Sunday, 31 January 2010

Quis? Ego


Best thing on the CE-Internet this week was said by a six-year-old who is only just beginning to speak.

Clearly, I am not the only one to think so.

What she has said is a wonderful mantra for developmental-pedagogic-upbringing contemplation and discussion.

Who 'owns' Conductive Education?

It also set me off thinking about another question, one that is not publicly addressed – who 'owns' the process (the practice, if you like) of Conductive Education. Here are some possibilities.
  • The people who pay for it, the funders, the managers, in a very few cases the state? This can be argues to be wholly proper – but he who pays the piper does so often likes to call the tune.
  • The conductors? They are paid to do it (usually), so we are soon back to the previous point. What happens if they become a 'profession', at least in some countries? Personally, I am still with Lloyd-George, or Clemenceau or whoever else might be attributed with the original saying: Conductive Education is too important to be left to the conductors.
  • The learners? But CE is a transaction, and is no more possible without the social encounter than is anything in human development.
The vignette about the six-year-old girl gives the clue. She is an active agent in her own (conductive) development, she and the conductor present 'owned' that particular transaction, because they created it. It would not have been possible without the active agency of both.

Yes, I know, this gives no space for consideration of accountability, financial or otherwise, and doubtless all sorts of other 'outside' considerations that are important in their own ways. But it does give a substantive conceptual platform from which to look out on the rest.

And it does one more thing. It indicates that a little girl on the threshold of conscious individual existence is in fact already well in possession of her own being. Se is already a subject. She is not an object.

A lot of people need to note this.

A soppy little story...

No, not the one reported her. Here's one by L. N. Tolstoi. When talking about theories of upbringing to students I tried also to indicate that there are different ways of thinking about how one should bring up children. I am personally far from Rousseauesque in this respect but I did like to give the students copies of one of Tolstoi's shorter short stories (or even read it to them them, it takes but a few minutes!)

The title says it all:

Little girls wiser than men
(not a brilliant translation but I do not have my own handy)

And if you don 't know anything about Tolstoi, shame on you, though there is currently a film going the rounds...

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