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Michael Williams

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Should education be handled the same way we handle specialized medical treatments, since we all have the same parts, yet learn differently.

My son and I have something in common, a learning disability that causes an issue with reading comprehension and attention / focus towards uninterested subject matter, commonly referred to as A.D.D. / A.D.H.D..

Now this disorder is a drop in the bucket compared to what other disorders may do to the learning process of the person affected. With that being said, even unaffected people have issues with learning subject matter. It's either the way it's being presented, a means of how it's being added together in their head, etc.

Now, why are we trying to force a mass majority of people through a learning core, shaped for learning process of a few? Memorization, even the way mathematical problems are being shown how to solve, some things are harder for some than they are for others, leaving them to think it's hard to learn for them, when really it's just being shown to them in a way that least related to them an their means of learning.

If we want to go ahead an accept that millions of kids an adults just aren't able to be taught, then go ahead, but I am pretty sure we're just not teaching them the right way for them.

Common Core makes sense only if you mean teaching common subject matter to students in a more catered fashion for the student and not the school body.

I had made a Ted Question a while ago stating how Games would be a great medium in which to teach students since most people are already learning a great deal of knowledge for whatever game they may be playing, and retain that knowledge over a long period of time. Now if a game can teach kids better than schools can, maybe we need to start taking more ques from games, at least in the action / reward center of teaching maybe.

Something needs to change, school is the foundation of anyone's life, and without it means a life of challenge an inequality.

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  • Oct 29 2013: I think you are right. We create an IEP for special needs students. We should be doing the same for every student. I am very much in favor of flipping - Give the student several ways to get the basic info - video of the lecture, books, articles, etc. and work on things in class with the teacher helping each student individually. Maybe that could be the start of the IEP for each student.
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    Oct 28 2013: I think you are right, but the problem seems to be of logistical nature. It would just be impossible to custom design a teaching/learning program for each individual.
    However, today with basically everything available on the internet, people can easily complement traditional teaching with other options available.
    For example, MIT has open courses that everybody can access. Or the Khan academy is another great options where complex matters are explained in a series of easy understandable videos.
    SO, it's just a question to look around and pick what best fits your needs.
  • Oct 28 2013: I agree with you totally. I also feel that the best learning by the students are from self learning AND being given a chance to question the content and inference of any given instruction materials in class. And the worst way of "learning" is to memorize the materials and not quite understand what the materials are related to real life and how to apply them to the situation with the particular student, instead of the examples given in the class notes to be memorized.
    Furthermore, the memorized materials without understanding them would not be retained by the students for long.
    A better approach would be to simplify the class materials and distribute them one or two days before the class time. The students are required to read/study them before coming to class. The class time then is devoted to questions and answers, and later the students are asked to be tested on several practical examples applicable to the class materials. No memorization is necessary , because the drills or tests are all "open-book". And the students are not required to do any homework, and would devote their time to self study the materials distributed before the day of the "class".
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    Oct 28 2013: What you describe is, in the profession, called "differentiated instruction." This has long been considered best practice in teaching- choosing among styles of delivery, of experience, and of engagement in a classroom setting and, in fact, creating a learning environment in which a variety of different models and methods are used even in a single classroom to reach students with different learning styles and history. Most students learn best by experiencing material in a variety of ways, inside and outside the classroom.