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General overview

Conductive Education is an integrated educational approach developed by Andräs Petö (1893 - 1967), a Hungarian medical pedagogue, to enable children with cerebral palsy to cope in everyday life, in the Hungarian social context of the 1940s. This system is rapidly attracting parents and professionals from other countries, and conductive education is expanding in many countries. In 1993 the International Association for Conductive Education was founded and today driving education is recognised and practised in more than 170 countries. 


The method is practiced by drivers, trained in four years at the Petö Institute in Budapest or Wolverhampton University in Birmingam, who develop a comprehensive programme for children focusing on movement, sight, hearing, listening, understanding, speech, breathing, memory and knowledge. 

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Main objectives of the method

Conductive education postulates that every individual, regardless of age and degree of disability, can develop cognitively and become capable of producing new solutions, inventing movements and compensating reflexes in case of difficulties. In this perspective, Conductive Education creates the environmental conditions that allow the individual to find at any time the appropriate approach to act, communicate and increase his or her capacity for autonomy.


The method thus teaches the children: 

  • Autonomy

  • Control of motor functions

  • The coordination

  • Language development

  • Personal development

  • The learning process

  • Adaptability

  • Emotional exploration

  • Social interaction 

Specificities of the method

Fostering independence

  • This approach aims to promote independence and the perception of the patient's independence abilities, particularly by working on daily tasks. For example, each movement is thus decomposed to be better performed and repeated in the different postures inherent in daily life.

  • As Dr. Maria Hari wrote, the basic philosophy of conductive education is that "everyone must finish what they have started. This principle means that any function or action, even a thought, cannot be interrupted, it must be carried out. This also applies to people with disabilities, caused by structural alterations, who start an action and seem unable to finish it. The way to achieve this must be found. »


The emulation of the group

  • The method is also based on group emulation and the development of daily routines in the form of task series. 

Comprehensive and coherent care

  • The child is accompanied by a "driver" whose particularity is to be a polyvalent educator, trained in four years in psychology, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychomotricity, to design global exercises, as opposed to traditional more fragmented care and thus a global care of the child by the driver.


The courses alternate motor and cognitive exercises

  • The driver stimulates the child's gestures through verbal guidance called "rhythmic intent". It accompanies the participants' activities with a rhythmic verbalization, in the form of a nursery rhyme, a song or a simple sentence


The equipment used 

  • Very specific equipment has been developed to enable the exercises to be carried out. 

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Who is this method for ?

The method is intended for children with a motor disability (cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, hemiplegia, hemiparesis...) and children with a psychomotor developmental delay from 6 months. There are also groups for adults who have a secondary disability as a result of an accident. 

What parents say about it

"A human experience above all, because that is the goal. A very useful work week combining exercise and play. Marcello has made good progress because Mira (the Driver) has shown her her abilities. We learned a lot of movements and exercises that we repeat every day at home. "Testimony of Marcello's mother


Parents report the following different strengths:

  • Non-divided care: a single professional (the driver), who offers individualized, holistic (cognitive, affective, sensory-motor) care built (series of tasks, rhythmic intention: songs, voice, intonations and organization of the environment) with multidisciplinary skills (ortho, physio, ergo...)

  • Parental coaching and parental involvement 

  • An integrated process that aims at autonomy: decomposition of movements and repetition for a better anchoring but through all acts of daily life, with regularity, intensity (duration of session), for more autonomy and with an inclusive aim

  • A positive attitude of the professionals: a positive view of skills and evolution capacities. A caring, encouraging, facilitating attitude... "we have really regained confidence in our child's abilities"

  • Reasonable costs, due to the group

Scientific references

Conductive Education in New York City  : parental perceptions and expereinces, Janelle Daniels, 2003,


Conductive Education - A Critical Appraisal, Arve Vorland Perdersen 2000,


Evaluation of conductive education for children with cerebral pasly  : final report, Phillip James Baristow, 1993,

To know more about the topic

My Child at, Conductive Education (


French Association for Conductive Education (


The Petö method or conductive education, ASPG (

Facebook: Centre d'Education Conductive de Paris, and many other groups for each region.

Any remarks or comments ?

This work is based on a collaborative approach to sharing research and family experience.

If you have any comments, suggestions for modifications or corrections or clarifications to make, please let us know by email at

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