Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Кондуктивная педагогика
15-minute video in Russian
What lies beneath?
This enthusiastic fifteen-minute TV report features a demonstration visit to the oil-rich Komi Republic, in the far North of the Russian Federation, by a team of conductors from Moira. I could find no date on the webpage. The three-week visit, to the Lozym sanatorium, was made in November 2006, with the TV report presumably broadcast either at the time or soon afterwards.
Mention is made that in nearby Norway Conductive Education programmes receive state funding. The TV report implied Ministerial support for establishing CE in state institutions in Komi. I do not know what has happened there since.
Does anyone?
The Sanatorium at Lozym lists conductive pedagogy amongst other approaches. This is what it says –
Метод кондуктивной терапии.
В основе метода лежит системный подход к воспитанию функций, в котором основное внимание уделено медико-педагогической коррекции, направленной на выработку самостоятельной активности и независимости ребенка. Основная цель метода – обучить ребенка спонтанным движениям в решении поставленных перед ними задач и в дальнейшем применять полученные навыки в повседневной жизни. Программа занятий предусматривает беспрерывное участие ребенка в разных видах деятельности, которые учат детей думать и действовать в различных ситуациях.
The conductive therapy method
At the basis of the method lies a systemic approach to the education [vospitanie – 'upbringing'] of functions, in which fundamental attention is given to medical-pedagogic correction directed to producing self-sufficient activity and independence in children. The method's basic goal is to teach children spontaneous movements for solving the tasks that face them and to apply the skills that they have learned in their future everyday livess. The programme provides for children's uninterrupted participation in different kinds of activity that teach the children to think and to act in all manner of situations.

No matter that his account makes no mention of conductors, nor that conductive pedagogy is included as a form of LFK services (lechebnaia fizkul’tura, rather like remedial gymnastics). There are no Mickey Mouse 'principles' to the fore, and no attempt to neurologise. I have no idea of the realities of conductive practice in Kozyn, nor anywhere else in the vast CIS, but this concise explanation makes more sense than most of what one reads supposedly defining Conductive Education in the West, and in most of what little comes from Hungary too.

Food for thought there.

Russia, and by extension the whole of the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States, i.e. the former Soviet Union) has always been to me 'a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'. This widely applied formulation of Winston Churchill's has been around all my life, being first broadcast on the BBC three days before I was born, and seems as true today as it was them. It seems true too of Conductive Education in that very large part of the world too.

I myself first stumbled upon Conductive Education at the end of the seventies because of its apparent congruity with Soviet defectology (a connection hotly denied by Mária Hári, and hardly conducive to the modern-day cult of Hungarikum). In early post-Soviet years two tranches of young Russians trained to be conductors at the Pető Institute in Budapest (where are they all now, what are they doing and where?). Of recent years, as the Internet clearly demonstrates, there is considerable interest in conductive pedagogy and conductive in former Soviet lands, and indeed the most frequently visited posting on Conductive World, by a long head, is an article on parent-and child work, in Russian. The Pető Institute has actively recruited clients from Russia and the Ukraine, and run special groups to accommodate them, but its plans to establish a base in Moscow appear nor to have materialised and only Moira, as far as I know, has actually taken the work to demonstrate it live in the former Soviet Union (I would appreciate being corrected in this by those who know better). I do not recall any participation from that part of the world in the seven CE World Congresses to date to reflect anything of this – maybe Congress number 8 to be held in Munich this October will break a duck in this respect.

1 comment:

  1. Agnes Borbely writes fron MOIRA with further information on the intervention in the Komi Republic –

    Dear Andrew!

    Let me appreciate your efforts to find relevant achievements in the world of CE.

    Here is the story of Lozym –

    MOIRA regularly organises courses for professionals to introduce Conductive Education.On our course in 1996 we had four participants from the Komi Republic (the former Health Minister - she was the head of Sanatorium Lozym, two paediatricians, and the interpreter.

    After participating on our course they decided to invite MOIRA to Syktyvkar to introduce CE. Our first visit was in 2006. It was a three-weeks long session which included: three-weeks long course for professionals and 3 weeks long CE. session for C.P. children.

    Our second visit was in 2009. It was also three-weeks long, with similar conditions.The film was taken during our first visit.

    Here is the origin of the film about MOIRA’s Conductive Education in the Russian Federation (Syktyvkar, Komi Republic). I do hope it’s helpful, to get some ideas how MOIRA works in abroad in a foreign environment:

    RuTube Conductive Education (14:55)
    English-language dubbed version

    RuTube Кондуктивная педагогика (14:55)
    Russian language version
    The interview with Agnes is in English)

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

    Best Regards,

    Thanks< Agnes, great yo hear from you.

    And to take up your invitation for further information,. what are they doing in Komi now?

    With best,


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