September 12th, 2013

Conductive Education, developed as a system for educating (bringing up and teaching) disabled children and adults, with the aim of their living life actively for themselves despite disability, by educating the will to live their own lives.

Not a ‘therapy’ but a philosophy, at the heart of conductive styles of pedagogy, child-rearing and lifestyle.

Conductive, from Latin conduc-, ‘bringing together’ or ‘uniting – indicates integrating all aspects of teaching and learning, development and upbringing’, as a harmonious, integrated whole.

Not ‘leading’ or ‘guiding’.

Conductor, someone specifically trained in the skills of conductive pedagogy and socialised into the its values.

Not a combination of therapist, teacher etc. – not ‘multidisciplinary’ or ‘transdisciplinary’ but trained in the the unitary professional discipline of conductive pedagogy.

András Pető, originator of the conductive approach, born in Austria-Hungary in 1893, attended university and spent first part of his adult life in Vienna, Austria, escaped Nazis and Fascists, developed Conductive Education in Budapest, Hungary, in the late nineteen-forties, and died at his work in Budapest in 1967 on his seventy-fourth birthday.

Not a ‘neurologist’ or ‘researcher’ but a general physician emerging out of his time and place, with experience in rehabilitation of people with chronic conditions, who developed a personality-based practice to meet the demanding circumstances in which he and they lived their lives, and elaborated this as ‘conductive pedagogy’.

There are definitions of Conductive Education, all now out of date, in the major British English-language dictionaries

This is a working document: comments and suggestions are most welcome.