What is Conductive Education?
Conductive education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training, and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges. Developed in 1945 in Hungary by Dr. Andras Peto, conductive education is based on the theory that the central nervous system has the capacity to form new neural connections, despite neurological damage. By repeating tasks and integrating intentional movement with learning, the brain creates alternate paths to send messages to muscle groups, creating the desired movements. Through this, an individual can gain movement and skills, and achieve greater levels of independence.
The critical element of conductive education is the integration of motor-skill development with cognitive and emotional-skill development within a group setting. Most people with motor challenges do not learn exactly the same way as their peers. Conductive Education helps these students build their cognitive skills and helps them learn to use alternate strategies to learn.
Conductive Education represents a significant model and ideal for the treatment and well being of children and adults with neuromotor disabilities and their families. It is an educational system with the objective of re-organizing and re-learning human functionality which has been impaired due to damage to the central nervous system. This is especially helpful for adults and children with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke-Related Disabilities and Acquired-Brain Trauma.
Conductive Education provides learning processes in-group surroundings for children and adults with motor disabilities and for their families, guided by the Conductor. Education, teaching, and learning, according to this approach, are the central tools for developing an active personality, for learning ways for coping with real-life situations.
The starting point for the Conductive Education approach is the understanding that motor disabilities typical of adults and children whose central nervous systems have been damaged are a learning and/or educational problem, as well as a medical one. Conductive Education takes into account the fact that for the individual with severe motor disabilities, learning even the most basic movements, those that enable one to achieve simple goals or to perform uncomplicated acts, is sometimes enormously difficult.
Conductive Education’s uniqueness is the recognition that the disability, in and of itself, causes learning difficulties for children and offers education and teaching that will enable them to overcome these difficulties at home, at school, and in society. Conductive Education is based on the belief in the capacity of individuals for change.
Creating New Abilities Through Learning
Conductive Education believes that new abilities are created as a result of learning. Thus the goal is to mediate between the world and the child by creating within them new abilities and potentials rather than merely utilizing existing potential.
Three Factors Required in order to Achieve this Change:
- Faith that the change is possible for the individual
- A variety of flexible and effective teaching techniques
- A system that will allow the use of those techniques
Movement dysfunctions are the central feature of the impairments with which Conductive Education deals with. This means difficulty in movement among children and adults stemming from damage to the central nervous system (Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke-related dysfunction and Acquired- Brain Trauma). Basic human activities cannot be accomplished in a simple, reliable, predictable manner. The disturbances in movement affect position, motion, use of hands, speech, and daily routine activities i.e. essential human activities that connect the individual with his surroundings and, above all, affect learning.
Connecting the Mind to the Muscle
Without learning, everything we deal with will be impaired unless we adopt new and special methods that compensate for the implications of the problem of movement. Find news ways of connecting the mind to the muscle.
Although motor disabilities are permanent (currently), the goal of Conductive Education is to promote learning for the individual thereby diminishing the secondary, yet harmful, influence of the disability upon psychological development and upon social life.
Participating in society
Motor disabilities affect the individual’s ability to participate in society which then has influences on the mental level. Through Conductive Education Conductors (teachers) offer intervention also on the mental level: feelings, motivation, awareness, proficiency, and personality.
A Conductive Education method brings together and combines components that are separated, truncated, and disconnected in learning, in development, and in the lives of children with disabilities and their families:
On the social and emotional level the above have these common characteristics:
- Movement, motivation, and emotion
- Skills and understanding
- Ability and potential (in the present and future stages of development)
- Teaching and learning
- Body and soul
- Individual and societal
The word ‘conductive’ signifies a unique style of teaching whereby the main objective is to bring the student to a recognition that he can direct his own learning and derive pleasure in doing so.
What You Need to Know
The pleasure of learning becomes the driving force for solving problems stemming from motor disorders.
End of Part 1
Thanks to Rony Schenker, Academic Director of the Tsad Kadima Organization for the resource material for this article.
About Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati
The Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati teaches Conductive Education to children and adults to help them lead better, more independent lives. Conductive education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training, and development for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and other motor challenges.
The Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati is a Not-for-Profit Corporation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code. The School offers conductive education methodology as an educational option to students diagnosed with neurological based motor impairments, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges.
Copyright © 2019 The Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati. All Rights Reserved.
Address: 325 W 19th St, Covington, KY 41014
School Hours: 9am - 2:30pm