References

Gati, C. (2014) What Viktor Orbán’s victory means for Hungary and the West, Washington Post, 7 April
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-viktor-orbans-victory-means-for-hungary-and-the-west/2014/04/07/a4ab440c-bb87-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html

Tirraoro, T (2014) My son must make his own SEN decisions? Are you kidding? Special Needs Jungle, 7 April










Sunday, 6 April 2014

PSYCHOLOGISTS: DONCHA LOVE'EM?

Professional advancement

A group of 26 UK psychologists has written a joint letter to the BPS (British Psychological Society) to express their concern about the present status of the institution of psychology in their county, and propose a solution –
... we believe the BPS risks losing influence and becoming marginalised... we are asking you to support our plan to reform the Society so it can meet the challenges of the 21st century... 
Our belief is that the profile of our entire profession will be enhanced in the eyes of the public, government and business by establishing and using the title of Royal College of Psychologists...
We feel this enhanced title will galvanise the organisation, arrest the slump in recruitment, provide a strong reason for existing members to remain in the organisation and attract new members...
They report that over the last three years the membership of the BPS has levelled off at around 49,000, with particular concern for a fall in the number of student members.
To understand better the mood, we sampled opinions of colleagues and have found a marked degree of dissatisfaction regarding the BPS. In an online survey of 456 psychologists (including 374 BPS members) we found that most believe the BPS neither provided value for money nor met their professional needs...
Some respondents questioned the continuing relevance of the BPS... Other respondents told us they felt the BPS was lacking effectiveness as an advocate for the profession. ‘It’s poor at making a stand, representing the profession, and making any sort of decision’, said one psychologist. While another commented: ‘I don’t believe the BPS can meet the professional representation needs of psychologists with its current configuration.’
This notwithstanding  
By contrast, our respondents were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the formation of a Royal College of Psychologists, 90.4 per cent supporting the idea. Among the main reasons given in support were that a College would act ‘as a unified voice’ to safeguard the professional integrity of all psychologists, as well being an active advocate for how psychologists and their work are perceived. It would also act as ‘the definitive authority’ in the eyes of the public, both at home and abroad.
The great majority of respondents (84 per cent) also believed a Royal College would play a valuable role in protecting the needs of psychologists...
We believe this move is in accord with both the intentions and actions of the Society’s founders.
As Georges Clemenceau might have said –

La science psychologique! C’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des psychologues.

Reference

Benjamin, M. J. et al., (2014) Call for formation of a Royal College of Psychologists (letter), The Psychologist, vol. 27, no 4, pp.216-217
http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home.cfm?volumeID=27&editionID=238&ArticleID=2435


Saturday, 5 April 2014

WHAT A JOB

What words
What a contradiction

An advert

People have been asking me lately about job adverts, and the jobs and institutions that they portray. I even clicked on a link on one of them (in the Guardian, no less) and it sent me further details. I will not be applying, mainly of course because I would not want the job and the job wouldn't want me!

But I wouldn't apply anyway because of the nature of the communication that I received, an automatically generated covering letter that kicked off with 'Hi there'. I suppose that there are minimum-wage employments for which this greeting might, in certain circumstances, be arguably appropriate but this was a job for a 'Chief Executive Officer' in the voluntary sector or, as local papers often call this, a 'charity boss'. (Many local papers, not all, have also now dumbed down to beneath the level of effective adult communication.)

This letter came with attachments that included even more cause for potential serious applicants to steer a mile clear.
  • One was a form for the applicant to fill in, on 'diversity'. I never take part in processes involving racist pseudo-science, with no facility to opt out. I wonder where all these pieces of meaningless data will end up, ready to be used for what purpose in what circumstances in some as yet unknown future. I abhor pseudo-science, fear dehumanised bureaucracy, and am horrified how seemingly sensible citizens allow themselves to be put at risk voluntarily submitting at a time when it is relatively easy to stay out. I get such forms offered me when I go to a hospital, and always tick the 'None of these' box, or write 'Not applicable', or say politely 'I do not fill in such things', and that is always the end of the matter. But in a job application? What impudence. I suspect that it would been illegal to take any account of 'ethnicity' profiling, however collected, as part of any recruitment process, so why do it anyway?
  • The remaining enclosures, were potentially more related to the job to be done, what the organisation is there for, what the successful candidate would be uniquely required to do to achieve this. And oh, what dull, hackneyed, right-on, dated, managerialist guff this turns out to be. For me, nothing extinguishes the will to live, but reading this documentation certainly killed dead the will to work for such an organisation.
Applicants

But what if potential employees think that way themselves, like that sort of stuff, and speak, think and act like that themselves? This advert had been written by a recruitment agency? There are plenty such people about. Perhaps the Trustees of the charity want to employ just that sort of new boss, to impose just the sort of ethos that the documentation implies. The bumff sent to me could act as a filter to attract just that sort of applicant, and fend off others. Maybe the Trustees do not want this outcome, but they may get it anyway – which case, bearing in mind that it is hardly rocket science to advertise for staff, why on Earth did they not just do so themselves and generate a wider, more open field of candidates?

On Thursday I was on a bus, reading a copy of the free newspaper Metro in which an article by Ross McGuiness warned those applying for jobs: don't write your application in tired clichés and hackneyed buzzwords.

This article kicked off with deliberate irony ' Moving forward' it begins...
...buzzwords don’t just demean us verbally – they can take us to a whole new level of absurdity in written form... There is a simple answer to all this stuff and that is: show, don’t tell... If you write a CV which is actually about outcomes and results, you tend to naturally skip away from the clichéd stuff...

The problem with clichés is they become clichés very quickly... What starts as a vibrant saying... quickly becomes a cliché, and using a cliché says, 'I’m out of date'...

The problem with buzzwords... is that so many people are using them that following suit will never make you stand out from the crowd...when people use them, what they actually send out is a message that says 'I’m just like everyone else'.

Mr McGuinness advised applicants to eschew all buzzwords and confine themselves to writing what they actually mean (this of course presumes that they do mean something in the first place.

Sitting on the bus I felt that all this seems to apply to the communications of would-be employers too.

Civil service

Over the weekend I noticed that Sir Edward Gower's Plain Words has just been republished in a new edition. Not before time, as anyone knows who reads the barely intelligible verbal murk that is currently the favoured style of England's Department of Education – perhaps its utterest tripe is reserved for documents directed to those concerned with 'special educational needs', though 'early years' receives a generous helping too.

It was so pleasant in contrast to read the clear, precise lightness of touch from Leanne Reed, a New Zealand Vice-Consul in Beijing, whose letter I reported three days ago. It can still be done.

When I was young Plain Words was a model for anyone aspiring to literate modernity. Now there seems a contrary different aspiration, I suppose that one could call it post-modern illiteracy.

Something completely different

Over recent days I have also been aware of the online approval of the short video made by Eszter Agócs, her colleagues, associates and pupils in Adelaide, Australia. No wonder. Joy, passion, energy, originality, humanity, life: qualities such as these are the reason why so many users and providers come into Conductive Education in the first place and – just as important for the survival of the system – the reason why so many stick with it, and go the extra mile come what may. Smother qualities such as these, bury them under other things, and the gloss goes off CE, with risk of losing what we have. One of the big problems facing all who provide and seek to expand CE services, anywhere in the world, is how to maintain such qualities year after year, sometimes in hostile environments, within the institutions created to implement them. Where the institutions involved are charities, with greater liberty than have state institutions to set their own priorities, then presumably they hold the task of securing the 'conductive essence' high on their agendas. You'd better believe it.

Qualities deemed essential to CE are what should be in the driver's seat, on the bridge, taking the leading role in CE's institutions (you may advance your own, different to those that I saw in Eszter's video, the important thing is that they should be of the essence). Service activities to maintain these, and those who provide these service activities, are very important, vital even within the wider organisational whole, but one can hardly permit them to take control and run the show – then expect the central purpose and ethos of a process like Conductive Education to stay on track and continue to develop and deliver the goods it the way that it could and should.

References

Agócs, E. (2014) We are HAPPY @ Future Footprints, Conductive World Market, 2 April

McGuinness, R. (2014) Think outside the box, you have to be dynamic, Metro, 3 April, pp. 14-15

Preston, J. (2014) Speak plainly: are we losing the war against jargon? Daily Telegraph, 26 March
Sutton, A. (2014) Conductors or CE practitioners: enquire further in New Zealand, Conductive World, 2 April
http://www.conductive-world.info/2014/04/conductors-or-ce-practitioners.html




Friday, 4 April 2014

TWO SHY, NAMELESS TOWNSWOMEN?

Or an aged countryman?
Or who?

Another mysterious new CE blog

The first posting of what might, or might not be a new CE blog has come on line today. The new blog is posted anonymously, under the pseudonymous heading Two City Girls. This comes ten days after another new, anonymous CE blog appeared, on WordPress:


Style

Two City Girls is also published on WordPress, in the same Spartanly anonymous format. It too may become more elaborate with time.

It includes still images. Postings are 'signed' A.B.

Spelling in British, all the quotations (unreferenced) come from the UK, specifically England, so maybe this blog comes from England. It looks like it is written by native speakers.

There is a the usual problem with personal pronouns.

The heading may indicate dual authorship, or it may be a red herring. That's the trouble with anonymous texts, readers do not know what to believe. This material could just as well be written by an old bloke living in a country cottage who has never used make-up in his life. If I had time or energy for a sardonic sense of humour, it could even be me.

Content

The posting opens with a provocative statement –
Conductive education is well established now but it is difficult for people to access information about it and a name that does not necessarily explain what it is, doesn’t help.
http://2citygirls.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/more-awareness-needed-for-conductive-education/

The four assertions contained in this are not substantiated or critically unpacked. Instead, a conductor is quoted wanting to get away from the name 'Conductive Education', a physiotherapist explains that CE is education rather than a therapy, and another conductor says that it is about learning.

The authors of these three quotations are identified. The quotations themselves seem not to have previously appeared on line and no references are given.

This is all published under the general heading of 'Health'.

So far one other general category of posting has been opened, under the heading of Beauty, with a short posting on Bourjois Makeup

Credibility

Whoever wrote it appears to speak with some knowledge of the present or at least recent field in the UK.

The credibility of this blog remains to be demonstrated.

Everything has a history

Here's another of those circumstances in which the back-story (what has gone on behind the scenes) might be at least as interesting as the actual product – perhaps even more so. For the moment anuway, the story behind y-this one remains well locked away.

And the future...?

Ten days ago, commenting on another new anonymous CE blog, I wrote –
I think of the Internet as a bit like a high street or mall. I opened something there and created a sort of business... and later added a small annex next door... I closed down the annex leaving a vacant lot that someone else has moved into, presumably hoping to pick up some of the passing business. Who knows, everyone might benefit. Maybe others will follow suit. Why not? … the prospect of competition is rather jolly.
http://www.conductive-world.info/2014/03/another-conductive-world.html

Let a thousand flowers bloom. Perhaps there will be more new anonymous CE blogs to welcome soon.

Meanwhile, the previous new anonymous blog, launched ten days ago, still awaits its second posting.

References

 (2014) Two City Girls, April
Sutton, A. (2014) Another Conductive World: a new blog's born today, Caveat emptor! Conductive World, 26 March
http://www.conductive-world.info/2014/03/another-conductive-world.html