Thursday, August 3, 2017

--- Intelligence 6 ---

Robert P. Echter's article, "Working With Children's Powers Not Their Handicaps" offers little in the way of adventure but the contents are worth looking  over if you work with children, especially children with academic problems.

If you have academic problems, something that makes your brain lock up when you are confronted with something new or difficult, I would emphasize the main thread of the piece - find your areas of strength and approach the problem from our strengths rather than your weakness.

In my own case, I'm dyslexic and, reading something like this paper would take so long as to be prohibitive, so I don't read it. I am perfectly capable of understanding the contents but I simply use a more effective way of taking it in - for me. I have a program called Natural Reader ( Anything I can copy, and almost every format of text file will work, I can paste into this program and it will read it back to me. The voice it uses is very easy to get used to and I use it for most of my "reading". I also take advantage of the free readings from Libravox, a website that provides a wide range of books read by volunteers. When I go to bed at night, I will usually listen to a selection of classics - literature or major scientific pieces. Tonight I am listening to Balzac's, The Ball at Sceaux. I downloaded that from the Gutenberg Project as an HTML file and have copied it into the Natural Reader. It's rather long so I will likely split it into a couple of sections.

Most of the people in the job readiness classes I taught  never managed to grasp fractions in school. That seemed to be a primary barrier in mathematics - yet they seemed to have little trouble with it in our classes. The difference is that most public schools use one model of teaching only and that model is oriented toward teaching the average person with the common academic strengths. The further a person is from that average, the more difficulty they have in a standard classroom. But there are many different approaches available for learning anything.

"Learning disability" is a misnomer. A more accurate description would be "learning difference". Where I have a problem absorbing text, I have no such problem with lectures, videos, or materials that are read aloud. My memory has never been great but a memory system like the one described in The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas eliminates that problem for me.

The problem is that, what works for me may not work for you. No one perfectly fits the "model student". Learning the best approach for you will open up a fascinating world of lifelong learning, and finding the best approach is a great adventure in its own right.

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