What is Conductive Education?
Conductive Education (CE) is an approach to helping people with cerebral palsy (CP) overcome motor dysfunctions while developing healthy self esteem. CE asserts that human life and development go beyond medical and social characteristics and include among others, psychological ones. As with all quality education programs, CE seeks to create independent, self-directed learners who build their own ways to mainstream into society and function as equals.
Where and when did Conductive Education begin?
A Hungarian-born Jewish physician and professor András Petõ developed CE throughout the 1920s and 1930s, in Budapest. Following Professor Petõ's observation, that rehabilitation and education on motor dysfunctions results in dysfunctional personalities, his new method encouraged children with CP to take responsibility for their lives. He called it seelische Heilung, healing of the soul.
Professor Petõ continued working with children and adults with motor dysfunctions from the late1940s until his death in 1967, when his student, Dr. Mária Hári, assumed his practice.
In the mid 1980s, following a BBC television documentary on Conductive Education, popular enthusiasm spread quickly from the United Kingdom to Israel. Here, families of children with CP who watched the documentary decided to explore the method directly. They began traveling with their children to Budapest for long periods (up to three years) of practicing in CE.
Who is the conductor?
Conductors are special education teachers who provide CE for children and adults with CP and motor dysfunctions. Conductors are specially trained and certified in conductive pedagogy.
Four-year training program for conductors, in Budapest, has, since the mid-1980s trained students from outside of Hungary as well.
Conductive Education and Cerebral Palsy Studies
The Conductive Education and cerebral palsy studies is an innovative program to prepare special education teachers to become specialists in the field of Conductive Education, and continue on to work in Israel with the population of CP and other motor disabilities. The theoratical contant of the program is derived from the theory of Conductive Education, and from various bodies of knowledge in the fields of education, rehabilitation, medicine and therapy.In their work, the Conductors are required to integrate these various bodies of knowledge, and create an optimal educational environment for learning and development. These studies take place over a three-year period of time and includes theoratical courses that integrate practical, hands-on experience. The studies include a broad range of general educational studies such as special education, medicine, rehabilitation, and psychology. Along with the theoretical studies are accompanying practical experience in order to allow the students to acquire work skills in accordance Conductive Education principles with the target population, with their parents and other family members.The lecturers in this course are professionals in the area of special education from Israel and abroad.The instructional methods include lectures, observations, workshops, hands-on experience and personal guidance.The program affords those who complete the course a certificate as a rehabilitative education specialist (Conductor), capable of working with the population with CP, in variety of different ages.
Amongst the various subjects learned are:
History and fundamental concepts.
Environment of Conductive Education.
Evaluation and documentation.
Anatomy and neuro-anatomy.
Cerebral palsy and related motor disorders.
Medical issues of people with cerebral palsy.
Grapho-motor skills and play.
Assistive technology and devices.
Allied health professions.
Developmental psychology of people with CP.
Brain and learning.