I have just read a blog posting from Ralph Strzałkowski about professionals and their options/requirements for keeping up to date with new developments and practices:
He uses his own profession of the Law as an example. As far as he can, see conductors do not keep up to date like this.
Longman’s Dictionary defines a profession as
‘a calling requiring specialised knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation’
and a professional as
‘characterised by or conforming to the technical and ethical standards of a profession’
These definitions should be applicable to Conductive Education but perhaps a more visibly united profession with an agreed policy of research, continuing professional development, agreed standards and a growing literature would help in opening up Conductive Education and removing the apparent secrecy.
Most professions have:
- A very active publishing field in the form of books, journals and research papers. In Conductive Education there is no currently produced journal recording developments, research studies and practice. Occasional books are published but not widely bought or read.
- A professional body to oversee standards, research, cooperation, publishing. There is no such body in CE. In some countries there are associations but each has its cultural agenda and not all actively promote CE to the wider world. As a professional librarian I was required to pay annual membership fees (based on my salary) to the UK Library Association in order to keep my qualifications, and received a monthly journal reporting developments in the field.
- Continuous research projects on the go. Academic interest in CE has diminished. There have very few reports published in academic journals the past ten years. Conductors need to become involved in their own projects and report them.
- Training institutions that publish and set up research. As far as I am aware very little has been published by the current conductor training organisations, either by individuals or as organisations.
- Regular conferences, both international and national, with published proceedings. CE has an International Congress every three years but ends up with a very full programme giving little time for each presentation. No proceedings since the 1st in 1990 have ever been published, only abstracts.
Conductors are a relatively new and small profession compared to some, e.g. medicine, education and the law. They have not had the years and numbers of people to build up a literature and reputation that older professions have.
Conductors are spread very thinly worldwide but modern technology should facilitate communication, discussion and cooperation.