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[Xmca-l] Re: Conductivism

Here is what Andrew said when I asked him about Butterflies:

Dear Andy,
Yes, Lois Holzman is sort of right. Around 25 or so years ago the world was rather different from today and the BBC was easily persuaded to invest the small fortune that it took to make a number of documentary films around the theme of the transformability of human psychic development. Not only did I spark these off but served as 'technical advisor' to all of them and was quite closely involved in their making. The BBC distributed information to viewers who wrote in after seeing the programmes, and even published a small book. It was all great fun and for while I risked a little optimism, but the world changed... They were quite good films in their way. Not at a technical level, if by that one means in terms of how well they portrayed the psycho-educational principles and the philosophies that each concerned, but as propaganda that move people who knew. The director and writer had their own ideas of what could make powerful television and parts of all these films are technically weak at what I regarded as their central themes. What did I know, though? I was just pleased to let Ann Paul the producer/director and Michael Dean the writer have their head. One of the films enjoyed some critical acclaim and even for a time affected social policy at the national level (not The Butterflies of Zagorsk). Many professionals in the relevant sectors hated them. That was all fun too. The Butterflies of Zagorsk was a hour long, and perhaps it might have been better at more tightly edited at fifty minutes. At the superficial level it portrayed the work of the Deaf-Bind Children's Home at Zagorsk (now Sergiev Posad). that was the concrete heritage of Sololyanskii and Meshcheriyakov, and of course Il'enkov, represented in still living pedagogy and upbringing. More deeply it tried to convey the social-cultural/historical understanding of L. S. Vygotskii's social-cultural/historical understanding and what this implies. So, Lois Holzman rather overstated my role in all this. I did not make them and had no formal ownership. Ownership was with the BBC and the BBC is notoriously jealous of its intellectual property – hence their later absence from YouTube. One could for a while buy tapes of these films above board (at a fiendish cost) but following major reorganisation at the BBC, including closure of its Documentaries Department, this facility disappeared. A few years ago I wrote to ask about the present situation but could find no one at the BBC who knew even how to find out about this, and by then I knew nobody higher up who could lean on the organisation! As an an immediate response to your question about availability' of The Butterflies of Zagorsk I can give only the same answer that I have had to give so many times over the years. Unless you come across a copy of a pirated example somewhere, you may search in vain. I do not have one myself (the early nineties were tumultuous times for me), nor do I think that Ann Paul (long now retired) has either. I am in Germany for a few days at the moment but when I get back I shall follow one lead that occurs to me. Nil desperandum, but don't hold your breath! Of course, if your Portuguese is up to it, in the meantime you can watch this film on YouTube, under the title of As borboletas de Zagorsk.: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKnQt9F--NgHfOKHCpRwxKClD4Eo0lY87I suspect that this is a pirated version of a 'official' version sold abroad by the BBC, probably for broadcast in Brazil. It sold the film to other foreign broadcasting companies too, so a thorough search might find other leads.The Portuguese one references above is a terrible print, and of course probably loses something in translation of what the original actually said. Look up the Portuguese title on Google, though, and you will see that even so the film is still powerful enough to attract attention. Best answer that I can offer in my present situation, Andrew.

Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 5/08/2016 11:27 AM, Lois Holzman wrote:
Hi Andy,
I know of it through Andrew Sutton andrew@conductive-education.org.uk

http://e-conduction.org/ceinformation/category/andrew-sutton/ <http://e-conduction.org/ceinformation/category/andrew-sutton/>
http://www.blurb.com/b/1736366-internationalising-conductive-education <http://www.blurb.com/b/1736366-internationalising-conductive-education>
/http://www.specialworld.net/2016/04/05/conductive-education-the-unfinished-story/ <http://www.specialworld.net/2016/04/05/conductive-education-the-unfinished-story/>—read this one for the latest
http://www.conductive-world.info <http://www.conductive-world.info/>—Andrew's site

I met Andrew a long time ago because as the person who made the documentary Butterflies of Zagorsk (mentioned on XMCA a bunch of times) and learned of his work with conductive education from him.

I hope this is helpful.


Lois Holzman
Director, East Side Institute for Group & Short Term Psychotherapy
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On Aug 4, 2016, at 9:14 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

Does anyone know anything about "conductivism"?

I understand it is a school of educational psychology which is used in the education of severely disabled children, it came out of Hungary and they have an interest in Vygotsky. And I think the name is an allusion to the "conductor" of an orchestra.


Andy Blunden