Susie Mallett

small66711@aol.com

Friday, 15 October 2010

No need for a spectacle

First published on Conductor on Sunday, 14 September 2008

As I refered to this posting in the previous one I thought it appropriate to follow on with it.

The Traveller, 2003 by Susie Mallett


I have been away again

Two weeks with one family and one week with another, and as usual the work was great. Of course there are ups and downs, and the children decide enough is enough and go on strike, but its all part of life and therefore conductive upbringing.

On my return to my computer I have just read on, Conductive Education World, Andrew Sutton’s “Relevant thought? A discussion point at least…?"

And it got me thinking

I go to work in many places being a self-employed, peripatetic conductor and through this I have discovered that there are places where Conductive Education/upbringing takes place, with or without conductors, with or without the furniture, with or without a big institute and there are also places where it is not taking place.

It is of course possible to build your “arena” for conductive upbringing with bricks and mortar, you can fill it with the best equipment, plus ladderback chairs, plinths, wall bars and boxes, you can import some conductors or send some students off to be trained, but does this mean that there will be Conductive Education/upbringing?

Not necessarily.

I visit families for whom Conductive Education is completely new and they are working with their disabled child more “conductively” than some families who have been sending their child to a “ conductive” group for many years.

I have worked in some places where the “conductive group” is just that, a group which works conductively for a few hours a day or a week but the work does not extend outside the group into the daily life, to home to school etc.. Sometimes it does not even extend as far as the car (as I mentioned in "Time for finding your feet ", August 30th 2008).

I have worked in family situations where every one from little sister to great-grandfather are involved in the “upbringing” of the whole family and where the concept of conductive upbringing filters into every minute of daily life, and not only for the disabled child, everyone is influenced by it.

Even in the newest initiative with lots of funding behind it conductive upbringing can only take place when understanding is there and the will to make change is there, when the wish to “nurture and to educate and socialise children in their entirety” is there.

This quote comes from Andrew Sutton’s description of conductive upbringing at the beginning of Mária Hári on Conductive Pedagogy. He goes on to define it as implying more than just academic education but also as “ the creation, direction and correction of personal traits, behaviour, values and morals”.

I believe that the term conductive upbringing as Mária Hári described it and used it, has still not been fully understood everywhere where “conductive education” is being practised, the term Conductive Education having replaced it in general use and the concept then becoming one of academic education and not of upbringing.

Conductive upbringing is more than teaching, it is more than an education at “school”, it is something much wider involving many people and all aspects of a child’s life and personality.

Successful conductive upbringing does not depend on how big and polished and grand the arena is, on how many conductors are on hand, on how many hours a day a child spends in a conductive group, it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a system.

I believe that conductive upbringing can take place anywhere, not only in the arena, if given the creative atmosphere and interest, and of course the Seele!

Notes

Spectacle: something exhibited to view as unusual, notable, or entertaining ; especially : an eye-catching or dramatic public display
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectacle

Andrew Sutton - Conductive Education World, “Relevant thought? A discussion point at least…?" September 8th, 2008.

Mária Hári on Conductive Pedagogy, Translations, terminology and statistics.
Edited by Gillian Macguire and Andrew Sutton
ISBN 1-897588-24-0

Comments:

Norman said...

Suzie, on reading "It is of course possible to build your “arena” for conductive upbringing with bricks and mortar, you can fill it with the best equipment, plus ladderback chairs, plinths, wall bars and boxes", I was reminded of Andrew once saying "It's not about the bloody furniture!". The thought amused me then and amuses me still.

Laszlo said...

Susie,

there is a phrase in Hungarian: A szambol vetted ki a szot! which shortly means I was going to say this...

Laci


Susie Mallett said...

Norman, I did think about including this "Suttonism" but decided to leave it unsaid, it appears my instincts were right, my readers knew exactly what I really wanted to say anyway!

One of the reasons that I like working with children at home is because there is no "furniture" to get in the way of the understanding!

Laci, you also often "take the words right out of my mouth".

Susie


Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD said...

Talking about 'best eqipment'and'Suttonism'my association was of Andrew's ciniq writing about those visitors who think that 'singing rimes over wooden ladderback plinths" is what conductive upbringing is all about...

3 comments:

  1. Susie,
    I agree with you when you say: "I believe that the term conductive upbringing as Mária Hári described it and used it, has still not been fully understood everywhere where “conductive education” is being practise ". In fact I just had conversation with my conductor friend in Winnipeg about it.

    I might be a bit controversial with saying this but I think its because the understanding of conductive education is not consistent within the conductive professional. One of our lectures at University said that her understanding of conductive education changed with time. It was different from when she started studying it, evolved when she finished her degree, changed again when she had 5 years and at 10 years, etc. .
    Im in total agreement with it, my understanding of it changes a lot and it is really like it develops with the more experience I gain. Lately, I have been more aware of the importance about increasing motivation, creating activity and allow spontaneity to happen.It's not that I never heard about those things before, they are a huge part in the training to become a conductor, but relevance and interrealationship between each thing we do become more apparent with time. It actually starts to have a meaning to me that I'm more able to verbalize which I know couldn't before.

    I think in the beginning you work a lot on developing your teaching skills and when you become more confident with them you are able to really explore each aspect of CE with fresh eyes and learn.

    I do have a question: what do you mean by" it depends on ... to develop a system? I feel I might not fully understand it.

    Aenna

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  2. Anne,

    yes I think you are right some conductors do feel that they need to develop their teaching skills when they first begin working as conductors. Others have a need to develop different skills. I think this is very much dependent on where they work and what experience they already have.

    I had been a teacher and an art therapist for several years before trained as a conductor.

    When I began to work as a conductor I began immediately to work as a pedagogic upbringer and I developed these skills. These were the skills that I wished to acquire and the reason for my studying at the Petö Institute.

    Conductive work takes place all over the world in a way that suits the country, the users and/or the providers. In the case of self-employed conductors, to suit conductors too.

    It is the pedagogy that directs how we work, the type of practice takes its shape from the situation that we find ourselves in.

    Yes, I think too that the understanding that we have of conductive pedagogy develops with time.

    I have never worked in a country where the work is known as conductive education so my understanding of the work of a conductor has always been that it is nevelés, Erziehung or Förderung, Upbringing or development. I think that this has had a huge influence on how I understand it.

    Our aim as conductors is to guide our clients, children or adults, so that their lives becomes conductive. The conductor is present in the clients' life as much or as little as is necessary or that the situation allows.

    The conductor also educates the other up-bringers and carers of the clients so that the whole life transforms into a conductive upbringing.

    This will result in the client using their full potential in all situations with the assistance required given at the right moment, but not necessarily by a conductor.

    For me conduction never meant working for an isolated three hours with my client, it always meant reaching further a field, visiting and working together with as many of the people as possible who are involved in the twenty-four-hour day of the client.

    If I had written this posting today I am sure that I would have worded the sentence you ask about differently. I would almost certainly have used the words conductive lifestyle in stead of system. That is:

    “it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a conductive lifestyle”.

    For a conductive upbringing to be successful we need cooperation between lots of people with transformations continuously taking place as conductive living seeps into every aspect of a client's life.

    Susie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Susie...

    Thanks for your long response.

    I really like the phrase "it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a conductive lifestyle".

    I also agree that Conductive upbringing should reach in all aspects of the person's life. I feel that the way I work now (independently) I have a better opportunity to do so than I had before working in a center. Also working with all aspects of the clients life was encouraged and we tried as good as we could. Different circumstances meant that some clients CE upbringing stayed at the center.

    I think you made a good point with this sentence: "I have never worked in a country where the work is known as conductive education so my understanding of the work of a conductor has always been that it is nevelés, Erziehung or Förderung, Upbringing or development. I think that this has had a huge influence on how I understand it" .

    I think that sometimes peoples understand education as something that happens in an educational setting kindergarten,school, university etc, so somewhere else. Not necessary, as something that happens at home.

    And you are right, its our job to change this.


    Aenna

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