Sep 01, 1995
Conductive Education is a system of educational practices, the aim of which is to “stimulate a developmental process that would not come about spontaneously, and which would continue subsequently” (Hari & Tillermans, 1984). It’s principles were developed in Hungary 45 years ago. The program is goal oriented (performing a task) and does not focus on the cause of a disability. Goals are established from an analysis of the tasks to be learned and are structured around the child’s underlying abilities. The enhancement of motivation and self-esteem are principle approaches. The primary objectives of Conductive Education are to promote maximum independence and the ability to enter school, the workplace and the community without the use of mechanical or electronic aids. Although directed at a large number of disabilities, children with disabilities due to cerebral palsy are a major group to whom this methodology has been applied. Sites where Conductive Education are offered have been established in several countries, including the United States.
A detailed description and analysis of Conductive Education was published in UCPA’s The Networker, Summer 1990 (Vol. 3, No. 3). A copy of The Networker was mailed to all UCPA affiliates previously.
Persons with disabilities, care givers, clinicians and educators have discussed Conductive Education over the years, some support it with enthusiasm; most consider it “another approach — sometimes useful, sometimes not”. All in all, there continues to be major differences of opinion about its efficacy and its role in the restoration of function in children and young people with disabilities due to cerebral palsy.
The scientific journal Infants and Young Children (Aspen Publishers) published several articles on Conductive Education in July, 1995 (Vol. 8, No. 1). The journal editor asked Dr. Murray Goldstein to provide a perspective about the materials presented and other available information about this subject.