Fare thee well
Today has been formally Franz Schaffhauser's final day as Rector of the Pető Institute in Budapest. It has been a real pleasure knowing him and he will be a hard act to follow.
Franz's tenure as Rector commenced on 1 October 2007. It has coincided with the world economic recession that has cast its reverberations not just across Hungary but wherever in the world Conductive Education has been struggling to put down roots. And in Hungary, his tenure has seen major political change that might yet amount to social revolution.
Under his leadership the award for the basic conductor-training has become a first-degree, and split into two to permit the Pető András Institute to rank as a főiskola, a college.
Internationally he has particularly served as a bridge between the PAI and the conductive movement in Germany, largest and least penurous of the the world's national movements. His positive involvement there has been experienced by many who work there on the ground, Germans, Hungarians and others, as an invaluable validation of their endeavours. Last year's World Congress in Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich was palpable fruit of this.
Franz came as a university professor at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and has retained his chair, a philosopher of education, a pedagogue and a logotherapisti.
Above all, he is a gentleman and a scholar, a rara avis indeed in the world of Conductive Education. He has been reported to have written a book, On the educational-philosophical foundations of conductive pedagogyii. I do very much hope that this is the case.
The presentation that he made in Birmingham in June 2008 seemed a Declaration of such a fresh new world dawning for Conductive Education, an eloquent, open and far-sighted perspective that seemed to bode so well for the future. If others failed to meet this aspiration, than that was not his doing. He deserved better.
In the 21st century there is a much wider world of Conductive Education than just the Pető Institute, and there is much that Franz might yet contribute.
– (2007) Új Rektor a Pető Intézet élen, Pető Intezet, 30 September
Schaffhauser, F. (2008) Text of address to the Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony, June
(NB, the complete text of this Declaration is currently being prepared for publication on line, on Conduction's Depositary. Come back soon for the link)
Sutton A, (2014) Chalice from the Palace, Conductive World, 27 August
i No, not a logopaed (a speech therapist) but a logotherapist – a psychotherapist following the school of Viktor Frankl, the 'Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy '.