Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Strategic future for CE?

MOD Canada seeks a key
Is this one?

The address by Andria Spindel to the sixth annual meeting of ACENA, in Toronto this August, provides an interesting account of the development of March of Dimes' involvement in Conductive Education since 1990.

More interesting still, it offers Andria's analysis of the current state of play for the future development of CE in that country, and the stalemate that bests establishment of professional conductor-training, to which she would dearly like to find the key:
  • Durham College (I was involved in that discussion some years ago: things were going swimmingly till the Principal pointed out that the College needed an annual entry of fifty students for a course to be viable )
  • Mohawk College (two years professional training, followed by a McMaster masterate – sounds a potential runner, with an appropriate course content)
  • Ryerson University (this wanted a masters' programme – and shied away from the image of a 'segregated' CE).
It is so nice to hear somebody responsible for a CE service addressing such matters in public. I shall take a liberty and respond.

Catch 22, or Gordian knot

Andria speaks of 'conductors' – she does not have ACENA's fixation with 'conductor-teachers', so she has not boxed herself in and her options remain open. For the moment she has put her search for a 'receptive university' on hold 'pending a better understanding of how we can grow the service in Canada ' (though I suspect that the goal to 'accredit the profession' will remain a Chimera till after she gets a training under way. Catch-22 indeed!

In this opening address to August's meeting in Chicago, Andria seemed to be expressing the hope that people attending there might come up with ideas for this. Maybe they did, and as a result she came away with greater confidence to say that CE is here to stay in Canada.

In the faint possibility that the question remains open, I wonder whether the following might be a way forward. Cut the Gordian Knot of established, existing ways of thinking and providing Conductive Education in the West:
  • Look outwards, away from the precariously established CE programs and CE centers
  • Step back, not just from the therapies but also from education, even from pedagogy, ignore for the moment rehabilitation
  • Stop the ears to the Sirens of plasticity
  • Forget Hungary.
Instead, like many conductors, adults, parents and carers are beginning to do, start thinking around the service implications of conductive upbringing and conductive lifestyle in an advanced Western democracy -– about 'family Conductive Education'.

There is no Hey Presto involved here, just the possibility of riding a swelling tide within Conductive Education, breaking away from old pseudo-problems such as 'segregation', and explicitly developing services on a fresh basis. One might then enjoy a warmer, more genuine welcome in academic circles, and some rather better paradigms for research.


Spindel, A. (2010) Address to the Sixth ACENA Conference, Toronto, 26 August


  1. Apologies for the puzzling last few lines of this posting, now removed.

    They got there in error. The were the draft for a comment to an extraordinary further twist in an long story of family conductive upbringinging and lifestyle. See:


    Actually, the implications of that that story are relevant here...


  2. There is also discussion of Andria's presentation at: