Friday, 14 December 2007

A straw in the wind of change

Conductive Education in Italy

Many many people have contacted me over the years, and continue to contact me, asking where they might find Conductive Education, or at the very least the services of a conductor, somewhere nearby where they live.

And for years too these enquiries have included people from Italy.

I have always had to disappoint them because Italy been a blank spot on my mental map of the conductive world. I believe there was a small scheme some years ago in the German-speaking Alpine enclave in the North. In fact, I have a wonderful album of photo-studies of Bavarian roadside crosses that Peter von Quadt presented me a few years ago, apparently by the lady behind this scheme, but I never found out more and would doubt whether the information would be much use to Italians in general had I done so. In so far as I could account for this desert space in the conductive map of Europe, I did so on the (possibly ill-based) view advanced by British ‘inclusionists’ that Italy haslong abolished all special schools and anything that might look like one.

Encounter in Tel Aviv

Tsad Kadima’s conference was a great occasion for encounters, free and open ones (the latter has to be said because I have experienced so many closed and constrained ones on the past). As an example, on the conference's forst day I met Ottavia de Lellis who told me about the conductive project in Rome.

I heard from Ottavia that this has been going a few years now and, if I understood aright, conduttrice Alexandra Teofilaktu presently works with seven childrem, most now in or approaching middle childhood, plus a baby.

The project is hosted by the Scuola Elementare of the Istituto Leonarda Vaccari. Buried in the institute’s extensive website, is the following brief introductory information:

Nell´anno scolastico 2003/2004 è iniziata la collaborazione con l´Istituto Petö di Budapest e si è creata una classe elementare sperimentale che prevede l'applicazione della metodologia ‘conduttiva’ per bambini cerebrolesi, in sinergia con la Scuola e l'equipe riabilitativa del Centro. Tale metodologia è integrativa e non sostitutiva degli interventi riabilitativi e didattici. L´azione educativa realizzata nei confronti dei soggetti con disabilità, iscritti nella scuola, è garantita da costante e feconda collaborazione tra la Presidenza dell´Ente e la Dirigenza Scolastica.

I would just tremark that the new globalised world of Conductive Education that I am now confident will emerge must permit no such further black holes... and I begin to wonder what other initiatives may be out there, isolated and unsung, unknown to the conductive world in general and even to people nearby who might potentially benefit.

More on encounters in Tel Aviv soon...

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