Sunday, 2 November 2008

German conference reports

Where's the elephant?

I have read Susie Mallett’s three blogs on the German conference with growing apprehension.
This is because, vivid and fascinating though they are, they as yet contain no explicit mention of the elephant in the room, though implicitly one can see it there, lurking big and silent in the shadows. There is also, however, a hint that there is more to follow, so we shall see.

A couple of days ago, I remarked almost as an aside that there is no German-language CE blogosphere.

Careless that. I always tell my students that use of the words ‘no’, ‘never, ‘nowhere’ etc should be immediate reason to rush off and check, preferably before putting pen to paper. Always check! So now belated I have double-checked to see whether, never mind my memory, there are indeed no German-language blogs on ‘konduktive Förderung’.

There are not. I couldn’t find any, neither could Google. Nor could I find any blogs mentioning die Pető Methode, an expression still sometimes used in the German-speaking countries. I did find, however, that as when searching amongst English blogs one does bring up the odd item from a blog on a wider topic that mentions ‘konduktive Förderung’ along the way, some from sites that are not really blogs. No matter, all are welcome as grist to the mill for testing the Weldtanschauung.

The overall number of identified items was still low, and who can tell how representative this really is of the German understanding. The good news is that the little that there is is generally (and uncritically) approving. The bad news is the image that emerges. Here’s a gem, from August, announcing the then forthcoming conference. It is not from a blog as such but picked up through my search anyway, from an online popular-medicine newsletter: FragDeinenArzt: das innovative online-Journal für Sie und Ihre Gesundheit [‘Ask your doctor: the innovative online journal for you and your health’]. This confidently explains ‘konduktive Forderung’ in the following terms:

Es basiert auf den Ideen, die der ungarische Arzt und Pädagoge Professor András Petö vor rund 40 Jahren entwickelt hat: Die konsequente Verbindung von Erziehung, Bildung und Therapie, das transdisziplinäre Team, die innovativen Möbel und die feste Tagesstruktur, die enge Elternarbeit, die Einbindung in das Schulsystem und nicht zuletzt die hohe fachliche Anforderung an Aus- und Weiterbildung.

In einer Einrichtung mit Konduktiver Förderung kümmert sich ein konstantes Team um die Kindergartengruppe oder Klasse; beispielsweise aus Lehrern, Erziehern, Konduktoren, Therapeuten. Und egal ob Unterricht, Pflege, Spiel, Ruhepausen oder Therapien, alles wird in den Zeitplan der Gruppe integriert und oft auch in den gleichen Räumen durchgeführt: Die Betreuer geben konstante Unterstützung entsprechend dem individuellen Bedarf und hinführend zu größtmöglicher Selbständigkeit.

With friends like this…

Pető András would spin in his urn.

Well worth reading. Would that there were more of this sort of thing...
FragDeinen Arzt: das innovative online-Journal für Sie und Ihre Gesundheit, 14 October 2008

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