Monday, 6 July 2009


Conductive Education as she is spoke

Just what do people undertstand and do under the rubric of 'Conductive Education'? How far have the idea, the ideals and the practice been misconstrued?

Some of the new things that are thought and done around the world are genuinely innovative, progressive, stimulating:
  • they maintain fundamentals
  • create new and higher syntheses
  • safeguard the future.

It is a pleasure to report them here on Conductive World. Would that there were many more.

And some of the things that are thought and done in the name of Conductive Education are something else. There are some very odd and negative views of Conductive Education in circulation and some very 'unconductive' things done under its name:
  • these may fly in the face of fundamental principles
  • dilute, deform, destroy the very basis of the system
  • put at serious risk the very future of Conductive Education as a coherent whole.

There is no shortage of these.

Balancing them out

An equation:

  • reports of positive developments circulating in the public domain, part of the general background of popular consideration and experience of Conductive Education, offering ground for confidence for the future.
  • reports of quite different understandings and practices, also bearing the name-tag 'Conductive Education', no doubt well-meaning and sincere in themsleves but in their general effect undermining of Conductive Education's integity since its earliest internationalisation.

Conductive World does its best to bring things on the positive side of this equation to the wider attention of people with a concern in Conductive Education, and from time to time it has mentioned examples of the negative side too.

How do they balance out? It is easy to laugh off or ignore individual examples on the negative side. But there is a worrying old 'economic law' about bad money driving out good:

  • whatever the balance on this particular acount, there seems little general improvement in the quality of the 'public understanding of Conductive Education', the awarenes of what Conductive Education is about
  • correspondingly, things continue to be said about Conductive Education, and done under its name, that cause concern about about the ability of the 'conductive movement' to state its case and stake out and defend its territory.

Cumulatively, a myriad little, laughed-off examples accumulate, and become the background for how the Real McCoy is perceived. It was hard enough when Conductive Education struggled to survice in a world where it was an oddball and and an exception. It will be harder still when Conductive Eucation struggles to survive as an oddball and an exception even amongst the things referred to as 'Conductive Education'.

It hurts

Conductive World will run a new theme bringing to its readers' attention some of the reports that turn up from time to time that make me go 'Ouch!'.

They are therefore an inevitably a personal choice and, I have to admit, I may not know the full circumstances of the situations described (though this is not forwant of trying, and it is of course always open to people to write in and correct the impression).

Sources will always be given and it will be up to readers to form their own opinions. To that end, other than in the exceptional cases, these items will be presented verbatim, with no editorial comment.

Ouch! They hurt me to read, but perhaps I am over-sensitive. It may or may not hurt you when you read them. In either case this is of only personal consequence. Far more important is the question of the potential cumulative hurt to Conductive Education itself.

Three such items have just been posted:



  1. Some of the new things that are thought and done around the world are genuinely innovative, progressive, stimulating:

    they maintain fundamentals
    create new and higher syntheses
    safeguard the future.

    Can you operationalize these standards?

  2. I tend to see these as processes rather than as standards

    I see no a priori reason, however, why one should not develop standards to use in the institutional management of such processes (though I personally would not know how to do so)

    I am not clear, though, at the npresent state of the art, why one might wish to do so.

    Perhaps, if one were running an institution directed towards developing what might ber called the 'skill and science' of Conductive Education, perhaps as one of several similar institutions working towards similar goals, then perhaps there might be a case for considering this.

    But this would be an R & D (research and development)establishement. I am not convinced that innovators, inventors, designers, be these working in Silicon Valley or in their own back-yard sheds, would have their activity enhanced by such measures.

    Conductive Education has so many separate needs (and yes, I recognise consolidaton amongst these). Its lack of R & D is one of them and perhaps the greatest need here is cultivation rather than control.