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Stormy weather...

August 14, 2007 11:10 AM

It was really coming down today when I left for work. I know it’s needed but when the day stays gloomy for most of the morning it can’t help but color your day.

An article on MSNBC confirmed something today that most parents of autistic children already know - autistic children don’t do well on standardized IQ tests. Duh. Standardized IQ tests have both language comprehension things and some interaction with the tester. Autistic people don’t do well with either - of course they’re going to score lower on a standardized test. But a doctor in Montreal administered tests that had little to no language things in them - I believe it’s the Ravens test - and found that autistic children scored just as high as average children and in many cases higher. (Average children showed no disparity.) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20226463/site/newsweek/from/ET/

This brings up another complaint that I’ve always had - people are NOT and NEVER WILL BE “standard” or “average” or “normal”. Those standards do not apply to the human race. Everybody has _something_ individual about them. Everybody.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people that excel or people that seem to fail. We should applaud and cheer or help as appropriate. But never treat them all the same. We are a world of individuals. No matter how the same another person appears to be they are different from everyone else. Period.

And that’s really where we get into trouble here - especially in the education field. It’s much easier, and much cheaper, to teach everyone in the same room, with the same materials, and a single teacher than it is to give students individual attention.

There’s some correlation in my head to the fact that families used to teach their children themselves - at least the basics. And there’s some correlation in my head to the fact that money should be divorced from eaching. And there’s some correlation in my head to the fact that this is just a problem that is a symptom of a larger problem as a whole.

When families used to teach their children the basics themselves then the load of teachers was less because less of them were needed.

When families used to teach their children the basics themselves then they in turn taught the basics to their children if they had them.

If money were divorced from teaching and teachers could teach just because they love teaching they would have the time to devote to each student as needed.

If money were divorced from teaching then corporations would have less of an input into what children learn or how they learn.

So what’s all this leave me with? (I’m going to ignore the fact of a larger problem and focus on education for the moment.)

It leaves me with the thoughts that...

1) We should be teaching our children ourselves as they grow up. If we don’t know how to teach them then we should be learning how to do so.

2) The teachers who excel at what they do should not be burdened by finances. We should be paying teachers according to how well their students do and not the subjects they are teaching. Nor should their motivation be money.

3) We should be testing each child on an individual basis. That’s a massive undertaking but I can’t believe a race of people as inventive as ours can’t find a way to do that and make it work. And test for both ability AND knowledge. Only then will we know if the teacher is doing their job. (Not to mention that would prevent teachers from prepping the kids only to past tests. As often happens now.)

4) We should be teaching each child on an individual basis.

Now those are all fine and dandy Ivory Tower ideals but in this society I doubt I will see any of them happen.

AND there are many problems in the things I’ve suggested and I’m sure that some of them won’t work. But there’s got to be a better way than what we’re doing RIGHT NOW. Because what we’re doing right now is NOT WORKING.

And y’know what? It starts with the parents. The people that are having kids are NOT taught how to teach their children and are even discouraged from doing anything but handing them over to the educational system as soon as possible where they can all be mass-produced into obedient little workers.

Can anyone really honestly argue that this is a good thing? Anybody? I know I can’t...




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