Odd little turn of events. I got deleted. Along with Molly Brown and her Mum.
"I cannot endorse a program on my Facebook page that does not have research to back it up." So said Diane Jordan on her Facebook page "Special Kids, Special Teachers, Special Hearts" - "A place to share ideas on special education I gathered over the years from working with amazing people, my own experience and reading. Join the discussion." Except that Diane doesn't really want people to "join the discussion" which is why you will not find a link to the quotation that is the subject line above. It's gone. Presumably, she deleted it. Along with the contributions from Molly Brown's Mum and myself and any mention of conductive education.
In place of the deleted thread, appeared this, a little later:
"There are many programs available to families with special needs. Unfortunately, many are not based on research, science or anything other than trying to make money. They may say they have research behind them, but if you dig into the research it has been done by their own staff and not collaborated. I am not saying it may not have helped your child, but I am asking for you not to post this information on here. I welcome your personal stories and feelings, but please do not post links to programs and schools. Thank you for all your support." (There's a bit of 'previous' to this on Diane's website, a posting in December 2013. )
Molly's Mum had posted a Comment on the Facebook page about conductive education and its benefit to Molly. As it happens, this fragment remains of Diane Jordan's reply:
Research. Research? One of the papers she posted "for others to look at and make their decisions" including the infamous Birmingham Report from 1994.
This was the Comment (over long, I admit, and a bit "off the cuff") that Diane removed so that "others could NOT look at and make their own decisions".
"Please let this be the end of the discussion". You dismiss Molly Brown rather too readily, I feel. There is a rewarding conversation to be had about conductive education provided that the starting point is pedagogy, special curricula and initial teacher training – and not medical interventions. All the “research” that you will find on the internet relating to CE is located in or derives from the latter and not the former. The research studies that you have listed for your readers all fall into this category. (BTW The 2nd study which you refer to includes the now discredited ‘Birmingham Report’ Bairstow, Cochrane and Hur Report). It is as will to remember that a better translation of the original Hungarian is not “conductive education” but “conductive pedagogy”). Here is a fundamental problem.
Another fundamental problem is that in none of the research that you will find is there a common and accepted definition of “conductive education” as a starting point for the “research”. Bluntly, the researchers too readily accept that what they are studying is conductive education because the participants tell them it is.
A third fundamental problem arises when we seek the research basis (in pedagogy, special curricula and ITT) of contemporary professional practice in mainstream and special schools, educating children with, for instance, cerebral palsy. I think you will find there is precious little ‘research’ that supports what teachers do.
When we move from education to upbringing, the situation (which confronts parents daily and over years) as regards research is far, far worse. It is as well, too, to remember that in Hungarian, alongside “conductive pedagogy” there is a second term which might best be translated, again not by “conductive education” but by “conductive upbringing”. This, too, might be a rewarding area of continuing conversation.
If it is research that you and your readers want, of much greater potential interest is the research being undertaken in neuroscience, provided one clears out some of the common myths about the brain shared by teachers the world over. A good place to start might be http://www.nature.com/.../vaop/ncurrent/abs/nrn3817.html (The article can be downloaded following a simple registration process.) These are very early exploratory days in the collaboration between neuroscience and education but for those reflecting on how classroom teachers should go about their daily business, it might well prove a more fruitful area of research than medical research can possibly offer. (BTW In October 2013, Paces School in Sheffield - a conductive education nursery, primary and secondary school - was rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted. "Research" is not the only arbiter of best classroom practice, of teaching and learning.)