To help parents and children better understand what Conductive Education and learning is (and is not) we are doing a series of educational interviews and articles. This is Part 6 of a multi-part series. In addition, we are launching a Knowledge Resource Center for Conductive Education on our website. Let us know what you think!
Read Previous Articles in the Series
Part 4: Active Daily Routine = Progress
Rhythmical intention is one of the methods of facilitation used in Conductive Education. It expresses the interaction between two skills: language and movement. Language and movement can be integrated and can be mutually effective. Where movement facilitates the learning of language, speech serves the child in controlling movement.
The term ‘rhythmical intention’ consists of two elements: rhythm and intention. Combining speech and activity into a single circle of feedback means that the attainment of the goal into conscious and verbally directed. The verbal direction determines the action.
According to this method, which integrates the child’s motor, language, and intellectual skills and serves as a motivational element for activity, the child uses speech or internal language to express intent. Speech is accompanied by movements, which are executed rhythmically by counting or through the use of dynamic speech. The use of verbal regulation and rhythmical intention help the child with cerebral palsy to consciously initiate movement and to learn it cognitively thereby development voluntary control of his movements.
Connecting Language to Action
The use of speech is meant to connect language to action. Before executing a movement, the Conductor declares the intention and then he and the group repeat the declaration together. The group then executes the action while counting rhythmically or using dynamic speech, as determined by the specific difficulties of the group. As the movement is performed over and over again, internal speech alone is called upon to accompany it. When the movement becomes automatic there is no need for speech at all.
Conductive Education strives more to change the intention than to change the activity.
What is “intention?”
- Intention is a unique activity of human beings. It is a powerful initiative. The decision to act is rooted in dynamics, will power, effort and rhythmic harmony.
- Intention is an activity accompanied by internal modulation. Its signs can be voice, facial expression or gestures. Language is not only a mechanical link to the movement but also the perceptible sign of intention.
- Intention is the primary construct creating either coordination or dysfunction. General arousal of the basic demand to execute an action is the essence of intention.
- Intention and the achievement following in its footsteps together comprise the expression. It is complete when the individual learns how to execute an action, i.e. to achieve an intended goal (and not a sequence of actions that appear to be necessary to be learned) indicating that the intention was correct. This new internal organization is brought about by intention.
Rhythmical intention serves additional elements in Conductive Education
- It develops language and speech and encourages children to speak aloud in different positions thereby facilitating breathing and diction.
- It helps create harmony in the group and the coordination of group activities.
- It increases the attention span in an anticipated activity.
- It enables the group to regulate the timing of the activity.
- It enables the child to work actively.
Thus, the conscious learning element is expressed through rhythmical intention and then realized through the educational principles of active and willful personal responsibility of the child, integration of language and motor activity, and Conductor-student interaction. All this is accomplished through learning techniques and verbal task analysis included in the general activity within the context of the group.
End Part 6
Part 4: Active Daily Routine = Progress
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, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke-related Disabilities, Acquired-Brain Trauma, and other motor challenges