Friday, 27 August 2010

Define conductive upbringing

(And the equivalent for adults)

Yesterday evening I received an email, asking as follows – .

Can you please send me your extract definition of conductive upbringing?

I picked this up only very late, and tore off a quick, tired, and unsatisfactory reply –

Upbringing is.. upbringing. Like in a Jewish upbringing, or a military one, or a liberal one,or a Dr Spock-style one, or a traditional one, or a Chinese one, or whatever. 
I am not clever enough to spot their common substance...
And conductive is... er, conductive.
This brings it all together, brings the child up focussed for a purpose, but how precisely is it done...?  No 'precisely' I suspect, this way or that way, to suite, according to society, individuals or circumstances.
An infinite variety!

Consideration of what constitutes 'conductive' is well-trodden ground on the pages of Conductive World, but my correspondent's challenge, to define conductive upbringing, raises something to the level of explicit question that deserves much more attention that I can give it. Just possibly the notion of 'upbringing' is presently receiving a little more, much-needed attention than it has before in the Western world. Maybe I misjudge this. If it is so, though, the question 'Why?' arises, and some interesting possible future practical developments emerge.

By the way, what do you call it when it is adults who are involved? I have heard the term 'conductive lifestyle used. I cannot think of a better one.

No definition here

My own late-night response was certainly no definition. I was just trying to share my own established framework for construeing the question. In the cold, grey light of dawn, a few further thoughts also dawned to me on this:
  • some might think it helpful to think of upbringing in terms of 'socialisation'
  • others might find it more helpful to use the commonplace English phrase 'bringing up children'
  • upbringing is a matter for the whole of a culture/society, with the family comprising the primary cell for realising this
  • social institutions, not least the school, play major roles in bringing up children (and may act to enhance the upbringing sought by the family and/or society – or wreck it)
  • upbringing imparts values, standards, goals, understandings, beliefs – without which skills and such like are no more than meaningless and purposeless facts (I suppose that this reflects in no small part the well-trodden distinction between formal and empirical knowledge)
  • upbringing is exercised through such mechanisms as care, love, emotions, discipline, example, beliefs
  • day-to-day upbringing goes on, and on and on, and spreads out beyond the family
  • upbringing develops into adult self-direction, self-image, self-actuation etc...
These points also perhaps do no more than frame the question. Presumably such broad truisms apply to all upbringings, good or bad, and probably those who read these words can readily add to this list. or amend it.

Suffice it here to say something equally simple and truistic, that upbringing is not a matter for a few hours intervention whenever, it is not an 'intellectual' or 'cognitive matter', it is something to which anyone can contribute (not just specially trained specialists) – and there is no single way of going about it.

Questions of 'conductive upbringing' can of course be approached from the standpoint of 'Conductive Education'. It might be more productive at our present stage, however, to turn these questions round and ask them from the standpoint of upbringing, on which there is immense technical literature and immeasurable popular experience.

Quite a conundrum for the research-wallahs!

Don't ask me

Meanwhile, I am asked to define conductive upbringing – exactly. Which one? Anyway, why ask me? There are plenty of people out there far better qualified by practical experience or professional training. They should be the the experts. I gladly pass on the challenge and ask them to lend voice.

How do people define conductive upbringing? I should very much like to know too.


  1. This is a difficult one, I wander who posed this question...
    I've done my homework and this is what I came ot with (ICF inspired) regarding part 1:What is upbringing?

    Upbringing is a context depended particular social learning process, where a child, through human interactions, acquires during his/her formative years, a repertoire of properties (attitudes, habits, skills and knowledge, rules, beliefs and values), necessary for participating in his/her environment/context (society).

  2. Rony Schencker writes further, with a proposed formal definition for people to consider:

    CU is a systemic purposeful way of life, aimed to lay the foundations for a comprehensive, unified, coherent and rewarding development of the child under existing developmental disorders. CU is a social learning process whereby through a unified pedagogical process which brings together and combines the disjointed components of children's experience (conductive pedagogy), children acquire a repertoire of human properties (attitudes, habits, skills and knowledge, rules, beliefs and values), essential for becoming orthfunctional.

    Thanks for this Rony. I am sure that there will there will be a lot more discussion around this question, and that some of this will spill into pulic... I do hope so.