Saturday, 29 November 2008

New blog on the block

Becky Featherstone’s Brazilian adventure

Becky Featherstone started her blog in May. Why she stopped and whyshe started again are interesting in the light of recent comments on the CE blogosphere.

When I am not working I spend time preparing for lessons, writing reports, training the staff that work with me, alongside doing the chores of daily life. Any spare time I have I try to catch up with loved ones and friends in England and around the world, and I also enjoying following the blogs of a few people within conductive education. It turns out that I spend more time following the Blogs of others than updating my own, and I am not alone in this as I discovered whilst talking to another conductor last night. Through a chat on Skype I established that she was updating her own Blog, whilst reading others, at almost 1 o'clock in the morning! As a result of our short conversation I have now been prompted to again start updating my own Blog.

Her blog is at:

Falling in love with a country

Becky's is not specifically a Conductive Education blog, it is a blog by a conductor and as such offers another glimpse into the divers human reality of an otherwise often mysterious tribe. This is how Becky introduces her writing:

Although this is my Brazilian adventure, I would like to share it with those I sadly left behind in England. I came here primarily for my work, for which I have great passion as many of you already know, but since arriving here I have slowly fallen in love with not just this country, but also its culture and people. The purpose of this blog is to share with you the other side to my life here, exploring the vast beauty of this country.

There is a long and honourable tradition of participative anthropology. transmitted through writings that are not necessarily ‘scientific’ or even more generally scholarly (though many of them are) but express a powerful, personal and emotional attachment to a land, a people, a language, a society. Such writers do more than simply settling in to a new environment, they embrace it passionately, and they play a major part in shaping how people back home perceive the world, as the British well know (particulary with respect to India).

Blog it

I have met other conductors who feel this way about their new countries, Canada, the United States, yes and even England. Becky is the first that I know of to commit this to writing. She happens to write rather well. What other such talents are already lurking out there in Conductive Education? This is the twenty-first century: no talent need go unexpressed simply because of geographical isolation:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

That was a harsh reality once but remains now so only in so far as people allow themselves to think and act ac if it still has to be. There’s no excuse to perpetuate this situation. I wonder whether a major factor in this doing so may be no more than lack of confidence (sorry, I don’t buy ‘lack of time’, except in the most specific circumstances). Conductive Education will be a richer and more relevant movement if more conductors, parents etc who are its life blood go public and tell about what they do, the circumstances of the work, the triumphs and the frustrations.

If you’re shy, or if you fear some kind of reprisal, then do it anonymously or under a pseudonym (great historical precedent here, in András Petö !).

If you don’t think you have enough to say, do it with friends or colleagues.

If you’re nor sure how to proceed, get a mentor!

And if English is not your native language then so what, write in the language if your choice.

Just do it!

Featherstone, B. (2008) My Brazilian adventure

Conductor Becky Featherstone works in the project Com Amor in Florianópolis, with Leticia Búrigo, the doyenne of CE bloggers (who writes not in English but, to great effect, in Portuguese):

Gray’s Elegy
There is an awful lot of ‘village Hampdens’ and all sorts of other undiscovered, unsung heroes and innovators, unseen within Conductive Education. There needn’t be!


  1. I think you are right about lack of confidence, but I have to say I didn't have a lack of confidence in writing it, but in telling others about its presence.

    For me my Blog is like a personal diary made public, and I had concerns as to whether others would be interested in my journey and thoughts.


  2. That's very interesting distinction. I wonder whether it is widely shared.

    Wth respect to your own blog, I have talked about it with several people and dyou can rest assured that your material is well recieved.

    If your feeling is shared by others, then the message to them probably is: write it, blog it and then leave it for others to decide whether they find it interesting.

    It's a big wide world and there will surely be some who will. And inevitably, these will be the very sympaticos that you would like to communicate with anyway!