What is Conductive Education?

The Conductive Education system was developed in Hungary by physician and educator András Petö after World War II in 1945. His methods were based on the idea that despite damage, the nervous system still possesses the capacity to form new neural connections, which ability can be mobilized with the help of a properly guided, active learning process.
The objective of Conductive Education is not to directly change a certain disability but to integrate and coordinate various functions. It would be unrealistic to expect the motor disabled to coordinate various functions if practiced separately and to see them operating these functions in a complex and integrated way.

The Petö Conductive Education Program teaches the motor disabled to carry out coordinated and integrated actions through comprehensive education and daily routines. This program does not require special machines, instruments and auxiliary aids with advanced technology. The principle is that it is not the environment that has to be changed, but the motor disabled person needs to adapt to the environment.

The Petö Institute in Hungary has been training college level Conductors since 1963 who supply these Conductors to the rest of the world. In the last decade, other nations have established teaching schools to handle the overwhelming need for Conductors worldwide. The United States has followed suit by establishing its first Conductive Education Laboratory School at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Michigan in 1998.

Conductive Education Summarized by Conductor, Virag Czibok

Conductive Education is a developmental method to teach everyday life skills to children and adults with motor disabilities. It teaches the participants in the program how they can use and improve their skills to achieve their maximum abilities and take an active part in life. It is a lifestyle. Conductive Education covers all aspects of human development—physical, cognitive, communication, language, social and emotional. It is based on motivation.

Conductive Education is practiced by conductors. They have at least four years of training at the Conductors College attached to the Petö Institute in Budapest, Hungary. During their training they are involved in practical work for approximately 20 hours per week while also studying academic subjects including psychology;, child development; teaching methods of writing, reading, music, mathematics and art. Non-educational subjects included in the course are symptomatology, the basics of functional and neuroanatomy, neuropsychology and history of rehabilitation. At the end of the training, students write a thesis and take final comprehensive exams.

The characteristics of the Conductive Education Centers of Florida's program for children are:

  • Daily Routine: As the frame of the program, the daily routine gives students structure, continuity and the order for the activities. Arriving and walking into the room, mat activity, concept time, toilet training and lunch are as much an important part of the day as the task series.
  • Program Development: The physical and cognitive development goes on throughout the day and is applied in every activity, making the program somewhat complex. The same task series are completed throughout the program with different topics and themes built around them. By observing the children's cognitive and developmental needs regularly, we can prepare better guidelines to develop the appropriate tasks and games to meet the needs of the individual child.
  • Motivation: This is very important for every child. For children, the best motivator is play. Songs and nursery rhymes are part of the children's lives and they are also an essential part of the program. Music helps to focus their attention and makes the task series more interesting and comprehensive.
  • Group: The group setting is the best learning environment for children. Most of the activities in conductive education are based on group, while still focusing on individual needs.
  • Facilitation: This is the way each child is assisted manually or verbally to successfully accomplish a task. Each child receives a different type of facilitation with the goals of learning independence, experiencing success and discovering their maximum potential.

Conductive Education provides opportunities for motor disabled children to actively experience childhood as other children do. Parents are fully involved in the child's education program; first, by working alongside their child by motivating and encouraging them during the early ages, then actively participating in the annual goal settings. Being a part of conductive education helps parents recognize their child's skills and needs. They learn about developing physical, cognitive and social skills at the need or age-appropriate level and learn to set realistic expectations.

You'll be amazed by the results!