Thursday, 30 July 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
- round off or follow up some items from earlier this year
- do some much-needed restructuring of the site's format of this site
- prepare for an extension of web-presence
- publish some items that are for various reasons simply ‘late’
- particularly, prepare for publication something of a ’scoop’, a report of some regretful comments by Maria Hari, confided at the very close of her life, about having adopted a too-rigid approach, and what she regarded a better, more flexible way, and
- keep an eye out for anything worth reporting in the world of Conductive Education, as surly some things will be, summer or not!
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
It comes from the (usually) excellent weekly column 'Science Notebook', by Anjana Ahuja.
I cut it out because three years ago I still maintained an interest in the internal workings of organisations.
Ms Ahuja was reporting on a paper by Tiziana Casciaro and Miguel Sousa Lobo, then recently published in the Harvard Business Review. Surprise, surprise, the HBR is not an open-source journal, though it does provide the opening page of the article as a taster!
The authors were concerned with how organisations fragmentise into 'silos of specialized knowledge and activity'. Even three years ago it was 'an understatement to say that resolving this tension is crucial to success in today’s knowledge-based and collaborative business environment'. They then posed some questions familiar even to people who work in small organisations.
- How do you ensure that relevant information gets transferred between two parts of an organization that have different cultures?
- How do you encourage people from units competing for scarce corporate resources to work together?
- How do you see to it that the value of a cross-functional team is more, not less, than the sum of its parts?
Their article was concerned with one aspect of processes involved it this.
Archetypes, caricatures, yes, but most people do seem to be able to fit most of their colleagues into one of four boxes.
Try it for yourself:
- the competent jerk, who knows a lot but is unpleasant to deal with;
- the lovable fool, who doesn’t know much but is a delight to have around;
- the lovable star, who’s both smart and likable; and
- the incompetent jerk, who…well, that’s self-explanatory.
The authors did, within four organisations selected for variability, profit and nonprofit, large and small, North American and European.
Our research showed (not surprisingly) that, no matter what kind of organization we studied, everybody wanted to work with the lovable star, and nobody wanted to work with the incompetent jerk. Things got a lot more interesting, though, when people faced the choice between competent jerks and lovable fools.
At this point the free read on the HBR website runs dry, but Anjana Ahuja has summarised some salient points.
'When it came to deciding between a competent jerk and a lovable fool, ' she wrote, 'the management mantra that ability trumps personality was not borne out' quoting Casciaro and Lobo:
We found that if someone is strongly disliked, it’s almost irrelevant whether or not she is competent; people won’t want to work with her anyway. By contrast, if someone is liked, colleagues will seek out every little bit of competence.
It may not always be unprofessional to favour the jester over the jerk, she continued, ' Brainstorming and similar interactions might be difficult and unproductive with a jerk; he may discover your weaknesses and use them against you.
'What of the competent jerk?' she conclused,' Try shifting him to a more independent role, where he won’t annoy colleagues. Consider discussing, tactfully, his social skills at his annual appraisal. Lastly, embrace the lovable fool. Turn such people into “affective hubs” — chain them to the water cooler so they can bridge gaps between disparate departments. After all, those likeable idiots might just be your company’s best asset.'
Conductive Education today
Today's CE organisations are often operating very close to the brink and need every bit of edge that they can muster to stay in the game. The interesting insights offered three years ago by Casciaro and Lobo solve nobody's problems but they do give cause for thought.
Draw yourself a simple 2 x 2 matrix and put in a few names...
Monday, 27 July 2009
- You can talk about Conductive Education as a therapy or a treatment
- You can think about is in the same way
- You can advance brain-based explanations of the processes involved in Conducive Education
- You can take part in practical activities (as service-users, conductors or providers/funders) that as it were dispense 'doses' of conductive programs
- You can bury or dissolve conductive practice in, or under, 'multidisciplinary teams
- You can even place it under 'medical direction'
- You can struggle to get Conductive Education funded through heath insurance schemes or by state health-care systems
- You can implement further medical-style comparative outcome evaluations to answer the question of whether Conductive Education 'works'
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
The Good Rock Foundation was established in 1997 It is a humanitarian aid foundation which believes that every child is precious and deserves to have a life of hope and opportunity. China's special situation and a cultural preference for boys has led to abandonment of girl children and those with disabilities.
Conductive education (c/e) is a form of physical therapy that consists of simple repetitive exercises & therapy along with persistent stimulation & encouragement. This treatment works miracles with children who are challenged with cerebral palsy & other special needs where the muscles are frozen or spastic.
We have been helping Xinjiang orphanages implement c/e since the year 2000 and orphanage workers readily embraced the concepts. The children's carers are keen to increase their skills & pass on this knowledge to their colleagues. The results are so encouraging....Many children can now sit, stand, feed & dress themselves, grasp toys & write......children who might never have walked can.
Because c/e is low tech & requires only a few simple pieces of equipment & is easily passed on we know that it is feasible that we can reach many more of the needy children in Xinjiang, not only those in orphanages but those in poor families too.
As well as the conductive education training we are also investing many resources for training caregivers in special education, occupational therapy and child development. We bring experts to Xinjiang and also send caregivers to inner China where other organisations hold training conferences.
What might be the active agents behind changes achieved? What is it that is actually done in the name of Conductive Education and is this necessarily an active agent in the changes experienced?
To raise such questions is neither to disbelieve the outcomes nor to disrespect the hard work and good heart involved.
As far as the children are concerned (and their families if they have any) such benefits are all to the good, whatever it is that has brought them about.
Sutton, A. (1977) Acupuncture and Deaf-Mutism—an essay in cross-cultural defectology, Educational Studies, vol. 3, no 1, pp. 1-10
...the Irish Government has now given an undertaking to open a new [Conductive Education]school in Dundalk.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Principles of Petö’s method. Particular rules applied at ASPACE-NAVARRAMrs Maria BELZUNCE. Pamplona, Spain
Acercamiento al Método PETÖ como sistema global de neurorehabilitación infantilDña. Maria Belzunce Alonso. Directora del Servicio de Educación Conductiva Método-Petö de Aspace-Navarra. España)
- There has been the Instituto Español and the conductor-training course in Pamplona, both now defunct.
- The Instituto has been succeeded by the Servicio de Educación Conductiva.
- There has been formal evaluation (Larumbe and Fernández, 2007).
- There is the Valencia project in collaboration with Moira.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Mrs Roy, who has ministerial responsibility for children with special needs, visited several Dunedin schools yesterday.
Overall funding for special needs education was increased in the Budget, with $51 million extra being provided for the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Scheme (ORRS) between this month and mid-2012, Mrs Roy noted recently.
The Government provided about $450 million a year for special needs education and the review would consider whether the money was being well spent and "to make sure that the children who need the funding are able to access it", she said in an interview.
Asked about criticism of some recently announced changes in special needs education, she said some funding for conductive education programmes was being ended this year, on equity grounds.
Nevertheless, overall national funding for special needs education had been increased, she said.
So that's all right then.
Gibbs, J. (2009) Minister reassuring over special needs, Otago Daily Times, 21 July