Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Pető Institute training 'conductive aides'

Belated information, in Hungarian

The following information has been available on the Pető Institute's website since early December last year – and presumably through other Hungarian outlets too.

If this were simply a domestic Hungarian matter, offering Hungarian people training places and a Hungarian qualification, leading to Hungarian jobs, then no matter. But this is not. In two years time people with this new qualification will be ready to decant on to the international conductive job market. This makes the new qualification of 'conductive aide'. An imminent concern of everybody in the present conductive world.

Konduktorsegítő szakirányú továbbképzés

The public announcement of this course, in Hungarian –

English translation

In English, this means something like –

Vocational training for conductive aides

Posted on 7 December 2009 by Dr Adrienn Deák

The Pető Institute launches its four-semester vocational training for conductive aides in February.. Deadline for applying: 18 January 2010: [Link to application form no longer available].

Application fee: 5000 Hungarian Forints. Successful applicants will require a university or college degree and to have passed an aptitude test The course fee is 190,000 Hungarian Forints a semester. Further information from Dr Adrienn Deák or Indri Józsefné:

Tel: Budapest 224-1556 or 224-1592

The vocational training in detail

This specialized training course has the title CONDUCTIVE AIDE and bears a qualification certificate in that name. Its educational level is college-level vocational training within the teacher-training sector, and carries 120 credits

Vocational training education does not provide the level of training of basic and masters' level that university-degree or college-level education certification do, and the four semesters of the diploma rest upon existing, underlying expertise to provide specialist professional qualification.

The training aims for pedagogical training of specialists who are presumed to possess sound knowledge and skills suitable for disabled people with special educational needs (central nervous system damage) of any age, provided under the direction of a conductor or (conductor-teacher, conductor-kindergarten teacher).

The deadline for application is 21 December 2009. Apply electronically by downloading the application form from the college's website, or by mail or in person. Application form: [link no longer available].

Application fee: 5000 Forints, by bank transfer, check or cash. Application must be accompanied by a certified copy of a university or college-level qualification. Further conditions include passing music, speech and physical-aptitude examinations.

The aptitude test requirements can be found on the College's website and the Higher Education Admission Information for the Teachers and Teacher-Training. Aptitude Test will be held at 8 p.m. on 30 January 2010. The test fee is: 4,000 Forints. Place: 6 Kútvölgyi út, 1125 Budapest

A couple of translation problems

This announcement is fairly simply stated, being mainly administrative facts and therefore relatively easy to translate with some certainty. Some comment or guidance is required here from others, however, over two particular passages.
  1. Educational levels and qualifications are notoriously difficult to translate. This is not simply a linguistic problem: they are a conceptual and cross-cultural nightmare and have already created confusions aplenty in Conductive Education with respect to conductors. I have translated szakirányú továbbképzés into English as 'vocational but am very aware that this may is less than adequate. I think the problem is less apparent for German-speakers, whothink in terms of Fachschüle, but there is no direct equivalent in English (certainly not in British English). 'Trade school' sounds too artisan, 'further education' is too general and 'continuing education' may be misleading. 'Technical college' may hit the right spot for older readers, but possibly not for younger ones. I have no ideas of relevant usages in other lands. Perhaps someone with an understanding of European 'levels' can state it better in this new super-national educational currency
  2. The two most important paragraphs to uinderstand, certainly for people outside Hungary, are those starting Szakirányú továbbképzés and Szakirányú továbbképzés ('This specialized training course has the title...' and 'The training aims for...'). Sod's law says that the most unfamiliar sense is always harder to translate but is the most essential to know! Please, somebody who really understands what this course is about and what it aims to do, offer a translation or explanation that makes better sense of this than I can.
'Conductive aides'

konduktor – 'conductor'

segítő – literally 'helper', but 'aide' seems a more acceptable term in this context, or you might say 'assistant'

So far so good. A problem arises, however, when the two words are combined as konduktorsegítő, I do not know the subtle shades of meaning involved in Hungarian but how best to render this new compound term into English?

Maybe I am being picky but to me anyway, the term 'conductor-aid' (or 'conductor-assistant') implies a conductor who is also an aide or assistant (compare 'conductor-teacher, for example). I have therefore rendered konduktorsegítő here as 'conductive aid' to emphasis that this is primarily an assistant.

No doubt in years to come the 'conductor assistant' term will attain primacy, a cumbersome compound noun all too easily confused with 'conductor'.

In two years' time, if the world remains much as it is, conductor-aids may be looking for employment with cash-strapped private families and in all sorts of cash-strapped institutions around the world. One wonderswhat sorts of remuneration they might achieve.

It has been hard enough till now for non-Hungarians to understand the training, competencies, qualifications etc. of conductors. The World Congress in Hong Kong will offer timely opportunity to clarify the role and purpose of this new grade of conductive practitioner

By the way, earlier this week two items on Conductive World, on the unmeetable shortage of conductors and the international roles of conductor assistants, have raised considerable comment:

The information above on the new course in Budapest is important background information for considering these problems. It offers solution to neither.

* 'Some one, or nobody, knows I wot. / Who or which or why or what...'  (Edward Lear)


  1. Kelin Anna writes to me on Facebook

    Dear Andrew,

    I could not get into Conductive World to post or to comment but I would like to let everybody know what's all about this.

    A degree in pedagogy or teaching is requesting as a condition of the application.The aim is to specialize these pedagogues in CE, which will let them develop the children under the guidance of a conductor.

    Perhaps they will be "feldscher(felcser in Hungarian) conductors" :)

    Please share this information with the visitors of Conductive World.

    All the best


  2. Thank you for this, Anna.

    It certainly helps.


  3. I’m glad I got an adequate answer to my original question! What a bumpy road that led us here.
    On 28 March Andrew posted on his blog: "Feldshers, conductors, superconductors...or what? Any other solutions to a very big problem?"
    This made me think about the new (above detailed) aide course to be started soon at PAI, because I saw a connection between the feldsher, and the "konduktorsegito". However I had no means to be sure of such connection, so I suggested "someone could help out with this" and I also wondered if the aides were (admittedly or not) for "export".
    Turned out that my question was gravely misunderstood, most probably by a well-meaning person, who had no answers to my inquiry but felt I put an "=" mark between trainee conductors and aides, which was, of course, not the case, so I clarified my question in a new posting.
    In vain. By this time Andrew put the whole "off topic" conversation into a new thread, and others felt a need to further ignore everything I asked or said, and pick up on the obvious misunderstanding instead, stating that “…student conductors…never felt…like assistants.” I guess they didn’t. They felt like college students. Meanwhile, their college studies required that they, among a ton of other things, complete tasks in the groups that assistants, aides, volunteers or conductors complete at other settings where there are no students. Some trainee conductors dropped out of the course, one of them (as the unverified sources say) did so because she refused to clean a potty.
    I must admit I felt put down by being accused of disgracing trainee conductors, but there was more: I was supposedly engaging into "shameful practices" in which aides are excluded from the pedagogic work and used as "bottom wipers" only (a practice I have no experience with, whatsoever!). I truly have no idea where these ideas came from or got in connection with me. My question about a feldsher-conductor aide connection was also quickly dismissed: “the posting that I read of Andrew’s was about something completely different”. Sure it was. Andrew posted about the possibility of feldsher-conductors. I read about the conductor-aide training elsewhere. I put them together. I didn’t drag the second, ‘assistant’ conversation into the picture. I simply had an inquiry, if the new conductor aides (who are all trained teachers, by the way) could be used as feldshers. I was merely wondering. Not for long though, because I got my answer from a lady at Peto right above in a comment: 'Perhaps they [the conductor-aides] will be "feldscher(felcser in Hungarian) conductors" :-)’ . It came with a smile. I got my answer, although we’re not naïve enough to believe that this training course will solve the conductor-shortage problem in the universe for good.
    I don’t believe that that the PAI is training their new type of work force for their own purposes. They are, instead, offering a new training course that there is a market for (which college doesn’t?). There is nothing that will keep these aides at PAI when they’re handed their new qualification over, which is a further specialized qualification for teacher degree holders. A qualified teacher who’s spent further 2 years studying at Peto will be a fine feldsher.
    I’m sorry I didn’t want to let this go. I know conductors who stopped writing into the discussion forum back then because they felt constantly ‘attacked’. I have a voice, I would like to discuss things, especially here, and I would like to feel welcome.

  4. V - you are very welcome. I hope to benefit more from your contributions. Have you thought of starting a blog yourself? It's really easy to do.

    I really do feel no-one intended any offence.


  5. Thank you Norman.
    I don't know what people's intentions are, they should be discussing matters and taking us forward. Of course, there are statements misunderstood in any conversation, it's just simply annoying (not necessarily 'offensive') when someone's lingering on, especially after matters were clarified several times. Putting statements into others' mouth is not helpful in the least; let's just read what they need to say instead of assuming what they might think. That's basic courtesy we all deserve.
    I am indeed thinking about a blog and will just do it one of these days :-)