More About Conductive Education
Conductive education integrates medical knowledge with educational methods to enable the individual to learn how to gain control over his or her movements. Children are taught to see themselves as active and self-reliant participants in the world. The goal of CE is the socio-cultural integration of children with these motor disorders by assisting the child to develop an ortho-functioning personality. Orthofunction is the ability to solve the problems of daily living, such as dressing, eating, practicing personal hygiene, and other activities that are part of daily life and will allow the child to ultimately live as independently as possible. The achievements learned through conductive education increase confidence, self-esteem and provide problem-solving skills for daily activities. The following elements of Conductive education lead to effective outcomes for improved quality of life and the psychological wellbeing of the child and family.
- Conductor - Teachers: Our program features an international team of conductive education teachers that are trained in both the United States and Hungary, but all have received their certification from the Semmelweis University András Pető Faculty. Our conductor-teachers are uniquely trained professionals that specialize in working with students with motor challenges across the developmental domains.
- Group Instruction: Conductive education uses the dynamics of group interaction. This setting provides the opportunity for children to motivate and learn from each other, while in an age appropriate setting that allows social interaction.
- Environment: The classroom environment provides for security of the child. Equipment is unique to CE and includes slatted tables called plinths, ladder chairs, and boxes that promote body alignment and support the tasks designed to facilitate learning.
- Rhythmical Intention: Rhythmical Intention is a unique way of facilitation in conductive education that engages the student’s mental readiness to complete coordinated voluntary movements. Physical tasks are verbalized rhythmically to prepare the student mentally to approach the action and break complex movements into a motor plan.
- Facilitation: Facilitation in conductive education is any support given to help a student successfully complete a task. This can come in many different forms including manual or hands-on support from a conductor, the equipment that is selected and utilized, the words and rhythm provided to aid in coordination, and also the motivation that only a group setting can provide.
- Task Series: Each day the students participate in several task series within a group of their peers which focuses on developing specific motor skills in various positions. The conductor-teacher leads the tasks to help the child learn how they can break down and intend their movements in order to develop their voluntary movements and motor coordination, improving overall functional independence.
- Daily Routine: The conductive education daily routine covers every age appropriate activity which is a part of the student's daily life. The routine includes activities such as developing motor, self-care, playing, and academic skills within the group setting.
- Curriculum: Conductive education helps these students build their cognitive skills and helps them learn to use alternate strategies to accomplish common motor tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, dressing, and eating.
- Family Involvement: Conductive education is for the whole family. Prior to and throughout a student’s participation in the program, parents and caregivers are encouraged to engage in a collaborative partnership in their child’s learning and are welcomed into the classroom. Post-enrollment the conductor team will share progress with the family and advise on how to best assist in transferring what is learned in the classroom into the home and community settings.
Conductive education is a psycho-educational approach that focuses primarily on the child’s personality and lifestyle, integrating physiological and medical aspects. It is a combined special education and physical therapy, based on Pető’s theory that motor control can be learned. The approach focuses on improving the physical effects of a disability while motivating the individual to become independent and increasing their self-esteem. The desired outcome is maximal independence called orthofunction, which refers to the ability to enter school, the community, and ultimately the workforce with minimal or no artificial aids. This total approach to learning and training targets children under the age of six, when the potential for impact is greatest, and they can be prepared for the traditional classroom. “When you do not educate the child to be independent, you educate the child to be dependent” - Mária Hári, former director of the International Pető Institute.