Friday, 31 May 2013

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Extraordinarily ambitious job specification
A new kind of job in the UK?
Lots of such jobs?

Advert published by Capita –
Conductive Therapist
Capita Education are working with a client that wishes to appoint an enthusiastic, highly motivated, creative and inspirational classroom practitioner who is passionate about teaching and learning and developing conductive education. The role is a 0.6 position to start as soon as possible until April 2014. The successful candidate will work in the primary and secondary department of school and be able to deliver an engaging curriculum suitable for the needs of all the pupils they teach integrated with conductive education. They must also be an effective communicator and have good team work skills being flexible and responsive to the needs of the school. A knowledge of special education and EYFS would be desirable. The successful candidate will take responsibility for continuing to embed the ethos of conductive education throughout the school and be able to evidence good or outstanding practice.
http://www.jobs.co.uk/jobs/Conductive-Education-perapist-ASAP-505322.htm
How much institutional change can 0.6 of a classroom assistant  realistically achieve (need not be a conductor, apparently)?

More such jobs?

Capita is advertising this job very widely but I cannot see whether the same advert is being repeated, or whether the same job being arranged for a number of schools (the latter seems so implausible).

See all the adverts and judge for yourself:


One wonders what this very big firm understands such a 'conductive therapist' might do. In less than a year.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

WC 8 – DRAFT PROGRAMME EMERGING

Deadline extension

E-mail communication from the organisers of the 8th World CE Congress –
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear CE community,
For the upcoming 8th World Congress on Conductive Education (October 9 - 12, 2013) in Munich and Fürstenfeldbruck the deadline for the early bird registration has been extended by June 7, 2013...
...the detailed programme will be available shortly.
This means that the 'early bird' (cheaper-rate) registration fee will be available for a few more days, giving time for people to decide whether they might come on not on the basis of having seen the finalised draft academic/professional/commercial programme.

Programme so far

A skeleton programme is now fleshing out on line at:

  • First impression is that the programme looks very full, so that there will some hard choices to make between parallel events.
  • Fourteen 'keynotes' jostle for time with oral presentations (in the draft programme keynotes are indicated as 'KN' and printed against mauve backgrounds) and are themselves squeezed for time – resulting in the unusual feature of some keynotes' not being presented in plenary sessions but running together, in parallel.
  • On the second and third days of the Congress choice is further extended by half a dozen workshop sessions (not to be confused with the pre-conference workshops which comprise a sparate programme), and apparently a choice of round tables.
  • Also running in parallel are film presentations, 'industrial exhibitions', 'presntations of exhibitors' and a public open day.
Phew!

Oral presentations
These are to be delivered in a dozen parallel sessions:
A Neuroscience and neurorehabilitative knowledge
B History and theory
C Inclusion
D Transcultural adaptations
E New methods within CE
F Evaluation of effectiveness
G Parents and family view
H Early education and school
I Adulthood and transition
J New settings
K Professional education
L New target groups
M Profession of conductors
  • again, there will to be some hard choices to be made
  • punters will have to be nipping in and out during sessions if they are to exercise the choices open to them.
Titles and abstracts of all presentations will be available on line 'soon', presumably in time to meet the revised early-bird registration.

A round-table programme appears to be still at the stage of being recruited:
Round-table discussions will be held on Friday, October 11, 2013, 16:00 to 17:00. Participants are strongly encouraged to propose a topic for these discussions. Those who would like to chair such a round table discussion can inform about their topic by e-mail to:


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

BUSINESS FOLLOWS CE

Familiar enough family experience
Most uncommon economic benefit

Jan Mainka reports in yesterday's Budapest Times
'Ulrich Bettermann is one of the entrepreneurs in Germany who recognised the opportunity of a larger Europe early on,' former German foreign minister and guest of honour Hans-Dietrich Genscher said at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Hungarian subsidiary of OBO Bettermann. The company whose office is in the Budapest suburb of Bugyi today employs over 700 people. Company owner Ulrich Bettermann plans for the number of employees to reach 1,000 within the next three years. The manufacturer of electro-technology and building installation technology is present in over 60 countries today.
Family needs first
His choice of Hungary in 1993 had a deeply personal reason, rather than being purely business-related. 'A young man is sitting there who is the reason why we are in Hungary,' Bettermann said at the beginning of his speech. 'My son Christoph is the reason for this factory. I sought help for him all over the world and finally found it in the Petõ Institute in Budapest,' he explained. And what do you do as a father? First you rent a flat and then you buy a house. And as a businessman you build a factory. First I did so in Budapest, which was not so much to my taste, and then here in Bugyi, which was instantly my dream.'
Bettermann’s close relationship with Hungary has remained intact over the years. 'I still feel very much at home in Hungary and I would say I’ve become half-Hungarian. My son Christoph has even become fully Hungarian,' he said, referring to the fact that his son now lives permanently in the country...
Read more of this story:


Reference

Mainka, J. (2013) A special relationship with Hungary, Budapest Times, 27 May
http://www.budapesttimes.hu/2013/05/27/a-special-relationship-with-hungary/

Saturday, 25 May 2013

REMEMBERING RITA

English school recalls Rita Szárvas's son Andris

From an English county newspaper –
A Hungarian man has made an emotional return to a Shropshire school to remember his wife and seven-year-old son, who died in a plane crash four years ago.
Andris Buslig and his mother Rita were among 228 passengers and crew who died when an Air France flight disappeared over the Atlantic en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.
The bodies were never found and so Andris’s father Gyorgy has no grave to visit. But he has come to regard Ludlow Infants School, where his son was a pupil for two years while his mother worked in England, as his spiritual resting place.
Mr Buslig, who had moved from Shropshire to his native Hungary with his family a year before the crash, said be believed Andris’s happiest years were spent at the school.
He has made the trip from Hungary to Ludlow every year since the crash to attend a commemorative assembly there.
Mr Buslig was at Ludlow Infants on Thursday for this year’s assembly where he presented bouquets to members of staff...
Continue this story at:



Reference

(2013) Emotional return to tragic son’s Ludlow school, Shropshire Star, 25 May (four photographs)
http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2013/05/25/emotional-return-to-tragic-sons-ludlow-school/

Sutton. A. (2009) One of our conductors is missing, Conductive World, 4 June

Friday, 24 May 2013

NO POMP, NO CEREMONY? ÍME!

András Pető's stolen birthplace plaque replaced

From the local paper in the town of Szombathely, where Ándrás Pető was born –
In 2010 two public plaques were stolen. Sándor Weöres’ from Petőfi utca and Ándrás Pető’s from the wall of the building at 2 Kossuth utca. The police found the offenders but not the plaques.


The same year György Feisz offered a million Forints from his own MP’s allowance to replace the two boards. Sándor Weöres new plaque was done in the autumn of 2010, but replacing Pető’s turned out a challenge.

The sculptor Torjay Andre András had died over this time and the mould used to make the original could not be found. The leadership of the city decided to make an agreement with Gábor Veres to create a new tablet. Using original photos the sculptor has created a replica of the original.

This process took a long time. First of all he needed to negotiate with the Tornay family. Secondly, during this time the council had authorized the opening of a new fashion boutique in this particular building in Kossuth utca.

The shop's owner was prepared to negotiate.

But on 11 September, Pető's birthday, there was no celebration. Representatives of the Pető Institute arrived to find nothing there. In the end Gábor Veres screwed the plaque up with his own hands, without any ceremony. Íme!


Íme!

As I understand it, Íme is a rather literary expression, meaning 'Behold', 'There you are'. Or perhaps 'So it goes', or 'That's all, folks...'

Reference

(2012) Ismét van Pető András-emléktábla, Vas Népe Online, 24 October (with photograph)

My thanks to Tünde Rózsahegyi for helping me understand this article.

Sándor Weöres was a local literary figure

Thursday, 23 May 2013

HUNGARY: SHOCK, HORROR

Al Jazeera is shocked
Are you?

I have never known what to make of Hungarian politics. This is as true now as it was when I first went there during Goulash Socialism. Of course it is axiomatic that all countries are less that perfect but has to be equally axiomatic that some countries may be more less-than-perfect than others. On this basis, however much I like and admire many Hungarians, and many aspects of their society, certain aspects of what is happening in Hungary today fill me with dreadful foreboding.

Glenn Ellis's Al Jazeera's report

There is available on line both in video form (25 minutes) and as a written news report (three-thousand words):


The two follow each other closely in content, but each contains a little information that the other does not. They may be regarded as closely complementary rather that identical.

They feature (among others) Viktor Orban, Ágnes Heller, György Konrád, Tamás Fodor, László Csatáry, Zolt Bayer and Pastor Gábor Iványi, along with the Jews, the Gypsies (Roma) the Arrow Cross and Jobbik.

Be informed, and have an opinion

As I think has been previously remarked in Conductive World, I shall not be visiting this Weimaresque republic in any foreseeable future. For all the good that there might be to go, I just do not wish to be there. This is a hardly a boycott to topple the present regime, or gto divert the present forces shaping Hungarian society! Indeed I wonder just what it will take for Hungary to become a cause-célèbre in polite society in the Western world, and generate the sort of boycotts, economic, cultural, academic, that popular liberal indignations favour.

This may or may not happen. I do hope that in the meantime people concerned with Conductive Education around the world, whatever their interest, should be sure to stay appraised of what is happening in that unhappy country.

Do form and review your own opinion, one way or the other. No opinion at all may no longer be much of an option.

Reference

Ellis, G. (2013) Hungary: Towards the Abyss. Investigating why critics of Hungary's authoritarian government believe it is leading the country towards fascism. Al Jazeera, 22 May

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION

Here we go again...

The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of seeking input from professional stakeholder groups and consumers regarding the draft proposals of the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD–11).

As part of this process –
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities convened a small group of distinguished interdisciplinary expert professionals in intellectual disability to review the ICD–11 proposal regarding revisions of the condition previously known as 'mental retardation'. This article presents the recommendations made by the AAIDD to the WHO Secretariat regarding the name, definition, diagnostic guidelines, and classification of the condition known today as intellectual disability.
http://aaiddjournals.org/doi/full/10.1352/1934-9556-51.2.127
In response  the WHO will eventually come up with whatever it does, and in due time all this will then doubtless impact upon those who do whatever they do at that time, with whoever their clients, in the name of Conductive Education.

Reference

Marc J., Luckasson, R., Nygren, M. (2013) AAIDD proposed recommendations for ICD–11 and the condition previously known as mental retardation, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 51, no 2, pp. 127-131. 

PAI: FURTHER 'SCIENTIFIC MEETING'

Mixed morning's programme

The programme of the Pető Institute's in-house 'scientific meetings' resumed on 26 April, with the fourth in this academic year's series:

Programme
10.10 Evidence-based Conductive Education, Dr. med. habil. György Polyvás, Pető Institute
11.30 Low back pain. A different view from outpatient clinic on the most common orthopaedic disorder, Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus Küllmer
12.30 The importance of developing social skills in children with cerebral palsy, Zsófia Nádasi, Pető Institute
http://www.peto.hu/en/images/files/invitation.pdf
 Previous meetings this academic year

The first three meetings in this series were held in September, October and November last year:

If generalisation can be made, German medical professors have been most apparent.

These three meetings were followed closely followed by the 'Scientific Meeting' of the year's Pető Day, fielding another four German professors:


Home team

Especially interesting at the fourth meeting therefore are the home-grown presentations. Perhaps these will re-emerge for wider public consideration at the forthcoming World Congress in Munich, maybe even see publication.

Monday, 20 May 2013

LIFE, DEATH, AND CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION

CE and Edward's syndrome (Trisomy 18)

Here is a story for people who say that CE is 'suitable' only for children with forms of cerebral palsy – and for those who know otherwise.

Edward's syndrome is a rare condition, and not a 'motor disorder'. A year ago an article in a local newspaper in Franklin Indiana recounted the first year of life of a little girl with this condition:

Reprinted in full:

There has been a TV report on her, including an interesting contribution on medical ethics:

http://www.facinglife.tv/episode/season_6/episode_11/episode_611.html

Lilliana is now two years old. Her heart has been repaired and she wears hearing aids. She attends the Jackson Center, the only CE facility in Indiana.

References

– (n.d.) The Jackson Center for Conductive Education

Mattes, B. (2012) Hope for Lilliana, Facing Life Head-on, no 11 (TV report)

Trares, R. (2012) Hearts full of hope: surgery extends the life of infant with rare condition, Daily Journal (Franklin, Indiana ), 29 May
Reprinted in full at:
extend life of infant with rare condition

Saturday, 18 May 2013

WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY

'Something to change the world'
World Cerebral Palsy Day is an unique global innovation campaign to change the world for the 17 million people with cerebral palsy (CP).
Major Prize: The winner of the World CP Day Competition is a team from the University of Virginia School of Engineering (USA) with their prototype design ‘Solar Powered Wheelchair with Retractable Panels’. The team created a working prototype using lightweight and robust materials and highly efficient solar cells.

It should not detract from Alper Sirvan's prize-winning idea or from the design work at the University of Virginia to reflect that this is a electro-mechanical solution (reported in a video that wholly describes its electro-mechanical aspects), and its wider utilisation is open to only a tiny proportion of those around he world who might benefit...

Earlier posting on this Day


'Like it'?

There is a routine notification of this posting on Conductive World's Facebook page.

If you wish to click 'Like it' there, do please also leave a Comment to indicate what exactly it is  that you like about this report. 

Or make your Comment here, at the foot of this page

You might like this solar wheelchair, you might like that that the prize goes to a project that confirms a mechanistic image of cerebral palsy with a hi-tech solution open to hardly anyone. You might consider this result well justifies the intentions of the World Cerebral Palsy Day, or calls the whole process into question.  Who can know what you think – unless you actually say?

PUBLIC ACKNOWEDGEMENT

Chuck and Susan Saur
Chuck Saur and the late Susie Saur were two of several Michigan residents presented with an Art Van Award of Hope Thursday, May 17, at the chain's Novi location.
The award is meant to recognize Michigan residents who assist their communities through charity and similar work to better the lives of others. It's part of Art Van's Million Dollar Charity Challenge, which awards various grants to Michigan-based programs annually.
The Conductive Learning Center in Grand Rapids is one of the very few CE centres started around the world since 1986 to have achieved two Holy Grail ambitions:
  • associated conductor-training scheme
  • degree of sustainability
In the little world of Conductive Education this is an achievement of more than just local significance and interest.

References

Gibbons, L. (2013) Grand Rapids couple honored for charity work by Art Van Furniture, MLive, 17 May

Sutton, A. (2013) Susan Saur, 1955 – 2012, Conductive World, 7 January

Friday, 17 May 2013

ANOTHER WORLD CONGRESS ALONG BEHIND

Number 9

The International Pető Association is inviting tenders to organise WC9, to be held in 2016:


For details of the IPA and its activities, see its new website:

Thursday, 16 May 2013

NATIONAL VICTORY FOR REACTION

And a tiny example of local resistance
President Hollande [of France] is backing down from his pledge to expunge the word 'race' from the constitution... [he] has shied away from a divisive issue that could have led to a further damaging confrontation with his centre-right opponents.

They argue that the commitment to 'the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion' remains essential. The phrase was inserted in the postwar constitution as France tried to shake off its uncomfortable legacy of wartime collaboration with Nazi Germany. But Mr Hollande sees the notion of race as offensive. 

'We know only one race, one family, the human family,' he said last year. He had wanted to remove the term as part of a wide-ranging constitutional revision this summer, but the issue will not even be discussed.

'The Government has decided to concentrate on other priorities,' a statement from the Prime Ministers office declared. 'The intention is good, but translating it into writing is more difficult, said Jean-Jacques Urvoas, the Socialist head of the Law Commission.

Nicolas Sarkozy, M. Hollande's predecessor, said that the original phrase should stay to keep alive memories of the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews from France during the Second World War.
I feel rather let down by the apparent triumph of M. Sarkosy's position here, and by M. Urvoas's expressed inability to deal with this matter verbally, as I have cherished an illusion of the French political class's being cerebral and logical – whatever its manifest flaws.

It seems odd, indeed 'illogical' as Mr Spock might say, to keep alive the memory of those who were murdered by state-endorsed racial theory by perpetuating and legitimating the very concept in the governing document of a modern state.

I am wholly with M. Holland in his position as stated above. On the one hand this is because of the simple biological fact, the one because of the obvious social-historical nature of the modern construct of race amongst humans – and also because of all the sheer wickedness that this notion has unleashed since it came into being.

Only one race

I recall that some ten to fifteen or so years ago I was obliged by Ofsted (Ofsted is England's all-powerful bureaucracy for imposing uniformity upon education and other services for children) to write a 'equal opportunities policy' for the Foundation for Conductive Education and the work of its National Institute. I suppose that this was intended to present a fairly routine, formulaic task and I was quite prepared to treat it as such – except for where I was meant to pronounce upon 'racism'.

There were examples aplenty to copy, except that I could not bring myself to copy any of them, as all the examples that I could find predicated explicitly and unquestioningly upon an underpinning notion that humanity comprises a variety of hypothesised races. As the Director I was being required to prepare and sign a statement of pseudo-scientific racism (or should that be racist pseudo-science). Gum tree!

It proved a simple but tedious task to write the required policy from scratch, with no mention of race whatsoever and with 'racism' always bearing inverted commas to show its otherness and questionability in the context of what I am sure was intended as a humane and positive document. Duly done the policy was submitted to Ofsted, and accepted without demur.

The intention was for the policy to stand against deplorable behaviour based upon ignorance and ideology, without itself promulgating the very premise of those who act that way. A futile individual gesture perhaps.

I cannot claim that my own micro-political problem over this could be compared with the macro-political problems facing François Hollande. I offer my humble experience here, though, to reassure others facing this problem in similarly modest circumstances that there is a way round. Maybe if more people stood upon this vial distinction...

At least there was a way round. I do not know what higher absurdities the English bureaucratised state has risen to since I retired in 2004. I wonder what happened to my little act of resistance to contemporary, right-on biologism...

Reference

Chazan, D. (2013) Hollande backs away from pledge on race, The Times, 11 May, p. 39

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WALKING WITH THE ENEMY

Budapest under the Arrow Cross
Film's release delayed
A powerful new film inspired by a true story. This feature follows the heroic lives of a world leader and a young man swept up in the horrors of WWII. Both men are from Hungary – a country and German ally that had been spared the atrocities orchestrated by Hitler throughout much of Europe. As the war reaches its climax, Germany begins to doubt the loyalties of the Hungarian leadership-in particular Regent Horthy (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley). The Regent tries to navigate his country between the growing terror of Nazi Germany and the oppressive threat of communist Russia. He is ultimately faced with ceding power to another political party or accepting the execution of his son. As the crisis unfolds, thousands of his citizens are forced underground or put into ghettos. One of them is a young man named Elek Cohen (Jonas Armstrong) who is separated from his family and determined to find them. Aided by the woman he loves (Hannah Tointon), Elek disguises himself as a Nazi SS officer and discovers the truth of Hitler's 'Final Solution'. In a race against time to save his family and thousands of his countrymen, he embarks on a journey filled with suspense and danger. An inspirational film of love, war, and sacrifice...
Against the backdrop of war-torn Budapest, Hungary during the Second World War, a young man became a hero to the Jewish people. As a rabbi’s son from a small village called Kisvarda, Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum fought against great odds in one of Hungary’s most terrifying periods. During the Nazi occupation in 1944, he and a group of resistance fighters, managed to outsmart the German machine and save thousands of Jews from deportation and extermination in the camps.
Thanks to his courage and Aryan features, Rosenbaum was able to disguise himself in the uniform of the Arrow Cross, the Hungarian Nazi party, in order to obtain information on Jewish individuals and families that were to be seized. He would then proceed to their homes, disguised in uniform, barking orders and threats while corralling the families into the Arrow Cross vehicles. He was convincing even to those he was saving. He would only reveal himself as a Jew once they reached their destination. One of the destinations was an old glass factory that had been taken over by the Swiss government. It was a diplomatic facility that printed protective Swiss passports for Hungarian Jews during the war. It also became a safe-house for those fortunate enough to be rescued by Rosenbaum and his comrades.
Unfortunately unable to save his own family from Hitler’s 'Final Solution'. Rosenbaum selflessly gave every effort to save his people, thus earning every right to be called a hero. After the war, many individuals he personally rescued, would talk to him about this brave, Jewish hero who they owed their life to. And in perfect balance with his character, he never took credit.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_with_the_Enemy

The film was expected to be released during 2013 but all trailers have been taken off line due to reshoots (no reasons given), and the release date is now said to be set for some time in 2014.
Meanwhile, Walking with the Enemy is on Facebook:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

HUMAN BRAINS

FUNDAMENTAL TENET FALSE
Back to drawing board


Whatever will they think of next?

Original press release and its media coverage suggest that new paradigm not top of list

Meanwhile 

Here is another one, prepared just a little bit earlier:


Same old problem: 

today's technology + yesterday's conceptual framework
 = not much of a science by any definition (bar one)

References

– (2013) Brain frontal lobes not sole centre of human intelligence, EurekAlert! 13 May

Saturday, 11 May 2013

HARD TO IMAGINE

But not to be ignored
Imagine a world without institutions. It is a world where borders between countries seem to have dissolved, leaving a single, endless landscape over which people travel in search of communities that no longer exist., There are no governments any more, on either a national scale or even a local one. There are no schools or universities, no libraries or archives, no access to any information whatsoever. There is no cinema or theatre, and certainly no television. The radio occasionally works, but the signal is distant, and almost always in a foreign language .No one has seen a newspaper for weeks. There are no railways or motor vehicles, no telephones or telegrams, no post office, no communications at all except what is passed through word of mouth.


There are no banks, but that is no great hardship because money no longer has any worth. There are no shops, because no one has anything to sell. Nothing is made here: the great factories and businesses that used to exist have all been destroyed or dismantled, as have most of the other buildings. There are no tools, save what can be dug out of the rubble. There is no food.

Law and order are virtually non-existent, because there is no police force and no judiciary. In some areas there no longer seems to be any clear sense of what is right or wrong. People help themselves to whatever they want without regard to ownership – indeed, the sense of ownership itself has largely disappeared. Goods belong only to those who are strong enough to hold on to them, and those who are willing to guard them with their lives. Men with weapons roam the streets, taking what they want and threatening anyone who gets in their way. Women of all classes prostitute themselves for food and protection. There is no shame. There is no morality. There is only survival.

For modern generations it is difficult to picture such a world existing outside the imaginations of Hollywood script-writers...
yet this is the world in the midst of which, in early 1945, András Pető began publicly practising his movement therapy. Any consideration of what he did then, and how he was able to do it, has to account for the times in which he lived. The material, social and personal damage brought about by the Second World War are vital factors in construing this man and his work in their times – with the important reminder that those times changed fast so that, by the late 1940s, Hungarian society, had already entered into an altogether new stage...

Yes, I have succumbed to temptation and begun reading Keith Lowe's Savage Continent from front cover onwards (the above passage comprising the opening paragraphs of the author's Introduction (p. xiii). The text is engrossing and, despite the horrors, I suspect that I shall probably make it to the end.

References

Lowe, K. (2012) Savage Continent: Europe in the aftermath of World War II, London, Penguin

Maguire, G. Sutton, A. (eds) András Pető, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press

Sutton A. (2013) Europe, Conductive World, 10 May

Friday, 10 May 2013

EUROPE

Timely reminder

I have just bought a copy of Keith Lowe's book Savage Continent.

Oh how grim. It will prove a useful reference book, something ideal to dip into for specific information. But I doubt that shall be able to read it through, from beginning to end. The events described, and their implications, are just too awful.

In 1975 I voted 'Yes' to Europe in the Referendum in which the people of the UK were asked one simple question –
Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Community (the Common Market)?
In the event the results were –
Yes    17,378,581 (67.2%)
No       8,470,073 (32.8%)
I voted Yes in the hope that unifying the Continent might help stop the Europeans ripping each other to shreds again – and dragging us into it. The peace has lasted well and I am pleased to see that, for all the economic woes, there are more nations (including shred-rippers) hoping to join.

For all the minor inconveniences and irritations of being 'in Europe' I suspect that in the forthcoming Referendum I shall vote viscerally to stay in, for precisely the same reason.

Saloon-bar moronity

I have no way of knowing what my compatriots as a whole actually think on this matter, since I meet so few of them personally. I therefore depend on what I read or hear through the media, from which I hear little but Blimps booming over mainly trivial, personal hobby-horses, with no account of wider context.

I am afraid that the UK's public 'debate' on European membership seems to pay little or no regard what to me is fundamental... We shall doubtless soon see.

Reference

Lowe, K. (2012) Savage Continent: Europe in the aftermath of World War II, London, Penguin

A couple of useful reviews


Thursday, 9 May 2013

EVERYONE HAS A DUTY TO SPEAK OUT

But must feel safe to do so

I quote (almost) –
'Conductive Education has not gone bad.' This is most certainly right. One hears stories of conductors delivering extraordinary conduction on a daily basis – sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances.
Story after story of excellent conduction, families overwhelmed at the good service that they receive from conductors.
Conductors often put their clients before their own families and themselves by going in on days-off and working unpaid overtime, and it is clear there are plenty of conductors who provide compassionate conduction that is exemplary.
But this is not consistent across all contexts in which conductors work. So why is this?
It could be there are pockets of bad practice that are not challenged, in centres under pressure to meet tough financial or performance targets. It could be poor leadership. In many cases it is all three.
Conductors need to get comfortable with being challenged, and challenging themselves and others. In a better world you should always be able to ask 'Why?' when someone tells you not to do something, or to do something.
How receptive are conductors to being asked why? And are they just too busy and too over-stretched even to think about whether they are doing things the best way? Conductors need to find a way of creating a culture of expressing opinions, that does not create disharmony but fosters good practice and service-improvement.
All 'leaders' – not just some – need to get better at this open style of managing, and conductors' employers need to think about always listening to their staff when they challenge and raise concerns.
Change must come from everyone – the leaders and their teams. Everyone has a duty to speak out – but must feel safe to do so.
The above passage has been adapted and abridged from Jenni Middleton's Editorial in the current issue of Nursing Times. The word 'conductors' has been substituted for 'nurses' throughout and references to the National Health Service removed. Otherwise the item stands much as written.

(The readers' comments published below this article might also ring a bell – not least because all three are anonymous!)

Campaign

Conductive World has more than once mentioned parallels between professional situations of nurses and of conductors.


Nursing Times is currently running a 'Speak Out Safely' campaign, aiming for everyone in nursing to feel comfortable challenging practice and raising concerns, and promises to continue it until this goal is achieved.
Are conductors and their employers ready yet and up to a campaign of this kind. Or is even suggestion of such an exercise misjudged and unnecessary?

Reference

Middleton, J. (2013) 'Nursing needs to get comfortable with being challenged and challenging itself', Nursing Times, 9 May
Sutton, A. (2013) Openness in the conductive workplace: conductors, their colleagues and employers too, Conductive World, 27 February