Who said what? One thing leads to another

A few days ago I had a request asking:
 I am looking for a quote that I thought was attributed to Peto, but now I can’t find the source that I thought it came from. The quote was something like…’Do not ask me what I can do for a child. Ask the child what he can do for himself.’

Since then there has been some blogging about this as others have made suggestions, but unfortunately it has not been possible for any of us to confirm the source either way. I feel it originated from Maria Hari but am not in a position to check this.

It led me to look at Maria Hari on conductive pedagogy in the hope I would find it there, but all I found was a substantial number of statements that are very similar:

eg. ‘The work of the conductor is simply to motivate the child to do well’. p71.

‘The child learns that he can change position. The conductor must prove it to him. The conductor gives him the chance to interact with the environment and to overcome difficulties’ p72.

every child must know that he is absolutely free to do what he wants and that he is the most essential, his skills are appreciated, his life has meaning’ p109.

 Not quite as snappy as the quote asked about, but just as good, I think.This made me realise what a goldmine the book is, it can help with explaining the philosophy and pedagogy behind Conductive Education. It does this clearly and succinctly, and all those wishing to know more should get hold of a copy.

There are copies in the National Library of Conductive Education and also copies for sale from

the National Institute of Conductive Education library@conductive-education.org.uk

At one point Andrew talked about compiling a little book of quotes from the writings of Hari which, perhaps could be looked at with Peto’s proverbs, ( as mentioned on Susie’s blog) if the source can ever be confirmed.

http://www.susie-mallett.org/2009/07/do-not-ask-me-what-i-can-do-for-child.html and


Perhaps a collection of such fully referenced quotes would be useful, though of course, it must always be remembered that statements can be distorted when used out of context.

Maguire, G. and Sutton, A. ed. (2004) Maria Hari on conductive pedagogy. Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education.