A little awareness
Mick Archer the Editor of Special World commissioned me to write an article to commemorate thirty years since the first broadcast of the TV documentary Standing up for Joe, asking for 'a 30-year retrospective, hopefully with an upbeat conclusion.' He gave me sixteen hundred words.
It is up to readers to gauge how well I fulfilled the first part of his brief. In the event, I failed with the second part – but he granted me a few hundred extra words.
I was pleased to do this, because it reminded me that it is some time since I have seen a magazine feature on Conductive Education, and an aeon since I saw one in an educational publication.
Note that this is not an academic article, though its intent is serious and it raises important questions meriting academic attention.
The resulting piece went on line two days ago:
Notification on this article through Conductive World has generated quite a few Likes and Shares on Facebook, mainly from people already in various ways connected with Conductive Education. It has also generated almost total silence, offering little public feedback on how far I had met the first specification.
The magazine Special World came on line last year. It is based in the United Kingdom but I gather that well over half of its readership is in the United States. It covers a range of topics relevant to special educators. Special World is published by Inclusive Technology a company with many interests in the world of special education -- particularly, as its name implies, with electronic products.
This morning Inclusive Technology made its routine electronic mailing of what's new, to every one who has signed up to receive this. Today's went out to over a hundred-thousand email addresses around the world, wherever English is spoken and/or where British education products are sold. I can only hope that a proportion of this wide special-educational audience will be tempted to click on the link to the article of Conductive Education, and that some of those who do will click to see what it is about. Even a relatively small proportion of a hundred-odd thousand looks a lot against the small absolute number of people hearing about Conductive Education in the public domain, mainly that it needs more money.
The magazine Special World is open-access and this article can be viewed, downloaded, shared with your own contacts, facebooked, tweeted, linked-in, g+'d, by pressing the buttons at the foot of its page:
Also at the foot of the page you can sign up to receive the newsletter yourself.
Stay aware, and do something to help others be aware too.
CE awareness and you
Awareness campaigns or not, there seem to have been few feature articles published in magazines over the last few years on any aspects of Conductive Education, in any language.
Word of mouth has a vital role, as do the social media. News items in the press and on broadcast media have an important part to play in the the spread of Conductive Education. But whatever the medium of communication, feature items are also essential, to colour in sketchy impressions.
None of this can be left to happen spontaneously. Do nothing and the likely outcome will be that public interest and awareness will simply continue to fade away.
Look at at the autism lobby (as if you could avoid it!). No grass growing under feet there.
Media of all kinds are desperate for stories to attract readers and to fill the spaces between the adverts. Conductive Education has stories enough – put them about.
If you do not feel able to write something yourself, find a journalist, and collaborate. And remember, it won't be the journo's fault if you feed in dodgy information about Conductive Education.
You may find plenty to criticise in 'Conductive Education, the unfinished story'. Fair enough, write your own, the more the merrier.
And in the meantime, as many are already doing, feel free to share a link to 'Conductive Education: the unfinished story' on line. Or say what you think, be this enthusiastic or critical (or both!), in the space for Comments at the bottom of its page.
Sutton, A. (2016) Conductive Education: the unfinished story, Special World, 6 Aprilhttp://www.specialworld.net/2016/04/05/conductive-education-the-unfinished-story/