Month: August 2008

Please write as well as speak

There have been quite a few Conductive Education conferences over the years and the library here has a collection of proceedings from the 1980s. With the advent of computers and the spread of the Power Point presentation programme, the writing up of presentations and publication of these in proceedings seems to have diminished considerably. Selections from the World Congresses have appeared in the Conductive Education Occasional Papers published by the Peto Institute, but there has been very little else.
A number of conferences are coming up and the posting of the programme for the forthcoming conference in Chicago on Andrew Sutton’s blog has prompted this posting.

There are five other conferences/meetings I am aware of. The Germans have one in Munich, 24-25 October,

CEPEG (Conductive Education Professional Education Group) has its conference on 14 March 2009 in the UK, and there is, I believe another in Belgium in May and one in Finland in June. The next CE World Congress is in Hong Kong, 2010. More details about these later.

Finding information can be very difficult, I would be happy to put notification up on this blog if organisers would like to send me details of conferences in future.
Written published material from such meetings will help the Conductive Education world in its aim to continue to establish CE as a dynamic growing profession. If you do go to a conference, please write up your presentation and send it to the library here or even submit it to RACE, the online CE journal If no published proceedings are being considered then those unable to attend the conference will be able to access developments, accounts of conductive practice and philosophy etc. and gain an overview of what is happening in CE worldwide. If you attend but don’t present, a report of the events would also make a useful record. If there is nothing to chronicle the contributions and outcomes the CE literature will be poorer for it.

Cerebral palsy and walking

The Scene, newsletter of The Spastics Centre, New South Wales, Australia has created a blog which this week has a very interesting, controversial entry about cerebral palsy and walking:

This was first published in 2006 by Iona Novak, a researcher and reports the responses of adults with cerebral palsy to efforts made in their childhood to help them walk. It is suggested that the time would have been better spent helping them to have independent mobility rather than concentrating on walking:

While it is natural for parents to want to do all they can to assist their child to walk independently, with the benefit of hindsight in years to come, independent mobility, not walking per se, is likely to be seen as more important. What all parents want most for their children is a happy and fulfilled life. Walking independently is not the only way to achieve this

It would be interesting to have conductors’ comments on this, but as I see it the last two sentences sum up what every conductor aims to do!

Anyone for blogging?

Blogging has certainly taken off now as more and more people take the plunge and talk about their lives online, sometimes in great detail. Look at the number of hits you can get for Conductive Education (which increases daily), just do a search on Google.
These informal sources can provide a wealth of information for all those interested in CE , quite often of a different sort to that found in formally published articles and books, whilst giving an opportunity to respond with comments or questions. Many of these are written by parents via cerebral palsy websites


covering life with a cerebral palsied child and some include details of their experiences of CE with their children on short summer camps or longer sessions, amongst other family matters and activities.


The amount of support and responses they get from strangers is quite amazing.
Conductors are beginning to record their daily experiences with groups or individuals providing insight into their work in a personal way, giving examples which help to make CE and ‘how it works’ somehow more real. They are talking about what they actually do rather than discussing theory and principles etc. Look at

and a new site written by Hungarian conductor, Laszlo

– soon to be in English too.
Norman Perrin has set up a conductive web via pageflakes with the aim of linking all such postings together – a mighty big task in the circumstances and is a good starting point.

Andrew Sutton is also keeping us up to date on his blog

by finding even more, encouraging the start of new ones and continuation of those already going.

A blast from the past

Summer is a quiet time in the library giving an opportunity to do some tidying, checking and sorting through the build up of paperwork, new additions and such like. As this has been going on throughout the organization, not just in the library, various discoveries have been made. One of these is a number of back issues of The Conductor, the quarterly newsletter/magazine produced by the Foundation 1988-1997. There are 24 issues in total. Pieces about Pető, Hári, research, Ester Cotton’s principles, development of adult and parent and child services in Birmingham, setting up the BA(Hons) Conductive Education degree and memories of those who worked with Peto are included. This is a goldmine of information recording the development of CE not just in the UK but worldwide during those years and includes news items, reports and lots of photographs. A great read for the nostalgics and historians! If anyone is interested in having copies please contact me for further details.