Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Reductionism again

People with real problems should be offered something better

The March issue of Scope’s Early Years Update announces new dates for its Early Years training programme (Scope is a large charitable body for England and Wales that succeeded the former Spastics Society).

‘The central theme of all Scope’s Early Years training courses‘, the charity says, ‘is to promote inclusion for every child‘. It is offering a series of training days around the country designed to help include all children in preschool settings. One of these is ’Cerebral Palsy - behaviour and the brain’:

Cerebral palsy - behaviour and the brain

A day looking at how the brain can influence behaviour and how (if we understand the difficulties) it makes it easier for us to work with children with behavioural needs.

  • Manchester 28 April 2009
  • Cardiff 21 May 2009
  • London 18 June 2009
  • Birmingham 19 June 2009

Cost per delegate: £110 per person (Discount rate of £20 for parents/carers)

Surely there are much more practical and reality-based skills and knowledge to be shared with parents who have handed over their £20, paid for their travel and possibly made additional (paid?) arrangements for looking after their child that day.

The time of those paying £120 for the day (presumably the staff of preschool settings) could also doubtless be more profitably used, back at the workplace or beginning to learn something of greater practical use.

There is nothing to indicate who is teaching this. Maybe we have to await announcement of the a much deserved Nobel Prize.

One shouldn’t mock.

Or perhaps one should. Much more, till people learn to put aside notions of practical enlightenment from the ‘brain sciences‘ and turn their minds seriously to realisable, human, psycho-social measures to suit the complexity of what they are ealing with


Recent article on this topic

Sutton, A. (2009) Staying different: febrile thoughts about CE’s identity, from a fitful night’s sleep, Conductive World, 3 March

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in this report (http://tinyurl.com/amfntf) of a speech by former Head of William Hulme's Grammar School, Manchester or in the speech in full (http://tinyurl.com/dlmanp).

    ""The Department for Children, Schools and Families lives up to its Orwellian title," he said.
    "There are direct tensions between its responsibilities for social work, children and families and its commitment – if that is the word – to education. It seems to me to be a cumbersome hybrid which fulfils none of its roles very well."

    It's not necessary to approve the whole speech to recognise the truth of much that he says.

    A Government that is capable of the nonsense of the creation of the DCFS is entirely capable of mistaking bankers for teachers, or even mistaking them for bankers.