Wednesday, 19 October 2011

CE research

An overview

Memorandum to the Norwegians

This overview was commissioned by the Norwegian national CE organisation, the Norsk Forum for Konduktiv Pedagogikk, at behest of and with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Health. The brief was simple a simple one:

To produce a detailed memorandum on CE-related research

The Norsk Forum subsequently granted permission for this Memorandum to be published on the Internet, for the benefit of all.

Preparation of this Memorandum was proposed towards the end of 2006 and it was prepared and written over the last week of January. 2007.It was expected that three working days’ equivalent would suffice for this task: in the event it required nearer six.

The Memorandum was published on line as a knol, in October 2007 but proper formatting proved a problem. It has now been reformatted and is available on line and in full, in the Conductive Depository:

The entire Memorandum runs to over 12,000 words, including appendices. There are around ninety references to follow up, should you wish to read further and form your own opinions and conclusions.

This survey of the field had to be ‘quick and dirty’ rather than offering a formal and deeply considered academic document and should be read as no more that a preliminary overview of the field.

This Memorandum is therefore to be regarded as only a ‘scoping report’.

There has been nothing of substance published in the three years since October 2008, though time will doubtless come to update this review.

The field of 'Conductive Education research'

There is far more written material around research into Conductive Education than is generally thought (certainly far, far more than one would think from looking at the limited references cited by most articles on the topic). The conductive ‘literature’ remains generally unstructured and most of those who research in this field fail to identify what might be already there.

It has also to be acknowledged that much of what has been written is of at best middling quality. Some is outright poor. Judgement on this is left to readers of this survey who follow up specific references. Most of the research work cited here was carried out in a flurry of activity over the years between the late eighties and the early ‘noughties’. Research activity in this area is now generally on the wane. Most research has been reported in the English language, though this survey also makes reference to materials written in Norwegian, Swedish, German and French. While this survey does not claim to be wholly exhaustive it does seem likely that no studies of significance have been missed.

Summative statement

It is often said about research into Conductive Education, ‘Research has shown…’ The present state of academic knowledge favours the contrary view, ‘Research has failed to show…’

As research reports often conclude. ‘More research is needed’. But please, not more of the same.


Sutton, A. (2007) CE-related research: a memorandum to the Norsk Forum for Konduktiv Pedagogikk, January

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