Saturday, 31 March 2012


Or something else?

Yesterday saw a posting on Conductive World commenting upon a publication earlier that day of a presentation published on the always interesting blog of the parents' group at Centre La Famille in Brussels:

I was aware that the content of this might be if little interest to most English-speakers in Conductive Education, even sufficiently for them to run the Belgian parents' piece through a translating machine. An English-speaking correspondent did ask me whether I should be publishing an English translation but honestly I just do not have time even to consider this. 

 also received a note from Belgium –

...I am a bit puzzled, I have to admit I don't understand it because my level of English and the expressions that I am not familiar with. I am not sure you totally hate our testimonial or like it. I don't know what is Gallic thinking... and I am not sure about the last sentence either.

Any clarification would be appreciated. At our end, a second post on the same topic but a bit more practical is on its way.

Mea culpa

In response I apologised for the obscurity of my English.  The point is well take. I repeat and amplify what I wrote here for a more public audience –

I have too admit that my English can tend to be a little obscure. Many English readers of what I write may alsohave little idea what I am talking about!

Readers should be assured, however, of my enormous appreciation of the power of the intellectual tradition to which Conductive Education is being accommodated in Brussels and elsewhere in the French-speaking (la Francophonie, as they call it), and of the continuation of my my long-standing good intention to make others aware of this too (witness umpteen postings on Conductive World).

I LOVED the piece

The British (especially perhaps les Anglais) have total, unspoken respect for Gallic ways of thinking, even though we usually approach them with defensive caution! I use the word 'Gallic' here, to include French, Belgians, and Jean Piaget). Perhaps Gallic is the wrong word. Correct me if there is a better one. Our problem is that we often fail to understand these ways of thinking. Prime example of this for many has been the Anglophone confusion surrounded the work of Jean Piaget.  Of particular relevance here is the failure of the world of Conductive Education to consider the understandings exercised at La Famille in Belgium.

The insights into Conductive Education that I have picked up from Yves Bawin and Marie Louise Leclerc over the years have thrown a new light upon conductive pedagogy and indeed upon the very nature of 'cerebral palsy' (an unquestioned Anglophone construct if ever there were one!). I have tried to write about this but nobody in the Anglophonie has shown  interest. Years ago, when I was a psychologist, I tried to attract attention to Henri Wallon's understanding of human mental-social-motoric-emotional development. Again no response.

I remain a child of my own Anglo-Saxon intellectual heritage, empiricist and eclectic – but with the willingness to try to see the world through other philosophical windows. For the light that doing this this throws into the shadows of my own vision. There are so many interesting windows throgh which to bview it, some afforing a perhaps clearer view than others...

And Anglophonie is the poorer for more people's not trying this. And that goes for many people in Conductive Education too. Simply ignoring the fact that such differences exist does not make them go away.

Europe, Schmeurope

My concluding sentence yesterday read –

Europe, Schmeurope. Especially if Francophone positions are not accommodated and accounted.

It is not just Anglophones who ignore profound cultural differences in philosophical understandings of the world.

My gnomic exclamation 'Europe, Schmeurope' referred to a tendency to view Conductive Education (in Europe at least) as if this somehow absolves one from the need to consider the force of differing cultural and philosophical factors. A small, vocal and energetic group, for example, is currently advocating that there should be Europe-wide definitions, standards, practices within Conductive Education. 'Europe, Schmeurope!'

This Yiddish verbal formation gently expresses my view of the validity and ultimate futility of culturally funnelled approaches to understanding and implementing conductive pedagogy and upbringing.

Not least, in this specific context ,if Francophone positions are not thoroughly examined, accommodated and accounted.

No comments:

Post a Comment