Monday, 21 May 2012


What's 'ethical'?

On 17 May Conductive World's Facebook page posted a notification –
£241,163 will pay for outreach, and 'more therapists'
'Conductive education therapy complements NHS treatment as an additional therapy and combines physiotherapy and occupational therapy with learning'.
Pro and con
A brief correspondence ensued. Some expressed joy that CE had struck it lucky, conductor Laszlo Szogeczki widened the CE funding news from the North East of England –
Also in Newcastle, the Percy Hedley Foundation, received £280,215 to provide around 120 disabled people in the area with employment opportunities.
Others took a more critical stance. Conductor Gabor Fellner quoted the announcement –
It is the only charity in the region offering free conductive education therapy to young people. Conductive education therapy complements NHS treatment as an additional therapy and combines physiotherapy and occupational therapy with learning.
He then pointed out what this means in the public estimation in terms of what the term 'Conductive Education' now apparently means de facto to this major funding body, and presumably to a wider public too.
In other words CE is a multidisciplinary approach and therapy for children with CE. To have some money is really brilliant but to use this kind of false definition of CE is not so brilliant...
Norman Perrin gave a quotation, and stated his own forceful position –
If Conductive Education does not offer a coherent intellectual account of itself, on where it comes from, what it actually does, and of its goals, then it cannot expect outsiders to know what it is about and should not be surprised if it is misunderstood by decision-makers, budget-holders and researchers." From Last Year in Hong Kong, 'Philosophical and historical, social and political' by Andrew Sutton.

Grant-givers, evidently, can be seduced into all sorts of tosh such as 'conductive education therapy. Sadly, so can some parents.
Susie Mallett has written to me, pointing out that 'therapy' implies the presence of sick or poorly children, something that donors (think that) they understand, and one can hardly blame institutions looking for funding playing this potent card.
    I have to say, this would certainly appear to offer a more conductive  path than long, long and often fruitless hours trying to enlighten people about the vast superiority of an educational path to learning and development.

    Ethical fundraising

    Well, good luck to all institutions that can find the money to pay the staff and stay alive, whatever they do. When I had to take part in such things people often asked my take on 'ethical fundraising'. I had to admit that there were few sources that I would not have accepted money from to keep the show on the road (and in the event I never had to face dilemmas such as a offer from the Mafia that I could not refuse).

    On the other hand, there were limits and it never evenoccurred to me or my associates to brand package CE as a therapy... Had it done so, I doubt that the Devil himself could have tempted us, with all the kingdoms of he Earth.


    Conductive World (2012) Big lottery win for English centre, Facebook, May

    Sutton, A. (2011) Philosophical and historical, social and political. In Last Year in Hong Kong, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press, pp. 39-44

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