Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Wikipedia problem

What to do?

I often use Wikipedia. I am aware of the basis on which its entries are compiled, though, so I take care in checking the referencing to help gauge whether what I am reading is well founded..

Sometimes I stumble across the entry on Conductive Education. I am sure that lots of other people do too as, not only is is some folks' first call when looking for information, this entry is currently number three in the first page of a UK Google search for “conductive education” in the strangely assorted collection of hits that floats to the surface there.

I avert my gaze

I do so because to read this entry is a painful experience and I just do not know what to do about it. Wikipedia's principle of collective, self-correcting wisdom just does not work in Conductive Education – or maybe it does, and the entry in question well reflects this!!!

Either way, is is an aversive thought to join this fray.

Now on Facebook

Now somebody (or some thing – see yesterday's posting on Conductive World) has put Wikipedia's entry on Conductive Education on to Facebook.

In case you have never read this, here is its first paragraph. It hardly does justice. Tick the misleading and pusillanimous –

Conductive Education, or CE, is an educational system that has been specifically developed for children and adults who have motor disorders of neurological origin such as cerebral palsy. It is based on the premise that a person who has a motor disorder may not only have a medical condition requiring treatment, but may often have a major problem in learning that requires special education. The spread of CE throughout the world has probably in large part been due to the advocacy of families who appear to have lost confidence in the existing systems of treatment. These families strongly regard CE as a potentially effective response to their needs. Because of the successes of and interest in Conductive Education, other scholars have begun to examine the CE approach. Research studies of the efficiency of conductive education have been inconclusive, however.

The enry then lists the 'key principles' of Conductive Education (including 'holistic', interpreted implicitly as the unmediated effect of brain damage upon the whole of personal development, and 'interdisciplinary', rather than the unidisciplinary approach of employing a conductor).

There follows a list of six 'components' of Conductive Education, in effect Ester Cotton's 'principles' – neither educational nor conductive.

The entry concludes with a link to over-long, uncritical list of things that one might read, mainly out of date (most recent items published in 2001) and mostly accessible only to those with access to an extensive library system.

I suppose that something will have to be done...

By the way, Wikipedia also has an entry on András Pető, a mercifully short one! Mária Hári has been spared...


Conductive Education on Facebook

Conductive Education on Wikipedia

András Pető on Wikipedia

Personal inadequacies

I do so wish that I were much more Internet-savvy.

I would love to to leave a comment on the Facebook item and link to this posting here on Conductive World. This Facebook item is, however, a Community Page ('the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic') and I cannot seen how to get in!

All that I can see to do is to say 'I like it' – which I do not!

Paradoxically, there are already links there to other things on Facebook connected to myself, which may offer the impression of my endorsing this stuff.

And yes, I have signed up to 'edit' (i.e. completely rehash) Wikipedia's wretched entry, but this looks so complicated to do that I should need specialist help even to get started.


  1. What to do indeed!

    Firstly, DO NOT click on the link inviting you to "Sign Up". Whereas I expected a pop-up window inviting me to join something, "Sign Up" is automatic and I can see no way of reversing the process - of Signing Out, so to speak.

    Secondly, who is behind this Community Page? The top box text says: "Our goal is .... " and "we'll let you know ....". Who is included in "our" and "we"? As the UK satirical magazine Private Eye puts it: "I think we should be told".

    Thirdly, this Community Page links to Conductive World, naming you, Andrew as a "Friend". Do they have your permission to do so? I am confident that they do not.

    What to do? Indeed!

  2. Actually, I did risk all and sign up as a 'friend', to see whether this would get me further into the system.

    It did not get me far but I see that all the postings in Conductive World(imcluding tis one) are now reorte on the 'community site'. My advantage this one, I think!

    You are right though. If I want to get out... I don't see how.

    I don't know who set it up. I have found out how it's dome though (might be useful!) Click here to see for yourself:

    It could in fact have been anybody and I don't feel too bad about that!

    I guess that none of this makes much difference to the world, on way of the other, but like you, Norman, I do not like not knowing what is going on.

    And I do NOT like people's putting up information without the facility of offering a critical comment.

    The word 'community' is clearly a nisnmomer. and I do not see how this page will contribute towards achieving its stated goal,for which something far better that this is needed.

    No matter, if I ever hear from this 'community' (how?) I shall be sure to pass the information on.