Conductive Education, or CE, is an educational system that has been specifically developed for children and adults who have motor disorders of neurological origin such as cerebral palsy. It is based on the premise that a person who has a motor disorder may not only have a medical condition requiring treatment, but may often have a major problem in learning that requires special education. The spread of CE throughout the world has probably in large part been due to the advocacy of families who appear to have lost confidence in the existing systems of treatment. These families strongly regard CE as a potentially effective response to their needs. Because of the successes and interest in Conductive Education, other scholars have begun to examine the CE approach. Research studies of the efficacy of conductive education have been inconclusive, however.
- 1 Origins of conductive education
- 2 Key principles of CE
- 3 The components of Conductive Education
- 4 Research
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
Origins of conductive education
Conductive Education’s origin lies in the works of Professor András Pető.
Key principles of CE
A) The child is a unified whole
The detrimental effects of a brain injury impede the whole development of the child, therefore practitioners of conductive education prefer a treatment that considers the individual as a unified whole and provides an overall, holistic intervention. Holistic means that everything in life, the total functioning of the individual, personal development and social organization, is seen as interdependent, interconnected, multi- leveled, interacting and cohesive. This idea of “whole” underpins the system from which Pető thought that children with motor disorders would benefit.
B) CE targets the whole personality
Allport wrote that “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his characteristic and behavior and thought.” This definition implies that personality is not just a sum of traits, one added to another, but rather that the different traits are held together in a special relationship to the whole. Dynamic implies that the individual's personality is constantly evolving and changing. From time to time and from one situation to another, there are changes in the structural organization which are influenced by the concept of self.
Conductive education attempts to build up the impaired children’s personalities gradually in a manner appropriate to their age. In Pető’s system, the individual is not a recipient of treatment, s/he is an active participant in the learning process. CE is conceived of as a partnership between educator and learners to create circumstances for learning- it is an all day learning process 
C) Activity and intention
Pető asserted that restoring the interrupted learning process is not possible without the active participation of the individual, and that consequently passive exercises or patterns cannot change or improve the functional stage of the individual.
D) Continuity and consistency
In conductive education, continuity is considered necessary to reinforce a new skill. An opportunity to use the same skill for many different tasks is also considered essential. The system has to provide possibilities for children to practice emerging skills not only in specific learning situations but in the many inter-connecting, in-between situations of which life consists. In order to achieve this, CE turns any given part of a child’s day into a learning situation.
E) CE is an interdisciplinary model
Pető believed that, in order to provide a unified treatment, it is vital that the group of professionals who are responsible for the program have training based on the same philosophy and relevant practice. Instead of a multidisciplinary approach, Pető applied an interdisciplinary model where a single specially trained group of professionals are responsible for the planning and implementation of the whole process.
The components of Conductive Education
Pető’s system consists of many interrelated facets. While the elements of this system can be identified and analyzed, these elements cannot be used separately from each other. Conductive educators believe that conductive education works only as a unified system, not as a composite or amalgamation.
Conductive Education as a system has six significant components.
The Daily Routine
The Rhythmic Intention
The Task Series
Conductive education has been assessed in only a few controlled studies which have focused mainly on progress in motor skills, and the method has been compared to traditional physiotherapy. These studies have failed to demonstrate the superiority of conductive education.(Statement is not referenced, needs to be updated) There has been no scientific examination of long-term success or cost effectiveness .
A review that included less well-designed studies concluded that the research literature did not provide conclusive evidence either in support of or against conductive education, and that the limited number of studies and their poor quality made purely evidence-based decision-making about conductive education impossible.
- Sutton, A (1999) Towards Conductive Education. In ISBN 978-963-85499-2-1
- Tatlow A (October 1980). "Towards a comprehensive motor education in the treatment of cerebral palsy". Physiotherapy 66 (10): 332–6. PMID 7465657.
- Allport, Gordon W. (1961). Pattern and Growth in Personality. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers. ISBN 0-03-010810-1.
- Hurlock, Elizabeth Bergner (1973). Personality development. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-031447-0.
- Sutton, A. (1993) Ed. Conductive movement therapy as special education. By Pető,A The Conductor. No.18, p. 37
- Sutton, A. (1998). Conductive Education As Exemplar Of The Emerging Paradigm Of Dynamic Inclusion, With New Emphases For Educational Research. Paper Presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 17–20 September 1998 
- Forssberg, Hans and Birgit Rösblad, Conductive education -an educational program for children with cerebral palsy, Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care, 2000 
- "Darrah J, Watkins B, Chen L, Bonin C. Effects of conductive education intervention for children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy: an AACPDM evidence report. Rosemont, IL, USA: American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM), (AACPDM Evidence Report), 2003: 34." (PDF).
 Paces School for Conductive Education is a DCSF approved school for children with motor disorders.
 The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education - United Kingdom. Helping children with cerebral palsy throughout the south of England.