Conductive education: A functional skills program for children with cerebral palsy

Helen Bourke-Taylor*, Roberta O'Shea, Deborah Gaebler-Spira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Conductive education (CE) is an educational approach for children with cerebral palsy. This paper describes the history of conductive education, and the characteristics of current programs that exist in many countries. The underlying principles and the unique techniques used in CE programs are described. These include the role of the conductor or class leader; facilitations (teaching strategies) known as rhythmic intention, task series, and described equipment; and the structured program. The importance of the group setting and the impact on motivation, and the development of self-efficacy within each child are described. The perspective of children and families who pursue CE is discussed. Existing evidence evaluating CE is summarized and recommendations for expanding the evidence base are made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Conductive education
  • Disability
  • Group process
  • Self care skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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