Friday, 15 May 2009

It's going to be L...

Continuing course of 'recession' gets ever clearer

The recessionary road over the next couple of years gets ever clearer. While this does not predict exactly what will happen for CE, it offers some indication of the economic realities against which it will have to cut its cloth.

Straws in the wind over the last few days:
  • Germany's ecomony has slumped Europe comes tumbling after
  • US GDP keeps on sliding
  • Japan's may be about to hit a post-war low
  • the Russian economy is in 'regression'
  • and dragging the other post-Soviet successor states down with it
  • unemployment is continuing to rise, everywhere, and this will continue
  • in the UK Holy Cow public services begin to face cut backs
  • even the Chinese growth rate is weakening!

I see that all this is now being referred to as the 'Great Recession'.

V or L?

This was the title of an article on Conductive World, some three weeks ago.

These letters are not abbreviations, they represent alternative graphical representations of the course of the recession.


This represents a recession in which a sharp decline bottoms out fairly quickly, after which the much vaunted and heralded 'green shoots of recovery' will be followed by a quick economic upturn, after which we shall be very much back where we started from, the recession will be 'over', we can dust off our previous expectations and plans, and carry on very much as we were before.

This will apply whether we be nations, institutions or individuals and, of course, it applies also to Conductive Education, whatever the nature of our involvement in this.

The only question then is how quick it will be before we hit the bottom and head back up towards 'recovery'.
Phew! Job done. All over by Christmas (if not Christmas 2009, then Christmas 2010).


In this representation, the economy does not simply 'bottom out', it stays there, and then drags along the bottom with the income from the productive parts of the economy syphoned off into servicing debt, with little or nothing left for us to experience recovery.

It is with this model very much in mind that first public noises are being made about cutting back on public services though, of course, nobody dares yet speculate publicly on the priorities, choices, decisions that this will involve.

How long will this last and where might this all lead? In Conductive Education like, in everything else, we shall be very wise after the act.

A compromise graph?

Perhaps this is the best that we can hope and plan for, a looooooong, shallow U, to bring us back eventually to somewhere like may have been regarded until recently as normality.

Well, maybe, in some places and in some specific circumstances the status quo will be maintained or restored, and that will apply to Conductive Education too. For some it may indeed be business as normal.

This will depend in part how much the world will have moved on over the intervening years, how much people and institutions will have been changed by their experiences, what will have become of the wider social situations in which Conductive Eduction is presently embedded in different countries around the world.

And in Conductive Education, this will depend upon the continuing working through and resolution of inherent contradictions within the system itself, still present in V, more likely exaccerbated/accelerated than pushed aside by the circumstances of L... or U.

What will succeed in Conductive Education, what will be the successor states for CE?

Here we are, three weeks later, with V looking decidedly off the menu, the question now being between L... or U. This is the economic sea in which CE will swim, searching for the business- or service-models that will buck the trend and ensure not merely survival but also future proper development and elaboration of the pedagogic heritage that Conductive Education represents.

Like for most such questions there will be no single answer to cover every nation or every institution. In the Context of Conductive Education the term 'successor states' refers of course to states of being (practices, ideas, institutions etc.) to ensure not just survival but also proper development and elaboration of the pedagogic heritage represented in Conductive Education.

Perhaps with the wisdom of hindsight we shall see that, midst all the present confusion, they already begin to form.


Sutton, A. (2009) V or L? That is the question, Conductive World, 23 April

No comments:

Post a Comment