Susie Mallett

Parent blog

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Two German wordsmiths

Self-portrait by the Aktiv wordsmith

Konduktive Förderung

In Germany many years ago the term konduktive Förderung was introduced by Fr. Dr. Prof. Karin Weber. It was believed that this would describe what it is that conductors do. I am not sure that it does but that is another story.

I have rarely used this term. I tend to speak in terms of upbringing, lifestyle and education, and conductive pedagogy, just as I did in Hungary when I was training to be a conductor. I simply translated these words for my own use into German.

The children in my groups in Germany, and their parents, have also avoided using this term and we all tend to just say ‘Petö’ in our everyday communication. This is how it has been right from the start here in Nürnberg some fifteen or more years ago. I think it is the same in much of Germany. I am quite happy to stay with this because it keeps everyone well away from any connections to therapy when we speak.

Aktive Förderung

Recently one of our teenagers invented her own new descriptive term for what she thinks it is that we do together. 

This young lady does not have profound problems with her speech but she is sometimes so excited and fast that she trips over her words and jumbles things up a bit. 

I wonder whether this was how she originally created the new term – then, liking the way it sounded, she stuck to it. However it originated it has stuck, and she began using it regularly. Gradually we all began to use her words to describe our work together while in her company and sometimes even outside her group.

We all now do what our inventive teenager calls aktive Förderung – active development, active education, active Petö!

The parents love it. ‘Yes’ they said when they first heard it, ‘Our children certainly are very active!’