Monday, 12 October 2009

Conductive Education: the knowledge

What to do?

This morning Judit Szathmáry published an interesting and challenging proposal on her blog, as a contribution to solving the knowledge problem in Conductive Education. You can read this at:

I have tried to respond in the appropriate place but the system for posting comments on Judit’s blog has defeated me. So here, Kedves Judikam, is what I wrote there but failed to post. Do please cut and paste it where it belongs for yourself if you care to.

Dear Judit,

Thank you for your kind thoughts but I do assure you that I do not feel any more or less brushed aside than when I was in employment.

Yours is a kind idea but as a business plan I do have to point out that it carries within it a fundamental flaw. Simply, very few people in Conductive Education care enough about information/knowledge/history/science (then latter in the broader, tudomany sense as well as in the narrow Anglo-Saxon one) actually to pay for it. Conductive Education around the world has got to where it has today with little/no thought of such matters.


I do all sort of daft things to inform all sorts of people, all the time, students, parents, researchers, organisations, conductors and other professionals etc, many of whom (except the students and the parents) are paid what they are on the assumption that should already know such things, or at least how to find out for themselves. If I said that I wished to charge appropriate fees for my services, then I would likely hear no more from any of them.

And to raise the money to render such a service free at the point of delivery by, as you suggest, by asking institutions in CE for a contribution, would not work either. Let me explain.

You mention 'projects'. Let us for the purpose of calculation restate this here as 'centres' and restrict the analysis arbitrarily to the UK where we can assume that there are some thirty such institutions. Ask them for a hundred pounds each per annum for such a initiative. If every one responded favourably then you would have three thousand pounds a year. What on Earth would that buy? Not a lot. Certainly nothing like the services that I currently provide free. Ditto for Gill, I am sure.

And how many do you think would give a penny anyway? Not mean, just not their thing.

This is not simply a UK phenomenon. Look at that grandiose plan in the US earlier this year to establish a mega national CE information service (I am sure that Gill will chip in with a reference or two, free of charge of course). Nothing came of this mega-plan, who knows why not. But from the very outset, the plan rested on the implausible proposition that CE centers would pay for advertising…!

I suspect that the problem is pretty much universal across CE. There's little or no priority for 'the knowledge'.

A broad and long-term problem

Yes, you are absolutely right in restating the knowledge problem in Conductive Education, though it is bigger and wider, more fundamental and more damaging than you say. From a series of discussions that I have been having over the last few months it does seem to be emerge that, while the present participants in the CE movement may have contributions to make to a solution (I don't necessarily mean financial ones), the solution itself, if there is one, will have to be sought from over and above the struggling little world of Conductive Education.
And it is important to throw you a further factor into consideration:
  • time/generations/succession/the long-term future.

You kindly personalised your statement round myself and Gill. Frankly, we are no chickens. How does one deal with that one? Like in everything else, a solution will not just happen of itsown accord, or without costing at least some money.

When change comes, it comes, ready or not

So... I see why you express concern. Many others, I know, in their own different and particular ways, are expressing the same doubts and worries about the uncertain future of Conductive Education in a very uncertain world.

For myself, for a few years now I have considered Conductive Education to be due for major qualitative shift. (Actually, I first expressed this publicly in 2002, at that conference that you organised in Southampton University> For a while you carried the text of this ad hoc presentation on your website. A revised version is now on line as a Google Knol).

If things go well in the coming years (and this will not just happen without deliberate, knowledgable and radical interventions, nor will it be painless), then Conductive Education might indeed be experienced as undergoing a Renaissance as you state.

Either that or our very own Dark Ages, a real dark tea-time of the soul.



Judit has opened up an important question. Whatever your involvement in Conductive Education, this affects YOU. Never mind myself and Gill, or any other individuals who might be concerned here, this is not a matter of indiiduals.

What do YOU think about the underlying problems raised here, and possible ways of dealing with them.


Sutton, A. (2006) Notes towards a history of Conductive Education (2nd edn), Google Knol, September

Szathmáry, J. (2009) Are we at the edge of a new paradigm? Judit Szathmáry, 12 October 

1 comment:

  1. Hi All,
    I have experienced many times that RESPECT itself what we are constantly missing regarding to many factors of our environment. Respect to.... shell I list it?
    Each subject what has been raised by Judit somehow down to respect. We are not respectful towards us and experience.