Friday, 30 December 2016


What goes around, comes around  


Readers of Conductive World may have noticed that it is increasingly drawing from its own archive material. It seems likely that this practice will continue into 2017.

In part this has been due Facebook's routine 'memories to look back on today'. Every morning it reminds me of items that I have posted this day in earlier years, usually including at least one item that I feel worth sharing afresh. And anyway, some of the bigger issues just d0 not go away...

Perhaps many of Conductive World's present audience did not follow these pages in earlier years. Certainly at the moment Conductive Education is looked at by more people than used once to be the case – with individual postings nowadays sometimes being 'hit' hundreds of times over their first few days on line. And for whatever reason, resurrected topics are amongst those attracting readers.

There are also, however, more substantive reasons, historical ones, for offering a longer-term perspective on a topic. This can add a vital dimension to a one-off report and shed revealing light on the events of today. Human memory is short and uncertain, and it is always instructive, for example, to see who has been saying or doing what and other connections in times gone by.


A recent example

From a year ago today:

A continuing record

Conductive World will of course continue routinely to notify today's events etc. that may have bearing of the survival of Conductive Education (or even its advancement) in these unpredictable times, and such other things as may from time to time seem instructive or amusing!


Linking to 'Science and profession' no 2

The link that Conductive World gave yesterday for the second issue of the PAF's new serial publication, both on Conductive World's blog and on its Facebook page, seems not to connect – not consistently anyway for everyone (and at the moment that includes myself). You try it, you might be luckier:

I do not know where the problem lies. Maybe Blogger is playing silly buggers (as it does). Maybe the problem lies within issuu – if so, perhaps the PAF might like to sort it out. Or better still, and for the wider public good (see previous posting on this topic), PAF might put up a more useable Document version:

Meanwhile, if you cannot connect to 'Science and profession' by way of the link provided, and you really do want to see the second issue of Tudomány és Hivatás (and to read it, if your Hungarian is up to this), cut and paste the URL given, and Hey Presto!

Do tell

A couple of people have 'liked' this notification on Facebook, and a couple more have shared it. Presumably these four at least had no problem in seeing the publication to which it referred – otherwise what was there for them to like or to share?

But please, if you do find that a link is not working on Conductive World, whether on its blog or on its Facebook pages, do remember that both allow you to post Comments – and take a minute of so to let me and others know. Just perhaps I can suggest a remedy.

Subsequent development

I see that there is now (8 January) a way to link to the second issue of this publication that does work consistently:

Thursday, 29 December 2016


In Hungarian only

Number 1 and number 2

In July this year a new six-monthly serial publication made its first appearance, with volume 1, number 1 of Tudomány és Hivatás ('Science and Profession'): This not a journal in the full, formal sense but an means to publish writing from the PAF:

Number 1 appeared unheralded. There is a standing link to the first issue on the PAF's website:

As anticipated no 2 was published to coincide with the 9th World Congress earlier this month.There is as yet no obvious link there to no 2 on PAF's website, though this second issue is indeed already up in Cyberspace and open for all to see:


There seems not to be a paper edition (or if there is its availability remains unannounced).

Issue no 1 appeared on line as a PAI document. As such it could not only be read but also cut and pasted, an important facility for those who (like myself) need the service of a machine-translation to form an idea of what is going on – and therefore vital if this publication is going to serve much of a function in communicating its contents to a wider outside world.

Issue no 2 has come on line through issuu. The result looks more flash (one can 'turn' the pages) but this is a read-only PDF. Unless you know something that I do not know (if so, do please share) it cannot be cut and pasted, so machine-translation is out. In terms of potential worldwide communication of the contents of this publication, therefore, this is a retrograde step, for the authors and for the PAF, and for the lost readership.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


Budapest 1944-5

Over Christmas I have been reading Paul Bogdanor's recently published book Kasztner's Crime, a brutally detailed forensic examination and judgement of certain highly contentious events in Hungary, especially Budapest, during the last year of the Second World War in Hungary.

I did not find what I had been what specifically looking for in this book, but I did find much more that I rather wish that I had not, to deepen my undestanding of what happened to Hungarian Jewry at that time and in that place.

Coincidentally, with that book still not quite finished, Facebook reminded me this morning that three years I had posted a brief overview of the circumstances of which these events were just a part, with special reference to András Pető. It seems appropritae to link to this earlier posting here, for those who are interested in this particular aspect of the world out of which Conductive Education first emerged. Read it in full at:

Most recent posting on a similar theme:


Bogdanor, P. (2016), Kasztner's Crime, New Brunswick and London, Transaction Publishers

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Training in Germany

A year ago this day Conductive World carried the following story, announcing the imminence of training in Conductive Education in Germany.

Since then, I gather, in 2016 the course was granted Ministerial approval, and subsequently an announcement that it would commence this Winter appeared briefly on Facebook.

Here (in English) is what was was reported here a year ago –

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.

For the original German words see Conductive World for 27 December 2015:

Course content

The Protestant College's summary of the content of this course is on line:

A previous report on this...

...and an update (8 January)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


A real problem

Conductive Education is often touched upon in theses and dissertations in universities in the Western world. What is written can be disasterously wrong!

Should tutors/supervisors know something about the contents of the studies that they are supervising, or be there solely for questions of methodology. My own view is that, if they are worth their salt, they will take serious interest and provide the student a model of checking on everything that is included in the study. If they had done so over the years a lot of codswallop would have had to face up to some much needed challenge. But I know, there has been so little time in so many universities actually to deliver the academic services that their students are paying so much for.

I was reminded today (by Facebook's anniversary bring-up service) of an old PhD dissertation (part requirement) that I had mentioned before, in a blog of 19 December 2012.

Conductive Education introduced

Its very topic was a stunner, of which more below. Its brief introductory mentions of Conductive Education add up to a scholarly stinker de stinkers'.

A Brain Injured person is defined as someone who began to develop a normal brain but later suffered an injury to the brain which resulted in the damage of one or more brain cells
(page 1)

Historical Background:
...With the passage of time, treatments have been and are being developed, which may vary from organization to organization.

In Hungary, the organization now called the Andras Peto Institute for Motor Disorders, - ( address, Kutvolgyi ut 6, Budapest XH, Hungary H-1125 ), was founded by Dr. Andras Peto in 1952. In 1968, a state decree made physicians throughout Hungary responsible for the registration of all children with motor disorders, - ( disorders resulting in problems with movement and mobility, because of damage to areas of the brain ), at the Peto Institute. Details of the Peto programmes are summarized in a Conductive Education Fact Sheet available from Scope, (previously called The Spastics Society) , 12 Park Crescent, London WI N 4EQ, phone 0171 636 5020, fax 0171 436 2601. The Peto programme has now spread to institutes in the United Kingdom, including Birmingham.
(page 13, in the Appendices)

1.1.3 Brain Injury Institutions
There are many organisations that treat brain injured children world wide. Among them are three prominent institutions. These are:
  1. The Peto Andras Institute for the Conductive Education of the Motor Disordered in Hungary (PAICEMD), which was founded by Dr. A. Peto in 1952 (originally known as the National Motor Therapy Institute) although his work was only officially recognised in 1963...

  2. The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential (AlAHP) in the United States of America founded by Dr. G. Doman in 1962. AIAHP was founded to promote the Doman-Delacato method of therapy (known in the U K as the bench method) which was developed by Glen Doman and Carl Delacato...

  3. The British Institute for Brain Injured Children (BIB1C) in the United Kingdom...
    (page 3)
1.1.4 Available Treatment
The methods devised by these prominent institutes for imparting remedial treatment to brain injured patients are largely manual, using simple aids whenever possible to assist with carrying out the desired techniques. Presently, the most frequent methods of treatment used are Doman-Delacato (bench method) and Conductive Education. Most of the other methods of treatment are based on the following outlined methods.
(page 4)
Conductive Education Conductive Education is a teaching and learning system designed to enable children and adults with disabilities to function more independently. It was developed in Hungary, but British therapists and teachers have used elements of the system for over 20 years. Conductive education may be appropriate for children and adults who have motor disorders. In other words, those who have problems with movement because of damage to areas of the central nervous system that is responsible for organising motor functions. Although this method may not be suitable for everyone and it is not a cure for their condition, but it may still enable them to overcome their disorders and function independently.
(page 5)

The objective of this review was to establish the number of research centres active in the rehabilitation area of patterning brain injured patients and to analyse the machines available that closely deal with the physical movements of the patient. The Doman Delacato method or simply the bench method, and the Conductive Education method were carefully studied.
(page 18)

At present there are no rehabilitation mechatronics or robotics systems dealing with patterning brain injured patients available to the general public. The present treatment is largely manual including the Conductive Education method and the Doman Delacato method often referred to as the bench method.
(page 19) Conductive Education Development
This technique of conductive education is widely adopted by the Peto Institute where each child attends several sessions during a two week visit to the centre. At the centre all children will be working in small groups supervised by a conductor (a highly trained remedial treatment health care specialist). Due to the nature of conductive education the daily routine will vary between the groups of patients. Each child's daily routine will include several series of tasks carried out in different positions, lying position, sitting position and standing-walking positions. All these positions are not a set of separate programmes, but rather they are inter-linked and to be applied in activities throughout the day. This idea is based on the fact that normal healthy children take part in educational activities as they use skills they have previously learned. The group activities also play a part in building and developing the personalities and social skills of brain injured children. Therefore conductive education is mainly based on the self esteem of the patient by giving the child an achievable goal that with some effort can be achieved. It is therefore, the author's decision to use the Doman-Delacato method (bench method) rather than the conductive education method, because the input aspects of Doman-Delacato method are passive in nature and do not require the brain injured patient to put any considerable efforts during the input session. Note, however that the output session can be at first assisted and later unassisted, thus requiring the patient to put into practice the therapy imposed during the input session.
(page 25)

What was it all about?

1.1.5 Proposed Solution
The existing manual method of treatment is a labour intensive technique that requires a team of up to five people to carry out the patterning for an average sized patient and a team of three persons for a patient of a small size (6 months to two years old). Since humans can not carry out the techniques with the accuracy and efficiency needed to achieve favourable results and the fact that finding at least four helpers at one time on a regular basis is often difficult if not impossible. This research program proposes to carry out the existing method of patterning with a machine using the technological advances in the fields of Mechatronics and robotics. This Pattemer Machine shall carry out the techniques of patterning that were specified by the British Institute for Brain Injured Children with some modifications, i.e. the machine shall provide real creep and crawl movements. This invention aims to provide mechanised manipulation [Kavina. 92] of body joints associated with major muscle groups for brain injured patients to compensate for muscle and nerve incapacitation. It is also set to provide new stimulated information to the healthy cells of patient's brain through effective and controllable continuous joint activation. Kavina, 96 has proposed the use of conveyor belts as a possible solution and replacement for the currently manual bench method.
(page 5)

Luckily for CE, as the extract presented above from page 25 indicates, the author eliminated Conductive Education from his actual study, and it was therefore spared further attention along these lines. I do not think that it has attracted this line of enquiry since then.


I kid you not. None of this is a Christmas spoof. I do not make such things up. I merely report them from where they sit in permanent plain sight for all to read, in the public domain.

I o wonder whether it is in bad taste to quote and cite this innocent piece of student work. But there is a dilemma here, a choice that has to be made, not just about student work. In 2016 I come out increasingly in favour of standing up explicitly for Conductive Education (and many other things) against the popular wave of misinformation and confusion. Perhaps I should remain silent, reluctant to offend, but I too am human, Do I not bleed? Perhaps I and others should more readily respond to our feeling of offence at what is said and done with respect to things that we hold dear.

I do not blame the student here. Such a situation is far less likely to arise nowadays. Under a new and binding Code of Practice in the UK a study that crosses discipline boundaries as this one did, the university is required to ensure specialist overview from the relevant field, by bringing in a second supervisor from a relevant field. Such multidisciplinary supervision is now quite common practice.

Of course, with Conductive Education, one may still potentially meet the problem with respect to Conductive Education, that the academic knowledge brought in may still be widely off key – but that is a further question!

Onwards and upwards, I hope – albeit slowly...


Lasebae, A. R. (1999) Investigation of a mechatronic device for the remedial treatment of brain injured children (Thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy), London, University of Middlesex

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Fundamental principle

It is funny how things can pop up together – synchronicity.


This morning Rony Schenker's Facebook page alerted me to an interview with Jonathon Cohen in a recent issue of a major Israeli newspaper, Maariv.

Jonathan is thirty now, and has been 'in' Conductive Education in one way or another for much of his life – and Conductive Education is now well and truly in him! This week he gave a presentation at WC9 in Budapest, called 'Growing up with Conductive Education'. In the Abstract for this he wrote –

It is the 'never give up' principle that moves me forward again and again


Jonathon's 'never give up' put me in immediate mind of the phrase that Ralph Strzałkowski chose for the title of his book on his own experiences of growing up with Conductive Education:

Never, never quit

(In its preface, Ralph confides (p.3) that he took this from an advert for Monster Energy drink.)

Ralph presented at the 'German Congress' two years ago.


Then quite coincidentally this afternoon, parent-veteran Jerry Maslanka (also Polish – coincidence?) wrote on Facebook –

Mária Hári once said... Pető Method teaches how to fight...

Sounds much the same thing to me. Rather better anyway than all those lists of principles that fail to capture the essence. Maria is still CE's best communicator...


And what did he say. As usual I have no direct knowledge of this. But I do know something that Mária often told –

One point in the basic philosophy of Pető was that 'one has to complete what one has begun' (he was deeply aware of the ethical side in every respect). This principle means that any function or action, even any thought, cannot be broken off, it must be carried out, one has to complete what one begins. (page 27)


Then before tea, Adrienn Oravecz got in touch to report how interesting this week's Congress had been. Like Jonathon and Ralph she had been in CE as a child, and like them CE has entered her being to blend with her wider upbringing.

You may have come across Adrienn on line this autumn and winter, looking for conductors to fill in gthe short questionnaire required for this stage of her PhD. As many might expect, she has not found it easy to get conductors to fill this in and return it to her. But give up, quit, cease the fight? They do not enter her thinking. She collected a lot of name cards at the Congress and talked to a lot of people. Don't be surprised to hear from her.

I heard from her, and I was not even there! So below are links that she has sent me to pass on, for where conductors can help push her hard-earned sample just a little higher! Come on conductors, it is your calling to help develop people like Jonathon, and Ralph, and Adrienn. A little further facilitation in adulthood can be much appreciated...


Cohen, J. (2016) Growing up with Conductive Education, Abstracts Book, 9th World Conductive Education Congress, Budapest, December, p. 16


Links to Adrenn's questionnaires, as provided:





Wednesday, 14 December 2016


So it goes

The formal business of the 9th World Conference of CE is now done. For today and tomorrow, however,  there are two Post-Congress days at the PAF for those who wish to 'visit the work of Pető Institute [sic]'. Many Congress-goers are doubtless already headed home, or even back at work already, while others may have stayed over in Budapest to hit the town, sightseeing and shopping.

What remains? What does WC9 leave? What will the world of Conductive Education – and more importantly perhaps the big wide world outside this bubble – what will they have learned?

It is of course too early to tell. Wheels may have already been set in motion, of which even those most directly involved are not yet aware, and many may yet put to further use what they have presented or learned at WC9. But for now, the posters will have been taken down and the rooms returned to their workaday use – and it is reasonable to start asking what trace remains.

Carrying over

As at previous such events, there seems to have been no final communiqué to pass on – nothing to help judge whether Franz Scaffhauser's opening hope for this Congress was achieved, for strategic objectives and great solutions, and development of new pedagogical ways. Perhaps such will emerge.

I do nor know whether there was a concluding academic comment, like Prof. Dr. Willibald Weichert made at the end of the end of the previous Congress –

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.

Perhaps the Congress-organisers worked hard to meet his challenge this time round, and succeeded. If so, it would be nice to have been told.

I believe that the place and location of WC10 has yet to be decided. Time to apply yourself to organise this on your own home ground:


In the meantime, the last two such Congresses have left traces in Cyberspace for those seeking to see what went on. WC7 in Hong Kong, has left a strong online heritage:

Just as important, many individuals and their organisations have taken steps to link to put their materials on line. In North America ACENA took the further step of collating relevant materials:

What happens this time round will emerge with time.


So far WC9 has generated only a minor coverage in the Hungarian press, with no apparent interest elsewhere in the world.

I have just noticed the set Hungarian article on this Congress (a Press Statement from MTI, the Government's press agency) has been republished again, in English:

It may of course be that this topic is taken up more reflectively, even freshly, later in the week.

Get in touch

Some of the materials presented at this Congress may appear in print (most likely on line) at some future date. Meanwhile the only way in which to follow up what might have been said or displayed on posters is to follow the long-established professional/academic method of writing to the presenters.

Unfortunately, the Call for Abstracts did not include a requirement for email addresses, and no email addresses are given at the head of abstracts. A bit of detective work might be successful in many cases but is unlikely to be in all.

This is a limitation.


I know that Tsad Kadima was to launch its new book Genesis at WC9:

There appears to have been no other presence for books etc. at this Congress.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Then and now
All too soon forgotten

As I write this posting the grim news continues of the terrible endgame of the final rebel bastion in Aleppo, the violent, unthinking killing of so many desparate people, militia, civilians, young and old.

I know how easy it is at conferences to miss what is going in the big wide world. But if you are still in Kútvlögyi út, think when you leave the building today of the fifty-day seige of Budapest (29 December 1944 – 13 February 1945) and its own terrible ending when German and Hungarian troops and civilians made their horrifying last-ditch attempt to get away, across what I later knew as Moskva tér, on past where the Hotel Budapest now stands – and then for many of those who survived this massacre, continuing up Kútvlögyi út itself.

I shall make no presumptive attempt to convey what happened. At eight in the evening, the first of 28,000 troops broke out of their stronghold through the freezing fog and set out across Széna tér and Széll Kálmán tér: units and individuals of the German and Hungarian armed services, Waffen-SS troops of almost every nationality in Europe, German SS-men, Hungarian Arrow Cross Fascist militia – followed by thousands of civilians, men, women, children and old people, whole families and alone – some desperate, some despairing. Heavier weaponry was soon lost or abandoned. Waiting for them was the Soviet Army, often dug in with artillery and rockets as well as small arms.

Eventually only around seven hundred or so troops made it through to the German lines. Most of the 17,000 of those killed died in the first six hours, in the streets that I wandered so innocently forty-odd years later and thought that I knew so well. The rest were captured, or just lost. I do not know how many Soviet soldiers died.

Krisztián Unvgáry has called the breakout 'one of the most futile enterprises of the Second World War'.

It seems highly unlikely that András Pető had been in the Castle District and took part in the breakout but, if he was anywhere in Buda, he would have been very aware of the noise and violence of the battle as those in the breakout fought and fled along Vörös Hadsereg utja and up Kútvölgyi út and Virányos út. If he were still in or around Orsó u., the running battle would pass by only a suburban block or so down the hill from where he was sheltering.

Come the morning, as far as Buda was concerned, hostilities would be nearly done.

Monday, 12 December 2016


With glimpse of Mária Hári

Black-and-white film
From sixties or seventies
At Villányi út 67

Wonderful to see such things

Please give basic references
Especially the date:

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