Month: December 2008

A truly ‘conductive’ library

I have just received the latest issue of the New Zealand Foundation for Conductive Education Newsletter which contains items, amongst other things, on the 2009 AGM and Conductors’ seminar, the Awareness Week 2009 at the end of May, production of a new DVD and a mini report from the New Zealand Conductors Association (NZCA). They seem to be very organised and working together well, so there is quite a lot happening.One section particularly caught my attention in the NZCA report:

The conductors are gradually building up an array of resources for NZCA members. The ‘library database’ is now available to conductors. This lists books, journals, CD-ROMs, DVDs and other teaching resources which are relevant to our profession and practice and which conductors can borrow from each other. This database will be an ever growing list of literature and will be updated once a year.


What a wonderful arrangement: making items acccessible to all, no central storage, flexibility and above all, sharing information and costs. I would like to know more about this and have asked if they would keep me in their loop.

Are there any other co-operative schemes like this in Conductive Education? I do not know of any, but if you do, please let me know.

Why is it ‘conductive’? Because it takes things that are separate and brings them together in a single whole

World congress 2010

It was great to find out via Andrew’s blog that the VII World Congress in 2010 is now in the serious planning stage with its website under construction. Two years seems a long way away but it will soon be here. No doubt a call for papers will follow in the New Year.The first six congresses have resulted in a mixed bag of materials including programmes, a magazine, books of abstracts and some of the presentations included in issues of Conductive Education Occasional Papers (these incidentally appear to have ceased publication), which are held by the library here. But no full proceedings. The last congress in 2007 did have a website but only produced a brief report and evaluation.

I hope that SAHK will put this on the list of things to do and produce proceedings as there are bound to be some people who don’t/can’t go to the congress but will still be interested in what the presenters have to say. This international congress offers an opportunity for disseminating what is going on in Conductive Education all over the world and reporting what conductors are actually doing. Publishing the proceedings would also add to the literature as I have mentioned before in a previous blog.

I don’t think I can over emphasise that there is a great need for people to write things down in detail for others to read, share and learn from as happens in other professions , so please forgive me if you think I am repeating myself.

Conductive Education Classics no.1

This is the first item to be highlighted in the way I mentioned yesterday. I would like to stress there is no particular reason for this choice and the same will go for future selections, it will be serendipity. Perhaps I will do a poll after a reasonable number to see what is known, what is considered ‘a good read’ or ‘useful’. We may end up with a top ten! Suggestions for inclusion will be very welcome.


Dina was published jointly by the Foundation for Conductive Education and Alabanda Verlag in 1991, the only account of its kind, and since then it has enjoyed modest sales.
I have taken the synopsis on the back of the book as the best explanation of its contents.
This book is an argument for trusting the personal responsibility and initiative of parents of babies and young children with cerebral palsy.
Frau Seiffer, the mother of Dina, who is twenty months old and severely brain damaged, takes her life and the life of her little daughter into her own hands. With the help of Conductive Education she succeeds in discovering her own abilities, submerged and unrecognised by specialists, and uses them to set her child’s personality development in motion and significantly reduce the symptoms of her child’s cerebral palsy.
Conductive Education means practising a way of living based upon intense co-operation between the mother (or a person to whom the child relates very closely) and the child, co-operation which gives the child’s motivation a central role.
From the correspondence between Frau Seiffer and Frau Gross, who also has a little daughter with cerebral palsy, and the authors, the reader comes to understand not only how the children’s personalities develop but also how their mothers’ insight into the unfamiliar Conductive Educational way of thinking grows.
The ‘Booklet for Mothers’ is directed towards mothers of infants and young children with cerebral palsy and intended as a practical manual for living.
DINA appeals to parents and specialists alike. It also has something to offer the academic and the researcher. One chapter deals with the theoretical basis of Conductive Education. The book gives insight into the way of thinking of the Pető System and also shows how it can be used in everyday life. With this system success can be achieved in a way which is thought impossible in the world of therapy, determined and fragmented as it is by different specialists.
Publisher: Foundation for Conductive Education and Alabanda-Verlag
Date: 1991
ISBN: 0 9515507 7 2
Price: £11.95
This available to buy from me for £11.95 plus postage and packing – email me for details – or via Amazon. Photocopies are not possible.

Highlighting Conductive Education material

Whenever a new Conductive Education publication appears I always check the references to see if there is anything I don’t have in the library, which I am pleased to say is rarely the case. Frequently these references are ‘old’, that is pre 2000, and some even from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Later publications are either unknown or possibly just ignored. Why is this? Journal databases (which cannot and do not include every journal title published) such as Medline, are not the only source of information for items in Conductive Education, e.g. we have the Internet, the most accessible, which offers all sorts of information about journals, books etc., and some academic libraries do have Conductive Education books and papers in their collections. Perhaps a factor is the fact that lot of Conductive Education material is unpublished or produced in small quantities limiting their circulation, so the usual sources may not be enough.

The library here has a wealth of information just waiting to be read, evaluated and discussed so I thought that if I profile items regularly it might spread knowledge of their existence, content and possible use.

I hope to select an item in the library – book, article, conference paper, unpublished document – and profile it on this blog by giving some basic bibliographic details and a little precis of its contents. Included will be details for purchase (if thats possible) or the procedure and cost for photocopying.

Watch this space.