Saturday, 29 April 2017


Is this one that will run?

Just spotted, an Opinion piece in the Times Higher Educational Supplement, the first gently academic airing of the pros and cons of whether Western liberal academics should consider boycotting Hungary, prompted of course by Viktor Orbán's shenanigans over Budapest's CEU (Central European University).

I am surprised that it has taken so long for this first public kite to be flown – though there may have been others.

One for liberal people in Conductive Education to watch, and consider their positions on.


Heinze, E. (2017) Should I go to that conference in Hungary? Times Higher Educational Supplement, 26 April

Thursday, 27 April 2017


Another opening

Andrea Zsebe officially opens new premises in Beregszász in Ukraine (video):

Earlier information on this project in Sub-Carpathian Ukraine:

The new conductive centre is being provided by the Beregszász District of the Maltese Charitable Service. The Czilla von Boeselager Centre for disabled children and adults has been opened with the help of a grant of ten million Hungarian Forints from the Hungarian Government (this converts to just over 32,000 Euros).

Miklós Soltész, State Secretary for Church, Citizenship and Civil Society in the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources also spoke, saying that that having the PAF working with the early development of disabled children in the Ukraine...

...also serves to preserve Hungarians in their native land and to preserve the Hungarian language, because parents do not have to move to a foreign-language environment or even to move to Hungary to provide for their child.

He added that all the services provided by the new centre, medical and social, are open to Ukrainian-speaking families as much as to Hungarian-speakers.

There was considerable VIP attendance, Andrea Zsebe signed a cooperation agreement, and guests has opportunity to observe the practice:

Monday, 24 April 2017


Domestic announcement reiterates media reports

Formal announcement from Rector now online on PAF's website, no more than was quoted in Friday's newspapers –

Elvi szándéknyilatkozat a Semmelweis Egyetemmel történő integrációról

A főiskola Szenátusa 04. 21-i ülésén egyhangú támogatással az alábbi határozatot hozta:

A Pető András Főiskola Szenátusának
1/2017.04.21. sz. határozata 
a Pető András Főiskola és a Semmelweis Egyetem integrációjáról

A Pető András Főiskola Szenátusa megtárgyalta a Semmelweis Egyetem és a Pető András Főiskola integrációjáról szóló előterjesztést. Ennek keretében elvi szándéknyilatkozattal támogatja a Pető András Főiskolának a Semmelweis Egyetem azonos névvel történő önálló Főiskolai karaként a Konduktív Pedagógiai Központtal együtt – melynek részei a Pető András Főiskola jelenlegi gyakorló- és köznevelési gyakorló intézményei – való integrációját. A Szenátus az integrációval kapcsolatos előkészítésre felhatalmazást ad a Főiskola Rektorának és Kancellárjának.

Dr. Tenk Miklósné dr. Zsebe Andrea
Pető András Főiskola

Not unexpectedly, this has been announced only in Hungarian. One awaits official announcements in other languages of other countries with which in the past the PAF has had considerable dealings, such as English German and Russian


What other connections?

Following Friday's news of the merger proposed for later this year between the PAF (formerly the Pető Institute) and Semmelweis University, Sue O'Reily writes in with a nice personal association of the names of Ignaz Semmelweis and András Pető. See her personal reminiscence in the Comments at the end of the posting here:

Many perhaps most overseas visitors to Budapest over last fifty or so years may have noticed the Semmelweis campus on Üllői út, the major highway from Budapest Airport into the city centre, standing behind the prominent sculpture of an eagle (Torul?)

Some time in the mid-1980s I was driving past with Mária Hári and asked her what it was. Characteristically Pető-centrically, she replied that András Pető had given some lectures there. Looking back, I think not in that actual building surely, but perhaps the institution. I did not then know enough of his story to question further.

No doubt as the merger goes further there will be busy enquiries made to identify possible links such as this, be these plus or minus. Indeed, one can only hope that merger with a serious academic institution will result in a whole new world of serious academic enquiry into Conductive Education (of every kind).

Long history of culture clash

Meanwhile, as László Kanyó has remarked in Facebook –

How on earth these two vastly different corporate cultures will ever get harmonised, I wonder

This is no mere abstract point, as Tamás Vekerdy has reminded us –

The medical community wanted to destroy Pető. Then a stroke of genius came to mind... cooked up with the writer Sándor Török –

'I can't warrant 'curing'. I have to be rid of the doctors. I don't cure, I raise and educate... this gambit will transpose me from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education, since it's not a science -- not in the same sense as medicine. I'll say I educate then they'll leave me alone.'

(Pető Quotationary, page 80)

We shall see

Influential political support helped András Pető. escape Ignaz Semmelweis's fate – or worse. In this respect, his successors in Budapest are now on their own


(2013) CEP Quotationary of András Pető and his Conductive Education, Birmingham, CEP

Sunday, 23 April 2017


For the record

The PAF has been in two locations in the partially Hungarian-speaking Sub-Carpathian region of Ukraine, close to the border with Hungry, the small towns of Huszt and Beregszász. Again this has been with the sponsorship of the Hungarian Government and the Gábor Bethlen Foundation:

TV report (video)

More background

The world moves on...

The above item was drafted a three days ago, just before announcement of the PAF's merger with the Semmelweis Medical University. There has recently been a spate of diversifications announced by PAF, in Hungary and elsewhere. There could be others in train. What happens to these in the light of the Semmelweis merger?

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017


To 'merge' with Semmelweis Medical University

The PAF (formally the Pető Institute) is to be merged with the Semmelweis Medical University

It remains unexplained why this is being done – and will likely remain so – but the last fix (financial, material, academic, whatever) must not have been working, with the authorities have losing confidence that it would. The announcement confirms the hints and pletyka (rumours) coming from Budapest for some time now.

Available information so far

This from Magyar Nemzet

[In haste because it's getting late!]

The Pető Institute is merging with Semmelweis University

Friday, April 21, 2017, Friday 19:29, updated on Friday 19:34

An agreement has been reached on the integration of Semmelweis University and the Pető András College . Since August, Semmelweis University has been acting as a separate faculty, said Semmelweis University told MTI on Friday.

According to their statement, the Senators discussed the proposal on Thursday and Friday, and according to the resolutions, the bodies 'support the integration of Semmelweis University and the Pető András College by means of a memorandum of intent. As a result, on 1 August the Pető András College will operate under the same name as Semmelweis University, as an independent college. The integration process also affects the conductive pedagogical centre, which includes the kindergarten, the school and the pedagogical institute.

It has been emphasized that in the case of several domestic and international projects, Semmelweis University and the Pető András College have ha long-term scientific and professional relations. The activities of the institutions not only complement each other, but also work organically to provide new, higher levels of teaching, education, research and development in the fields of orthopaedics, neuroscience and paediatrics from infancy to adulthood.

Senators and the Rector and Chancellor of the Pető András College have been authorised to prepare for integration...

The other four newspapers say much the same – though Eduline adds that Ministry approval is still needed  to finalise the deal.

For the moment, tomorrow is another day. Not just the staff, students and clients at PAF will face their own considerable personal distress and uncertainties but people and institutions involved in Conductive Education around the world may have concerns of their own.

Only yesterday Conductive World remarked that perhaps by Summer the direction of PAF's diverse schemes and project might have become a little clearer. Too true, Bruce. What will happen to them now? Indeed, what will happen to a lot of things, and people, and practices...?

And what (many people with no concerns for either disability or Conductive Education will be asking), is to happen to those two very valuable pieces of real estate, in Villányi út and Kútvölgyi út? And what...?

Oh dear!


Mission creep?

Image result for peto institute

It was announced yesterday that as part of the PAF's decentralisation strategy the first Pető Premium Point' is to open in a private health centre situated in Budapest's District XII:
PAF's main building in Villányi út and its new Premium Point in Budakeszi út. both lie in the Budapest's XII. postal district, less that a couple of kilometres' walk away from each other.

The briefest of notes on PAF's website today encourages potential clients to apply there direct:

Within the framework of our decentralisation project, the first Pető Prémium Pont Budapest will be opened in an illustrative environment at the Medicina Health Center next Monday, where qualified conductors await you! Curious? Click for details!

From the Health Centre's website it appears that its services require a fee:
PAF's Decentralisation Project was announced just over a year ago. Its broad points including the following:
  • demand in Hungary is more than the PAF operating centrally can provide for, so decentralisation is to be the cornerstone of a new, unified, multi-project development plan, with conductors operating across the country
  • there would be (quasi-) regional centres that would have relationships with local government and with 'health tourism'
  • a 'Peto-premium' service
The essence of the plan – for Hungarians – is to reduce 'Budapest-centredness' so that the Pető method should be available close to people's homes.

Since then, new foreign adventures have been announced, in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia:

Meanwhile another possibly strategic proposal has emerged, with major potential significance for the very essence of Conductive Education as it is known and taught –

Negotiations are going on about possible cooperation with Semmelweis University, but the Senates of two institutions will decide on this.

What sort of 'possible cooperation'? As ever, the devil will be in the detail

All very strange. Confusing even. No wonder one hears pletyka about what is going on. Perhaps all will become clearer over the summer. Than could be a good time to put all these ducks in a row and see perhaps where they are heading.

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Funny peculiar, or funny ha-ha?

PAF meets medi-business

In Budapest the quest goes on, to monetise CE –

Pető Premium Point

The scope of Medicina Health Centre's services will be expanded from April 2017 onwards. We are the first in Hungary and in the world to say that we are launching the first Pető Premium Point with the Pető Institute...

[...much more besides, including prices]

Some people in Budapest should be hoping that András Pető had it wrong about reincarnation.

Not much else to say really. One should wish them luck.


Crazy word. Crazy world
All our futures?

Visitor Map

I am surprised that I first came across this word only a few days ago when I read it in The Times.

It refers to an all-pervading process in contemporary economics, finance, business, management, politics, social change. It signifies something that we all know to be an integral feature of modern life, like the air itself so pervasive that one hardly needs mention it at all, what we used to call 'cutting out the middle man'.

Pick your own, do it yourself, self-service, vending machines, automatic tills, self-driving vehicles, eBay, e-commerce, e-publishing, artificial intelligence, robotics, cost-savings, delayered management, redundancies, obsolete jobs, retraining, unemployment... See it all around you.

As I sit at home preparing to self-publish this posting, I see that the (automatic) spell-check on my personal computer is well ahead of me and already recognises 'disintermediation' as part of the English language. No doubt there are equivalent words in languages other than English.

There is also a word 'reintermediation' (not yet in my computer's spell-check, but Google has it).

Conductive Education?

Conductive Education's provision, development, even its very theory, are at any time and in in any place inextricably part of their social, material and ideological contexts. They share the technological and economic constraints and opportunities of the differing societies in which we live and work.

The Hungary in which all those years ago András Pető, Mária Hária  and others developed and consolidated what we today call Conductive Education was a society that was predominantly low-wage, low-cost, and nominally socialistic. This saw emergence of a particular conductive practice and provision. The Western world into which these have now seeped over the last thirty-odd years provides some very different contexts. Hong Kong has provided a quite different one again. So of course does modern-day Hungary!

From the outset of Conductive Education's internationalisation, financial constraint has been an almost universal governing factor in what has been done and achieved. Spot your own examples of how this comes across, remembering that what people do will may soon be reflected on how they talk about it, and how they think and explain. Even what they believe.

Remember too that, like them or loath them, the resulting developments need not necessarily be either good or bad.

From the outset of this internationalisation parents, conductors and others have sought and found diverse ways to escher the notion of a large-scale institutions, going instead for direct client-provider models, at first within families' own homes, often of late through conductors' own private practices.

Still to be articulated in the context of the modern world, however,  is the radical disintermediation of cutting out the too-expensive and barely available conductors, as was first exemplified, articulated and advocated by Karóly and Magda Ákos back in the nineteen eighties – and largely ignored ever since..

Impossible? Even ten years ago, who would ever have thought of a driverless taxi? Before discounting the very notion of conductorless conduction, just think of all those other jobs, trades and professions that have already vanished or will follow them very soon. As Mária Hári used to say –

There are many roads to Rome

One such possible way as Goethe put it (the Ákoses quoted this as the epigraph to their book Dina)

There is a way... the mothers!

There could doubtless be others.


Ákos, K., Ákos, M. (1989) Dina: eine Mütte praktiziert die konduktive Pädagogik Education (Petö System), Ulm: Alabanda Verlag

Ákos, K., Ákos, M. (1991) Dina: a mother practises Conductive Education (Pető System), Birmingham and Ulm: Foundation for Conductive Education and Alabanda Verlag

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


All quiet on the Russian front

Image result for russian eagle

Less than two weeks ago Conductive World reported on the PAF's officially sponsored training deal in St Petersburg:

Since then the Russian-language pages of PAF's website, announcing forthcoming short CE experiences in Budapest for the children of Russian-speaking families, remain apparently quiescent:

The page publicising conductive-training remains in place:

Three years ago the Hungarian Medical Center in Moscow was marketing inclusive health-tourism visits to what was then still the PAI:

The Center is no longer on line at its old URL.