Sunday, 29 September 2013

REUVEN FEUERSTEIN

Crossing paths

I first noticed the work of Reuven Feuerstein in the early 1970s when on the lookout for practical and theoretical approaches to transforming human mental development by means of education. There was little published by or on him at the time in comparison with what was to come later so I wrote and found him a generous sharer of his unpublished materials. As part of the long intermittent correspondence that followed I wonder whether it was me who introduced him to the obvious parallels with the work of L. S. Vygotskii and his theoretical and defectological school. When from the late seventies onwards we began meeting from time to time at conferences, he was rather younger than I am today – and he already looked like Methuselah.

After that I met my Nemesis, Conductive Education, and by and by was able to introduce Reuven to that too as a parallel school. We hoped for some sort of coming together of the two approaches, both in theory and in practice (see for example Reuven's Foreward to the book András Pető, pp. xiv – xii). This was not, however, to be.

I suppose that I made a small contribution to spreading word on Reuven's work and his mediated learning theory. Around 1984 I suggested to journalist Howard Sharron writing a popular-science book to explain both Reuven and his approach to a wider public. The result, Changing Children's Minds, is still as far as I know the best general introduction available, in the English language. It is also essential reading in a comparative study of Conductive Education. Then, following the extraordinary social impact of Standing up for Joe and From Hungary with Love, I suggested to TV producer Ann Paul the series The Transformers as a suitable way to follow up on this success, with Reuven as one of subjects. That the resulting series did not meet with the resounding success of the earlier two TV programmes reflected neither upon Ann nor, with respect to 'his' film The Prophet from the Wilderness, upon Reuven. Perhaps the very success of the earlier two had paradoxically 'immunised' British society in some way against documentaries about transforming the development of disabled children...

Reuven and I have not physically met now for some years, not since Tsad Kadima's notable 20th anniversary conference in Tel Aviv, in 2007, though I did lend a bit of a hand to the unsuccessful bid to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize a couple of years ago.

His work certainly does make an excellent contribution to seeing Conductive Education in the wider context of determined pedagogic intervention in developmental disorders of any kind. This applies not just to its theoretical basis (mediated), its span (invoking family and society) and its practice (intelligent love), but also to its essential humanity, its historical origins, its social history in the West, and its philosophy.

Help, please

I was prompted to write this posting by seeing an on-line photograph of Reuven Feuerstein. He was sitting next to a boy in a wheelchair, ruffling his hair. Reuven was in a chair too.

I am ashamed to say that I did not note the URL. I think that it was on somebody's facebook  – can anybody help.

References

Feuerstein, R. (2008) Conductive Education and Structural Cognitive Modifiability, presentation to Throughout Life with Cerebral Palsy, Tsad Kadima's 20th Anniversary Conference, December 2007, Recent Advances in Conductive Education, vol. 7, no 1, pp. 5-8

Feuerstein, R. (2011) The matchmaker, foreword to András Pető, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press, pp. xiv – xii
Forwards available on line:

Sharron, H. (1984) Changing Children's Minds, London, Fontana
The Author's foreword and the first couple of chapters are available on line:

Sutton, A. (2011) Reuven Feuerstein not awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Conductive World, 7 October

http://www.conductive-world.info/2011/10/reuven-feuerstein-not-awarded-nobel.html



Saturday, 28 September 2013

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY

An extraordinary memoir


Never, never quit
My Conductive Education

Pieces of mind, memories and opinions
From the desk of Ralph Strzałkowski, Esq.
Lawyer on Wheels

Conductive Education Press
Birmingham, England
2013



From the Editor's introductory remarks –
A life revealed
In 2008 the Gainesville Sun reported an appeal by a 28-year-old postgraduate law student Rafał Strałkowski, against the decision of US Citizenship and Immigration Services to deport him back to his native Poland, even though he was in the second year of a three-year course of study at the University of Florida to become a lawyer. He was petitioning for a National Interest Waiver, on the grounds that he could advocate for people with disabilities in a unique way. Such waivers tend to be awarded mainly to people with expertise of intrinsic value to the United States and possessing an exceptional ability, typically those with high academic qualifications in science, wanting to conduct research. In all it took four years finally to resolve the question of his immigration.
Rafał was born in 1979, in Warsaw, Poland, with cerebral palsy, ten years before the fall of the Iron Curtain. In Poland his parents became pioneers in insisting that he should attend normal school. Then from 1986 to 1990 he attended the Pető Institute in Budapest, Hungary, as a weekly boarder.

After that it was back to school in Warsaw, then a law degree at Warsaw University, a Polish postgraduate law degree, and disability activism in Warsaw. There followed a law scholarship to the University of Florida, involving a successful struggle to access his Master’s degree at the Levin College of Law, qualification as a lawyer, and finally a Green Card granted in the national interest – that he could advocate for Conductive Education in the United States in a way that nobody else could, even though immigration officials had cavilled at agreeing this to be an ‘extraordinary ability’. *
Today Rafał – now Ralph and a Permanent Resident in the United States – is an attorney admitted to law practice in Florida and in Washington DC. No small surprise perhaps that his story was noticed by politically aware people in Conductive Education outside Florida and indeed beyond the nation’s borders. In April 2011 he commenced writing his regular blog, Lawyer on Wheels. Earlier this year he inaugurated a foundation – DAAF, the Disability Access and Awareness Foundation. In October 2013 he is an invited Keynote Speaker at the 8th World Conductive Education Congress in Munich, Germany.
This book
Conductive Education Press is delighted to publish this selection of 53 postings extracted from Lawyer on Wheels, for the unique light that they throw upon the experience of Conductive Education at what some might regard at the high point of its development at the Pető Institute under the guidance of the late Mária Hári. Ralph’s blog has offered more, not just his observations and reflections on his adult life but also his further Conductive Education experiences in the United States, including his involvement with the Klausner Foundation in Florida and its conductive school. This book also includes Ralph’s interview with Kata Szvoboda, one-time conductor for the Klausner Foundation.
At the time of going to press Lawyer on Wheels comprises more than three-hundred thoughtful, often amusing postings, ranging in topic from his material, social and cultural life, through disability themes to wider subjects. This short book has selected the more obviously ‘conductive’ postings to be found on his blog – and some that are more obliquely relevant too. New postings (including some ‘conductive’ ones) now accumulate at the rate of two per week. Lawyer on Wheels can be followed at
Ralph writes a blog. He was not intending to write ‘a book’ and was surprised when Conductive Education Press approached him about this edition. He has been unfailingly courteous and helpful in permitting us to use his work.
In the event it has proved very easy to extract a Conductive Education story from the postings of Lawyer on Wheels. We selected postings relevant to our concerns and reproduced them in the order in which they originally appeared, leaving themes from twentieth-century Europe and twenty-first century America to reveal their own inherent pattern. It worked for us; we hope that it works for our readers too.

Beyond that we undertook only the lightest of editing: some adjustment of punctuation and layout, attention to typos, and a gentle compromise between American and British English in the hope of pleasing most of the book’s likely international readership. 
        *    www.bitly.com/nnq1   www.bitly.com/nnq2
(page xi)
There have been many, many extraordinary lives in Conductive Education. Few have made it into print.

Never, never quit is presently in press.

Friday, 27 September 2013

PETŐ INSTITUTE: OUTCOME STILL UNCLEAR

Another English-language report helps understand
A bit

Alarums and excursions and political shenanigans for the last week or so. Who knows what is really going on. The problem is not helped for most people outside Hungary by being reported almost solely in Hungarian.

The English-language newspaper Budapest Times has the advantage of being on the spot and – presumably – has no problem either with the Hungarian language or in understanding the political situation, micro- and macro-

Even recounted in proper native English the situation remains far from clear to anyone who does not understand the structure and working of Hungarian democracy. Make your own mind up: here is Bénédicte Williams' report in the Budapest Times, published earlier today:


Make of this what you will. One sentence in the report, though, does sound rather ominous
The institute is facing serious financial difficulties and problems with suppliers, and may be forced to temporarily let go of some staff, director Franz Schaffhauser was cited as saying.
Reference

Williams, B. (2013) Ministry pledges Pető support, Budapest Times, 27 September

An earlier English-language new report








Williams, B. (2013) Ministry pledges Pető support, Budapest Times, 27 September

http://www.budapesttimes.hu/2013/09/27/min%C2%ADistry-pledges-peto-support/


Earlier English-language report from Hungary

http://www.conductive-world.info/2013/08/pai-news-in-english.html

'SEN'

Unsupportable

Looking back at the two recent Pace Seminars, Norman Perrin writes on Facebook –
I'm tempted to reflect on both seminars that if people are not afraid, they don't know what's really coming their way. Like the NHS commissioner who, having booked, said she wouldn't be coming because it didn't really affect her! BUT, it's all broadly steps in the right direction. Except that 'SEN' label. I'll have to take a vow never to use it again. If I can find an equally brief replacement. 
https://www.facebook.com/conductive.world/posts/10201875024947531?comment_id=6301944&offset=0&total_comments=.
A replacement word is no good because it is the very concept that is so flakey. I use inverted commas ('SEN') if circumstances mean that I have to refer to what other people and their institutions are saying and thinking. I have not used it in my own thinking and expression for years. The inverted commas lend distance and announce that the term is questionable. 

Of course, if you do not think and say 'SEN' then you have to think and to say what you actually do mean, rather rare activities in the sector.

It is rather like using the word 'support'...

Thursday, 26 September 2013

ANDRÁS PETŐ'S BRUSH WITH DESTINY – II

Different destinies

Part I of this posting recounted András Pető's close call with destiny when Miklos Kun saved the occupants of the Red Cross Children's home in Orsó u., Budapest II, from whatever fate the local Arrow Cross had in mind for them:


András Pető was said to place great store in fate and destiny. Many years later, at the end of the nineteen-nineties, Miklos Kun told Júdit Forrai –
...he ended up with motor-disabled patients by chance, which is not a bad way at all. He could have come across something else and then he would have done something completely different... (p. 83)
One need not believe in fate or destiny to ask what might have happened had Miklos Kun not turned up when he did, and acted so boldly.

Alternative destinies

The day could have gone so very differently for András Pető at that Red Cross Children's Home. Genocidal actions leave little testimony, by their very nature, but accounts of the fate of others in such situations during the Siege of Budapest suggest what might have happened next. András Pető, along with Miklos Kun's mother with whom he was sharing a room, any other adults found in the Children's Home, and of course the children, could have been summarily shot before the day was out. Krisztián Ungváry has described the sort of situations that faced the children in two other homes on Christmas Eve 1944 –
For the Jews in particular the arrival of the Red Army meant liberation. Unlike the milirary command, the Arrow cross militia were surprised by the appearance of Soviet troops in Buda, and many potential victims owed their lives to the ensuing confusion. The first were provably the inmates of a Jewish children's home in Budakeszi Road, where their parents had left them before they themselves were deported or imprisoned in a ghetto. In the arly morning of 24 December Arrow Cross men burst into the home and lined the children up, but departed when they heard the rapidly increasing thunder of guns; the children in their turn saw the first Soviet tanks rattling along the village street in the late morning. On the same morning Arrow Cross men appeared in the Jewish children's homs in Munkáczy Mihály Street in Buda and marched the children and their carers – a group of more than 100 – to the Radetzki Barracks (later Bem Barracks) where a machine gun ready to fire was awaiting them. However, when news of the Soviet advance arrived in the early afternoon, the mass murder was called off and the group was herded to the Ghetto in the VII District. (p.49)
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cLY1z-XLd_IC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=Arrow+Cross+men+appeared+and+marched+the+children&source=bl&ots=50dF0AyMm-&sig=Va7rqDIGd9TOW4EElNWGbXGrG7Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PQhEUsbiMPDy7AaL4YGoCw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Arrow%20Cross%20men%20appeared%20and%20marched%20the%20children&f=false
Others were less lucky.

Remember Miklos Kun

'Fate' and 'destiny' can mean many things. Best probably to leave them out of consideration. Suffice it that András Pető and those with him that day were very lucky, for which give thanks for Miklos Kun who surely deserves a place in Conductive Education's Pantheon of forgotten heroes, without whom, well, there would have been nothing.

A now distant world...

Our image of András Pető is such a Will o'the Wisp: now you see him, now you don't. Then perhaps you see two of him!

Here's another account of a visit by Arrow Cross to the children's home in Orsó u., from a different source, Arieh Ben-Tov's book Holocaust
at 1.30 am, December 6th, 1944 somebody rang the door bell to the Orsó u. Children's Home, which was under the protection of the Spanish Embassy and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Three Arrow Cross soldiers demanded from the civil defence officer to be let in. The officer showed them the sign indicating the immunity of the house and that it was out of bounds. The three Arrow Cross men destroyed the signs and entered the building aggressively. In the bedrooms they made everyone undress, they searched their pockets and took everything, they then insulted some of the people and left. (p. 211)
Perhaps Arrow Cross detachments called round there more than once. Or perhaps these accounts are are different Chinese Whispers of the same event. What to believe? Either way, these accounts tell of a distant reality in which terrible actions were the order of the day, and life and death a lottery, where ideas such as fate and destiny had understandable explanatory power.

...and the world of today

A little while ago a posting on Conductive World drew attention to the forthcoming film, Walking with the Enemy, set in Budapest at just that time:


Somebody anonymous commented:
And what does this movie have to do with conductive education?
The film's advance trailer suggests that there may be all sorts of specifics to be irritated about. Good or bad, however, I shall probably be urging anyone concerned with understanding Conductive Education to go and see it – if only to encourage them to confront for themselves that most testing question, how best to link CE's present, with its past.

References

Ben-Tov, A ( 1992) Holocaust, Budapest, Dunakőnyv

Maguire, G., Sutton, A. (2013) CEP Quotationary of András Pető, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press

Forrai, J. (1999) Memoirs of the beginnings of conductive pedagogy and András Pető, Budapest and Birmingham, Új Aranyhíd and FCE

Sutton, A. (2013) András Pető's brush with destiny – I, Conductive World, 24 September

Sutton, A. (2013) Walking with the Enemy: Budapest under the Arrow Cross, Conductive World, 15 May

Ungváry, K. (2002) Battle for Budapest, London, BCA

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

ANDRÁS PETŐ: A CLOSE BRUSH WITH DESTINY – I

Rescued by Miklos Kun

Róbert Szörényi wrote, in 1991 –
No records of Pető’s whereabouts and activities during the Second World War have yet to come to light, but Kun was in regular contact with him during that time in Budapest and so far is the only person to have shed light on this period of Pető’s life. During the War, Kun had coordinated the distribution of funds and other resources from international relief agencies, such as the International Red Cross and the International Zionist Movement of America. Their support maintained and protected a network of children’s homes under Kun’s responsibility, under the shield of Section B of the Red Cross. Kun had had the foresight to arm himself with diplomatic protection issued to him by a former classmate, then serving in the rabidly Fascist Arrow Cross government. Kun installed Pető in the Red Cross Children’s Home at 27 Orsó utca, near Pasaréti tér in Buda’s second district. Pető worked as the house physician and shared a room with Kun’s mother, in the nurses’ quarters. On his way to the building one day, Kun saw that the Arrow Cross had surrounded it. He told them that the building contained Hungarian soldiers recovering from former Soviet captivity, and warned of the penalties that any interference in their care might incur.
His quick thinking, diplomatic papers and not a little nerve convinced the second district’s Arrow Cross commandant to withdraw his men. Kun was honoured by Israel in 1989 for his actions that saved many Jewish lives during the Nazi occupation.
(pp. 213-214)
Reference

Szörényi, R. (2012) Even his friends did not know him, in G. Maguire and A Sutton (eds.) András Pető, Birmingham, Conductive Education Press, pp. 207-219




Monday, 23 September 2013

JOBBIK COMES OUT FOR PAI

Hard times make for strange bedfellows

The weekend's street demonstration in Budapest, in support of a major Government bail-out for the Peto Institute, looked a most gentle and civilised affair:


The PAI's cause is attracting a wide range of political support. The country's third largest political party Jobbik (the Movement for a Better Hungary), is far-right and ultra-nationalist. It reflects still vigorous traditions in Hungarian society that, but for the courageous intervention of Miklos Kun, might have snuffed out the very possibility of Conduction Education, in late 1944 or early 1945, before it was even born.

Now Jobbik has come out in suppport of the Pető Institute:


This was reported in the newspaper, Alfakir ('Az domináns hirportál'), more concerned until very recently for the affairs of Zolt Pető rather than of András Pető.

MEANWHILE IN LONDON...

A job in Conductive Education

In Hungary, the 'World-Famous Pető Institute' is creating political and media attention like never before, more even in that one small country than in the explosion of public interest that began in the UK in the mid-late late nineteen-eighties that for a time launched Conductive Education on to a world stage (and was therefore in part indirectly and distantly responsible for the PAI's present situation).

It is now 27 years since the the BBC's TV documentary Standing up for Joe that launched The PAI (and Conductive Education) into a degree of world renown. The debris from that explosion has now largely settled, and the failure so far of the Western news media to pick up on the present story from Budapest suggests just how interesting Conductive Education (and the Pető Institute) now are. And of course, if and when Western media do, checking back in their own archives, the UK media anyway might be an negatively critical rather than positively admiring in its tone.

A humble job in London, advertised last week

One small possible marker of where CE now is in the UK –

SEN Early Years Practitioner - ?? Cerebral Palsy - North London
Do you have the passion for working with SEN Children?
Are you a committed education professional with strong experience of supporting children with physical disabilities?
My SEN provider is a children centre for Cerebral Palsy. This provider has been established for over 50 years having supported SEN disabilities. Having gone through many changes and transformations; this centre has adopted the Conductive Education method. The main objective of this establishment is to support each child’s development in physical, intellectual and social skills to the best of their potential to help promote independence.
We are looking for a qualified Early Years Practitioner to work within Early Years Foundation (Nursery / Reception). Ideally you will have a solid proven track record of supporting children with Cerebral Palsy, Speech and language, Dyspraxia, PMLD and SLD. The right candidate will have an empathetic way; you will need to have an understanding of what is required for working with children of this nature.
Interviews for this post will be held before the October half term with the view to appoint someone to start in the beginning of the spring term.
Full advertisement and and application form:

http://www.greatcare.co.uk/nursery-and-early-years-jobs/155784/sen-early-years-practitioner-----cerebral-palsy.html

Maybe a conductor might apply...

Mária Hári said it all
'...a passion for working with SEN children... Ideally you will have a solid proven track record of supporting children with cerebral palsy... The right candidate will have an empathetic way; you will need to have an understanding of what is required for working with children of this nature...'
What can one say? Mária Hári said it all
Love is not enough here. It must be an intelligent love.
Standing up for Joe, BBC1, 1 April 1986
Enough said

After the Big Bang

The situation in Hungary is sua generis, of its own kind, and there are no 'lessons from history', except perhaps that politics are always dynamic – very much so. Especially when there is an election coming!

The experience in the UK was that, as over the late eighties and early nineties of the last century the media storm around CE grew and fed on itself, it was increasingly fed by the indignant backlash of existing special interests that resented what they regarded as disproportionate resources and acclaim – from other services and professions, and even from the disability and inclusion movements, and from academe. The message was no longer clear and simple, and official attention moved on, leaving CE back on the fringes of public life.

People and institutions soldier on from those early days and other echoes of course resonate, like the above-quoted advertisement...

The situation thqt emerges will of course be very different in Hungary. But how?

Magyar media circus at full pelt

Meanwhile, bask in the warm Hungarian autumn and enjoy real-time the Magyar media's present uncritical and generally sympathetic attention of the Pető Institute (and Conductive Education).








Friday, 20 September 2013

MARKET

A place for buying, selling, meeting and intrigue
Somewhere to find a crowd – and work it

What is your image of a market? A Greek agora, a Middle Eastern souk or bazaar, a farmer's market, a Christmas one? Or a Thatcherite system for establishing the price of everything (though not necessarily its value)?

Whatever image comes to mind, a market is something that finds its specific form and develops through spontaneous forces, in response to the crowd that in its wisdom decides to go there, or not – and, once there, to take to part actively in the business or, just watch what is going on.

The online CONDUCTIVE WORLD MARKET is evolving in response to the uses that people make of it;
http://www.conductive-world.info/2013/09/market.html

Jobs

The  major trade of this particular market has been in people – specifically conductors.
  • families and centres with jobs to offer are looking for conductors to fill them
  • conductors are looking for new jobs and potential new employers.
Worldwide this 'traffic' works through a variety of methods – of which on-line advertising is the most visible and the easiest to find for everyone involved.

Services

Most CE services around the world advertise what they do on their own sites Their websites serve as their own shop windows – and this is fine where shops are situated in prominent places or are so well known that potential customers beat their way to their doors. Many services, however, are not so well situated and, however excellent their services, ought to get out and market them more publicly. Most never do – perhaps this indicates that CE services are full and have therefore no need to advertise. And just perhaps that some are rather unsophisticated about marketing.

If you do not know where to find these 'shops' worldwide, look at the world map of where conductors work:

http://www.e-conduction.org/where-conductors-work/

Unfortunately some centres cannot afford to keep their shop windows up to date, and do not know how to do so themselves. If they want to advertise, they need to take their wares to a marketplace.
 

Stuff

Conductive Education is a 'people technology', dependent primarily upon people, not things. The world of CE buys and sells very little 'stuff'. 

Some books and other kinds of publication are advertised, but not all that could be.

Going to market for what you require, second-hand might be a good way of acquiring what you do need rather cheaper than buying it new, and a good way to get rid of some of that no-longer-wanted wooden furniture on a buyer-collects basis.
 

Languages

The world of CE speaks in a babble of tongues, a Babel. The main language in this online market has been English (as a lingua franca as much as a native tongue, though Hungarian runs it a close second, German is common and others feature from time to time.

It is up to those who advertise to decide what language to write in, according to who they wish to understand them. So, of you want someone to work in France, advertise in French. Those who cannot understand the advertisement are unlikely to want to apply anyway!


News

Markets are good places to find out what is happening in the world and pass on news, Júdit Szathmáry, or example, has used this function to good effect to help spread awareness and provoke discussion about the Pető Institute's financial crisis in Budapest, going on to announce her online Petition there (still live and attracting signatures):



Soapbox

Markets are a traditional place to reach out to people and promote ideas and enthusiasms. Gábor Fellner, for example, promoted the cause of using the ICF core set in CE, and attracted a small crowd:


 
Market police

There are no formal rules and no Market Police. People have been remarkably well behaved in what they say compared with in some previous experience of online vox pop. in Conductive Education. 

Any breeches to obvious good taste will have perpetrators seen off the premises and barred – this has not happened yet.

Undesirables, selling sunglasses, dodgy pharmaceuticals mobile phones and sexual favours, and other hawkers selling unrelated wares are turned away at the point of entry. So too are some dodgy-looking dudes whose attention has apparently been attracted by the pretty girls to be seen there – there have quite a few hanging around recently.
 

Maggie's Market

When the first on-line CE Job Centre was created, in 2000, it was intended for three purposes:
  • for the obvious, explicit purpose of making it easier to find jobs in Conductive Education
  • to help everyone understand something more of what is going on in the world of CE, by revealing something of trends in what employment is wanted or available worldwide, and where
  • by doing so, encouraging a rather more explicit market place in the Thatcherite sense, in which competition, might help create more realistic salaries and conditions of service.
The first of these purposes has been to some degree fulfilled. A number of CE job markets have followed in its wake and conductor recruitment no longer depends wholly upon word of mouth, personal introduction and networking. In a conductive world without institutional unity, such advertising might supplement other sources of information, such as media reports and personal contacts, when trying to grasp the broad picture. As for the third of these purposes, creation of a market economy for employment within CE, well, if online job adverts have helped to discipline the extravagant financial of international CE's early cowboy years, then so well and good.

It is primarily the labour of conductors that is traded in this market. Only very rarely indeed does the labour of anyone else in CE seem to matter enough to merit advertising. 

Vacancies in CE services, meetings places on conferences and courses, and all the other activities and things that could be bought or sold if CE were really a little economy, hardly figure at all. Perhaps these will come.
 

Where are the CE services?

Particularly obvious by their absence are adverts for vacancies at CE centres. There are conductive services with unfilled services for children – and less frequently for adults – and there are services reportedly starved of clients. Why do CE-services not advertise their wares more widely.

As any market-trader will tell you, if you do not put your products on view and shout your wares then your customers may go to somebody who does.
 

Conductive World Market is on Facebook

CONDUCTIVE WORLD MARKET is an 'Open Group' on Facebook. This means that anyone can see the group, who is in it and what its members post. You have to become a member only if you yourself wish to post an advertisement or announcement,.

Please remember that the former CONDUCTIVE WORLD JOBS has now been incorporated into CONDUCTIVE WORLD MARKET and that job adverts still posted on JOBS are now being re-posted on the MARKET site.

Facebook members can respond to any advert posted there with a Like, Comment, Promote or Share, in the usual way. Any announcement in this market is therefore start of a potential communication, conversation or discussion. 


https://www.facebook.com/groups/239531054002/?fref=ts


PETŐ INSTITUTE FINANCIAL RESCUE

A short time in politics – part deux*

On Monday 16 September the Hungarian Parliament resoundingly voted down an Opposition motion to bail out the Pető Institute. Member of Parliament Timea Szabó launched a (sort of) petition on Facebook to save the PAI, the Hungarian media were awash with Pető Institute stories, politicians have had a field day, and there has been a street demonstration by MPANNI.

Then yesterday, Thursday the 19th, the Hungarian Government announced a financial bail-out. Cause and effect? What is really going on? Who knows?


And what will be the 'price' of this bail-out? Who knows that, either? There are no free lunches. Financial bail-outs inevitably come at a price, starting with a new business plan, 'restructuring' etc...

Fat lady has still not sung

Timea Szabó and the E14-PM (yes, that is the name of a Hungarian Parliamentary party alliance) is continuing to mutter darkly about dodgy land deals on the PAI's property. And of course, against a background of general social stress, there are all sorts of other services for the disabled and their families in financial difficulty in Hungary. Here's one, from András Pető's birthplace:


Follow the story

If you read Hungarian you can follow the real-time media circus at


Be warned. There is very little fresh here. It mainly comprises uncritical recounting of statements from one side or the other, and just-as-uncritical recounting of the standard mythography of András Pető in whose name this political show is being played out. Here is mention of a rare exception:


In English?

Hungarian conductors aside, very few people involved in Conductive Education around the world read Hungarian. Of course there are always online translation machines. None of them are perfect but they usually give the gist of what is going on. Try this one;


Nothing of course will translate the social and political context in which all this has its meaning!

None of this business has hit the Western media, indication perhaps of how uninteresting this all is outside of the domestic audience. There is, however, a small Budapest-based English language press. Look out particularly for:


Enter Peto (no need for the accents) in the search box at the top right-hand corner of this page, for clear, unpartisan updates of what is publicly known, written in good English.

The only other on-line source not in Hungarian is less reliable, being dependent upon very limited Hungarian language and having no potential access to primary sources. Conductive World will continue to run 'feature items' on this topic from time to time as new events and revelations justify this, while a more immediate news-style coverage will continue to appear on its Facebook page:



*   I have been asked what I mean when I write 'part deux'. The Urban Dictionary offers a good definition:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=part%20deux

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

PETŐ INSTITUTE – THE MOVIE?

To cost 500m forints
You couldn't make it up... could you?

Documentary with interwoven fictional inserts...
...to answer how this great institution could be on the edge of bankruptcy and why it should cease.
HUF50,000,000 converts to about £1.4m, approaching 1.8m, or US$22m. 
The film's budget is mainly justified by the digital tricks and plenty of outdoor, often foreign-trading venues.
Please somebody reassure that this report is a satirical item, a spoof.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

PAI: AT LAST SOME REAL JOURNALISM

Miracles take a little longer

As far as I can tell much of the flood of newspaper ink spilled over the PAI's financial crisis has served to obscure rather that illuminate the actual events and their causes. Here at last is an attempt at some real investigative journalism, in an extensive feature article written by Edit Palágyi and published in Szabad Föld.

She set herself quite a task –
Can it be that the existence of the institution is still in danger? I tried to find out.
She could hardly be expected to answer the unanswerable but she does offer a more rounded and vivid overview of the present situation and what is publicly knowable about it than does general media coverage to date. This permits a better possibility for readers to question some specifics in their fuller context – for example, did the labour dispute of 2004 really cost the PAI the equivalent of £42o,000 at today's exchange rate and, if so, has that really been a significant factor in its present financial situation?

Edit Palágyi's article cannot of course answer such questions but it leaves the door open for further serious enquiry, journalistic or whatever.

Reference

Palágyi, E. (2013) A csodára kicsit várni kell, Szabad Föld, 15 September
http://www.szabadfold.hu/aktualis/a_csodara_kicsit_varni_kell

Monday, 16 September 2013

LA PEDAGOGIA CONDUTTIVA A TORINO

News of CE in Italy

Yesterday there was a strong local newspaper report about Cerchio delle Abilità, the small but established (from 2007) parent-run CE-centre in Turin, Italy, including a sensible social and psychological account of the system as one of learning and of family:
Il concetto fondamentale è che le abilità di movimento, sensoriali e cognitive, devono essere stimolate simultaneamente attraverso partecipazione attiva, motivazione e indipendenza. Ma la vera differenza, rispetto ai sistemi tradizionali, è che il lavoro viene svolto dai bambini assieme ai genitori, dopo che questi abbiano naturalmente imparato come si fa. L'individuo è l'attore del proprio recupero. 
La figura centrale è quella del 'conduttore'... Genitori e figli imparano insieme... in pratica non si smette mai. I risultati si vedono: non miracoli, ma obiettivi possibili.
What is happening in Italy may not be associated with a lot else happening in 'Europe'  perhaps not altogether to its disadvantage

Centre's brochure


References

Crosetti, M. (2013) Il faticoso gioco di vivere del 'Cerchio delle Abilità', La Repubblica Torino 15 September

Sutton, A. (2008) È come gli autobus… It’s like the buses, 8 February
(You wait for ages, then two come along together )