Wednesday, 30 December 2015


New broom, new plans
Major new implications

Inter alia
There are plans to launch a master's degree to be delivered in English, German and Russian, along with an expanded practice base, so that foreign students could undertake their practical training in their own countries This would make the college more attractive to foreign students, since they can currently work only with Hungarian children...

More to come. Watch this space...


Levédhetik a Pető Intézet fejlesztő módszereit: nagy tervekkel látott munkához az új rektor, Tenk Miklósné Zsebe Andrea, Magyar Idők, 29 December

Tuesday, 29 December 2015


What's new over the last nine years?

I had reason to day to look out up items on the Internet (using Google) that refer to both “conductive education and to “reuven feuerstein”.

There appear to be surprisingly few.

Among them I found the following item 'Conductive Education and Down’s syndrome':

I started to scan down and thought: 'My, I do agree with this'. Then I thought 'No wonder, I wrote it!'

To the site's credit, though there is no mention of my authorship, there is a link to the orignal posting from which it had been lifted:

No problem, no harm done, but those who republish or even just quote other people's writings really do owe it to their readers to indicate where their stuff comes from. Authors might be grateful too.

Everyone would benefit from including the date of the original article. This was published out nine years ago and the field ought to have advanced since then (me too!)

CE and Down's

I know that it is no longer so unusual for some children with Down's syndrome to work with conductors. Presumably some adults too. As is often the way in Conductive Education, however, no coherent literature has emerged from such innovative work.

I would be happy to be corrected on this.


(n.d.) Conductive Education and Down’s syndrome

Sutton, A. (2008) Conductive Education and Down’s syndrome? Do not rule it out, Conductive World, 18 June

Sunday, 27 December 2015


Proposed training course in Germany next year

Studiengang Heilpädagogik / Konduktive Förderung
Ein grundständiger Studiengang Heilpädagogik mit Schwerpunkt "Konduktive Pädagogik" ist an der Evangelischen Hochschule in Nürnberg ab dem Wintersemester in 2015 geplant.
Eine sehr positive Besprechung mit Vertretern der bayerischen Ministerien für Soziales, Kultus und Wissenschaft, der Evangelischen Hochschule Nürnberg, der Stiftung Pfennigparade und des Konduktorenverbandes fand im Juli 2013 statt. Alle drei Ministerien stehen dem Studiengang positiv gegenüber. Die Stiftung Pfennigparade stellt eine finanzielle Unterstützung im Rahmen einer Stiftungsprofessur bis zu 5 Jahre in Aussicht.
Die Hochschule hat das Konzept des Studiengangs geprüft, das dann im Wissenschaftsministerium eingereicht wurde. Die geplanten 15 Studienplätze sollen im Aufbauprogramm von Bund und Ländern für Hochschulen berücksichtigt werden.
Der Petö-Institut, die Hochschule für Konduktorausbildung in Budapest/Ungarn, hat seine Bereitschaft zur Mitwirkung an dem Studiengang bestätigt. Unter anderem soll ein Praktikumssemester im Petö-Institut in Budapest stattfinden können.
Der Studiengang wird im Wintersemester 2016/2017 starten.
Interessierte StudentInnen melden bitte am besten direkt bei der Ev. Hochschule in Nürnberg ihr Interesse an!
Der geplante Modulaufbau kann hier als PDF angesehen werden:
Download PDF

In English

Study course of curative pedagogy / conductive furtherance

A basic course of study in curative pedagogy with a focus on 'conductive pedagogy' is planned at the Protestant University in Nuremberg from the winter semester in 2015.

A very positive meeting with representatives of the Bavarian Ministries for Social Affairs, Education and Science, the Protestant University of Nuremberg, the Pfennigparade Foundation and the Conductors' Association took place in July 2013. All three ministries are positive about the course of studies. The Pfennigparade Foundation is provides financial support within the framework with an endowed chair for up to five years in prospect.

The college has examined the concept of the programme, which has been filed with the Ministry of Science. The planned 15 study places are to be taken included in the Federal and State [Bavarian] education programme for universities.

The Pető Institute, the conductor-training college in Budapest, Hungary, has confirmed its willingness to participate in the course of studies. Among other things, an internship semester at the Pető Institute may be held in Budapest. 

The course will commence in the winter Semester 2016-17. Interested students should contact the Protestant College direct.

Download PDF

One year on

This proposed course was last reported on Conductive World almost a year ago, on 27 January. Those with a detailed interest in such matters can look out for the minor changes introduced over the last year by comparing the present and earlier reports for themselves:

Their is no obvious way on the College's website to apply for a place but those who are keen will doubtless find their way through:

Thursday, 17 December 2015


Long, unique contribution to CE
Yesterday I received the following email circulation –
I inform you that I will stop my duty in 'La Famille' from December 18, 2015. I also want to thank you for the collaboration that we have established over the years. I can assure you that the trust capital that I have benefited through our various contacts is very well invested in a team that will succeed me under the leadership of Jennifer Moreau. Jennifer is an occupational therapist, trained in Conductive Education and Bobath; her 20-year work within our institution have already brought a lot and ensures a future of quality! She will be Head of Rehabilitation and will guarantee the integrated institutional project in Conductive Education. She gradually will address you to the specific members of her team regarding the specific field of your request. Thank you to include her in your address book and , from now, to send her mail that you intended me.
Thank you for these good years ... and Happy New Year 2016!

(Jennifer Moreau's email address is

His unique path: a CV 
Yves BAWIN Licencié en Psychologie et Licencié en Kinésithérapie. Se spécialise très vite en NDT de Bobath. 
Sous l’instigation du Docteur S.Kulakowski, neuropédiatre enthousiaste, il effectue un séjour à Budapest en 1977 où il rencontre le Docteur M.Hari à l’Institut Petö: à partir de ce moment, il va s’impliquer de plus en plus dans l’éducation spécialisée et intégrée des enfants atteints d’infirmité motrice cérébrale : l’Education Conductive devient pour lui un référentiel dont les applications doivent être pensées avec rigueur et créativité en s’adaptant à des contextes différents. Sa recherche et sa formation s’alimentent de séjours à l’étranger (essentiellement Hongrie et Angleterre) et de rencontres professionnelles déterminantes (avec Ester Cotton notamment).
Il reçoit la récompense de Conducteur Honoraire en 1995 pour son travail de diffusion de l’Education Conductive. En 1998, il peaufine sa formation et obtient la licence officielle de Praticien en Éducation Conductive certifiée par l'Institut Petö de Budapest. 
Après avoir surtout travaillé à l’implantation de l’Education Conductive au Centre et Ecole « La Famille » à Bruxelles, il va développer des projets de formation divers en Education Conductive dont l’aboutissement est la création du Centre de Formation « Le Fil Conducteur » : cela aboutira à la mise sur pied d’un programme de formation continuée en Education Conductive en collaboration avec le Centre de Recherche et d'Études Appliquées (CREA) de la Haute École Libre de Bruxelles Ilya Prigogine et de l'ABPC (Association Belge de Pédagogie Conductive).

An earlier item from Conductive World

Read something on the conductive thinking of Yves Bawin in English:

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Or is there more to come?

A book published last year in Italy –
Breakpoints and Bridges brings together fruits of long research conducted by academics from various countries on the current state of education in Europe and the future challenges that this poses to the international community.
In order to connect with an extra-national audience, authors were free to write their own contributions in their preferred language: so you have readers thinking in English, Italian, German and Hungarian (the latter providing the English translation), designed to explore as the title indicates not the 'breaking points' but the 'bridges' of human pedagogy, reasons for contact and sharing that combine and relate sometimes very different cultures. 
In a 'fluid' society as unresolved, precarious and complex as the current one, we need more people – academics, political people and of course educators too – who are co-builders of bridges rather than of breakpoints and impassable barriers: it is hoped, that this text will have contributed to laying the foundations for fruitful dialogue and shared the more difficult topics that animate today's debate on education.

Three contributions may be of especial interest:
  • Schaffhauser, F. Prinzipien zur Pädagogik der Inklusion, pp. 21–45.
  • Schaffhauser, F. A konduktív pedagógia nevelésfilozófiai alapjairól, pp. 81–87
  • Schaffhauser, F. On the educational-philosophical foundations of Conductive Education, pp. 89–94
An earlier link on this Italian connection suggested that Franz has a monograph on the way, On the educational-philosophical foundations of conductive pedagogy:


Constantino, D. (ed.) (2014) Breakpoints and Bridges: punti di rottura e ponti di pedagogia umana, Trento, Erikson, 1 May

Sutton, A. (2014) Franz Schaffhauser: book on CE, Conductive World, 8 January

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


So it goes 

The 26th Congress of Hungary's ruling Fidesz party has re-elected Viktor Orbán as Party Chairman of Fidesz, and is ready to lead it into the next General Election, and then head the next Government –
Europe does not believe in its roots, Europe fails to believe in common sense, military virtues and national pride, and has forgotten Christianity as its root... It is promoting human rights, progress, openness, new types of families, tolerance...
Instead of a weak and indecisive Europe, we need a strong Europe again … and we are ready to take part in creating that.
Déjà vue, all over again

This all sounds so familiar – the tone, the sentiments, the very words.

As expressed before, my own inclination is to stay well away from the place, not that my inconsequential personal boycott will make a jot of difference – and, yes, I do know that the foreseeable alternative to the Fidesz crew could be much worse. I realise too that at this rate I shall probably never go there again.

Poor little Hungary indeed. Tears again before bedtime? When will they ever learn

Incidentally, I see that Borat has reappeared in the United States, claiming to have invented Donald Trump. If Borat invented The Donald, then who who might lay claim to having invented The Great Viktator? I cannot help thinking of Charlie Chaplin:


Kovács, T., (2015) Fidesz congress: Viktor Orbán re-elected as leader of Hungary’s ruling party, Hungary Today, 14 December

(This article by Tamás Kovács is from this morning's issue of Hungary Matters)

Monday, 14 December 2015


Woods and trees

Ed Timpson, the latest junior minister in charge of 'SEN' at the Department for Education, and officials from education and health, have met with representatives from various 'parent carer forums'. Amongst these was Tanya Tirraoro from Special Needs Jungle.Her report on the meeting was published last Thursday –
Mr Timpson wanted to do a 'stock check' on how the reforms to the special educational needs system in England had progressed in the past year since implementation. If he'd been hoping to get a big thumbs up from the parent carers present, he would have been disappointed...
The interesting thing was that no matter where in the country the parents were from, we all had similar experiences to report, from local authorities reinterpreting the SEND Code of Practice to their own advantage, a lack of facilities for young people over 16, a lack of training and a failure of culture change to take place inside LAs and health services, health services not taking part and problems encountered with SEND transport for 16 to 18 year olds...
Read the rest of her report at:

A group photo shows the Minister and some of the parents present (mainly mothers) smiling at the camera.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest

Coincidentally, last week saw another Minister, one more highly placed, in a quite different situation, where nobody was smiling at all:
The government is 'profoundly shocked' by a report which found the NHS failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said...
He offered a 'heartfelt apology' to families affected...
Mr Hunt described the findings of the report – which was commissioned by NHS England and carried out by Mazars, a large audit firm – as 'totally unacceptable'...
Southern Health is one of the country's largest mental health trusts, covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and providing services to about 45,000 people...
There is a full transcript of the proceedings in Hansard:

'SEN? Mental health?' No connection? Or a profound one?


(2015) House of Commons, Oral answers, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Hansard, cols. 1141-1150, 10 December

– (2015) NHS failure to probe deaths 'shocking' – Jeremy Hunt, BBC News, 10 December

Tirarro, T. (2015) What parent carers told the Minister at his SEND reform stock-taking session, Special Needs Jungle, 10 December

Saturday, 12 December 2015


Learning from experience

One of the unasked-for services that Facebook now presses upon its users is something called 'Your Memories on Facebook' –
Andrew, we care about you and the memories that you share here. We thought that you'd like to look back on this post from 2 years ago.
The affrontery of it! Notwithstanding, I have let it ride just to be reminded daily of unfinished business – not just mine! This morning Facebook took me back to this day two years ago when Conductive World reported on the concluding remarks at the Eighth World Congress on Conductive Education made by by Prof. Dr. Willibald Weichert of Hamburg University, an educationalist. He carefully summed up how far the organisers' specified goals seemed to have been achieved, then added –
Less impressive to the author (as seen from his limited perspective) appeared the presentation of new academic insights into the area in question. In future congresses, more space (time) should also be given to discussing the multitude of substantive findings and suggestions directly with their audiences. 
Prof Weicher's gentle and positive criticism was published on line, in full, on WC8's own website. This Congress website, however, was not maintained long after the Congress was over, so I am glad that Conductive World has preserved something of what he said, and pleased that Facebook reminded me of this.

Perhaps the organisers of the Ninth Congress are also bearing it in mind.

Soapland, Hokkaido

By the way, Facebook's reminder also illustrates the awkward problem of how to deal with 'old' URLs, for example the website address specially created for WC9:

Left drifting abandoned unoccupied in Cyberspace this URL has been taken over by a sex business in Susukino, the large red-light district of the city of Hokkaido in Japan, to advertise its specialist services that include a soapland (brothel) and home delivery service.

Avoid the problem

If it happens to you then you will find the new content on your once-treasured URL will likely to be quack medicines, porno and sexual services:

Perhaps the best way to deal with this problem is to pay the nominal annual sum to retain old URLs for your own use, or nobody's. This has the further advantage of maintaining at least some public record of your activities, as SAHK does for WC7:

As for the URL of the Eighth World Congress, there seems little now that the organisers can do to rescue the situation. Anyone clicking on a link to the German Congress will be likely whisked straight to the the fleshpots of Hokkaido.

Once there, Google Translate will do the honours.

A lesson from history

Something similar happened in Conductive Education in 2009. CECC (the Conductive Education Communications Center) was launched with great fanfare from Washington DC as an all-singing, all-dancing CE web portal:

It was not used and was soon abandoned. A few months its empty hulk had been taken over by a toxic collection of dodgy advertisements:

It is still afloat, now with an altogether different cargo, seemingly no more than a site extolling the virtues of education in general, also in Japanese. It is called Happy Child! and presently seems altogether innocuous.

So be warned, leave a URL abandoned at your peril. You never know what will occupy it next. Believe me, peccavi:   


Sutton, A. (2013) WC8 did a lot. But at its core...? Conductive World, 11 December

Thursday, 10 December 2015


One small step toward his reintroduction?

Last month in Nizhnii Novgorod I was reminded very clearly of the contrast between the power of the ideas of A. S. Makarenko on the one hand, and their almost total neglect in the West on the other.

Since returning I have become aware of an article published last year – in English – by Terje Halvorsen of the University of Nordland in Norway, offering a broad and welcome overview of Anton Makarenko's life and historical background, and his pedagogical ideas and how they relate to some Western ones likely more familiar to Western educationalists –
Abstract. This article gives an introduction to the life and work of the Ukrainian social pedagogue and educational theorist Anton Makarenko. In the early part of the 1920s, he formulated a theory that he further developed while helping orphans under the most difficult and dramatic conditions. When he died, aged only 51 years old, Makarenko left behind a multifaceted theory, or a system of theories, that deals with many aspects of social pedagogy. Unfortunately, this source is ignored by most professionals in the Western countries. Those embarking on this substantial body of work will experience exciting reading. Most likely they will also acquire new insights and perspectives, which may be useful when trying to help young people.
Makarenko’s theory is directly inspired by his background and life experiences. In order to fully understand and thereby be able to assess his texts one needs thorough insight into the difficult political and social conditions under which he lived. The initial part of this article describes some of the key events in his life and also provides an overview of his most important texts. The subsequent part describes the essence of the theory and links its different elements to contemporary professional discourse. In the concluding part the holism and dialectics in Makarenko’s reasoning and his intellectual kinship with John Dewey are highlighted.
The account is a little 'academic' and Makareno's humanity and passion are there to be seen only if you already know of them. A paragraph on pedology seems rather muddled, possibly relating to confusion over the old meaning of the English word 'genetic' (being not the adjective of genetics in its modern sense but relating to origins). Some of the connections made with Western educational theories seem a bit tenuous, and unnecessary. This article does not trace the trajectory of Makarenko's infuence in his own country, over the Soviet period and in the Soviet Union's successor states. Notwithstanding, it offers a useful contemporary portal into a world of childhood that has been wholly forgotten in the West with the fall from grace of Soviet Communism.

I know no quick way to 'understanding Makarenko'. At an intellectual level this article is a way in. At a level that is not just intellectual but also human, spiritual, then read the book – at the very least volume 1 of Road to Life.

Conductive Education

Knowing about Makarenko and Soviet upbringing (vospitanie) was one of the first thing that drew me to Conductive Education. Here was a package of psycho-educational process that seemed a portmanteau of understandings and approaches already well articulated in Soviet pedagogy and psychology – including a leading role for the group in structuring much of conductive pedagogy. It was therefore quite a surprise when I first went to Hungary in 1984 to find that Mária Hári vigorously denied any historical link with Soviet traditions, during or after the life of András Pető. (This did not of course prevent her speaking in such terms herself when facing East!)

And I recall a conversation with a conductor, whose practice I most certainly respected, that led to my enquiring whether what she had heard of Anton Makarenko during her training.
'Oh yes, of course, he was a terrible man.'
'Because he hit a child. A pedagogue should never hit a child.'
As far as she could recall, that was it: Anton Makarenko as an example of bad pedagogic practice, a child-beater.

Quite possibly, of course, her memory did not do justice to her teachers all those years ago.
A pity, nonetheless. There is little enough group or collective education to show in either the UK or other Western countries - and educational dysfunction enough that might be healed by a healthy dose of Makarenkoist thinking.

Conductive Education is a very lonely organism for a number of its attributes. There is more than one way forward than junking them. The group as an pedagogic means, a virtue even, seems a very vulnerable example. I weary of hearing about centres, even conductors who ought to know better even if their masters do not) that unquestioningly proclaim the virtue of their 'one to one' (US 'one on one') service. Of course it can be hard to standing up for your principles in the real world' – so all the more reason to seek out approaches in other fields experiencing a similar pressure to help form a stiffer defence (the final part of Terje Halvorsen's article offers a pointer).

Still no pedagogy in England?

Precious little still, I would contend, in the sense of coherent pedagogical systems. 

It is years since Brian Simon stood up an asked 'Why no pedagogy in England?' The journal in which the above article was appeared in 2011, being published from the University of Bedfordshire. It is peer-reviewed, on line, free, and open access:

Has a dove brought back an early olive leaf?


Halvorsen, T. (2014) Key Pedagogic Thinkers: Anton Makarenko, Journal of Pedagogic Development, Vol. 4, no. 2

Makarenko., A. S. (various dates various editions, in many languages)) Road to Life. An Epic of Education. A Pedagogic Poem (
Full English-language text of vol 1 (with photographs):

Sutton, A. (20o9) Why no pedagogy in England? Brian Simon, Alexander Bain and 
Aleksandr Luriya, Conductive World, 10 June


More no doubt anon

An hour or so ago I received the following email from Gabi Földi at the PAF –
Dear Andrew,
Thank you for being so thoughtful as to reminding the CE community to submit their abstracts for the 9th World Congress by tomorrow latest. The deadline, however, was removed from the Congress website about two weeks ago. As yet there is no deadline, what we know at the moment is that most probably it will be extended by several months.
Will you please correct your related post accordingly? Many thanks.
Gabriella Földiné Németh

Thank you Gabi for letting me know of this. I am taking the liberty of sharing the information with any others who sat at their computers over the last few days to see how they could submit their abstracts through the PAF's website.

I do have to tell you that the information about the closing date that I posted on line was certainly still up there at least until I went to bed last night, at the URL that I provided. Whoever is responsible for these things is of course altogether entitled to move the goalposts to suit changing circumstances. Indeed, flexibility is to be welcomed. Nobody is entitled to say, however, that I and others did not see them moved! In the circumstances therefore I cannot correct my posting since there is nothing there that was wrong:

I am of course pleased to help to disseminate the error made by means of this further posting.

I guess that the information on submission had been posted on two separate pages of the Congress website. One was removed earlier, you tell me, presumably without wider notification. I was not alone, however, in accessing the relevant page displayed under the heading 'Get involved', on which I see that the line notifying the deadline has now been removed.

No great harm has been done, I hope, to those who rushed to meet the announced deadline. At least they will have completed their abstract – and can now go ahead and write another within the new time granted them if they wish! Perhaps, though, there have been others who were put off submitting at all by the short deadline and just decided to let it this Congress go by.

I do hope that this present posting may help reach them.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015



In June of this year, the organisers of the 9th World Conductive Education Congress, to be held in Budapest on 10-13 December 2016, announced that the deadline for submitting abstracts would be 10 December this year, a full year in advance

Tomorrow is 10 December

This means that if you wish to make an oral presentation at the Congress, display a poster, or share a video, then you will have to do so tomorrow, presumably by close of business  in the afternoon, Central European Time.

So, if you still wish to submit an abstract, here are the guidelines –
Instructions for preparation of abstracts
Abstracts in English will be accepted. Abstracts submitted via e-registration.
The authors´ names should be provided in the format SMITH, John. 
Affiliation of the authors should be provided in the format: institution, city, country, address, telephone number. This should be followed by the TITLE and the type of presentation (lecture, poster, video, DVD).
The abstracts should be approximately 300 words (without space) structured by subheadings: introduction, aims, materials and methods, results and conclusions.
Affiliation of the authors should be provided in the format: institution, city, country, address, telephone number. This should be followed by the TITLE and the type of presentation (lecture, poster, video, DVD). The abstracts should be approximately 300 words (without space) structured by subheadings: introduction, aims, materials and methods, results and conclusions.  
All the accepted abstracts will be published in the Book of Abstracts.You will be contacted by the Scientific Committee of the World Congress by 10th March 2016 whether or not your abstract has been accepted.

Writing a formal academic abstract in three-hundred words is an exacting discipline. Presumably the organisers will exercise some discretion towards those who go a little over the limit. Previous Congress Abstracts indicate that many accepted submissions have been considerably over length.

The guidelines also suggest something of how submissions should be structured (using a model more appropriate to the natural or medical sciences rather than to pedagogic and social sciences). The Abstracts for previous CE World Congresses suggest that many successful applicants in the past have dealt with this suggested structure by ignoring it. 

There are no stated guidelines for referencing. 

Now it is up to you. Good luck.

PS A couple of observations

Submitting to a conference a whole twelve months in advance – is this reflection in some way of the expected rate of advance in Conductive Education?

Might one hope that the long period from submission/acceptance to the actual Congress will permit attention to possibilities for of wider dissemination and involvement, as exemplified by the social networking platform for the Seventh World Congress, organised by SAHK for the Hong Kong event in 201o?

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