One contributor to the achievement gap that people don’t seem too focused on these days is what, in this old post from Out In Left Field, I have called the “advocacy gap.”
On the other hand, I’m wondering whether the ways in which The Powers that Be in education are trying to narrow the achievement gap have made even this amount of advocacy totally ineffective.
So much of math instruction is learning and mastering vocabulary. Parallel lines, isosceles triangle, rotations, 180 degrees: Students can learn all of these terms and more through movement. Here’s an example warm-up sequence we do to get ready for math class.
First, my students start with what we call “isosceles triangle,” or “mountain” in yoga terminology: We spread our feet about two feet apart, firmly planted on the floor. Then, we take a moment to trace the three sides of the triangle with our hands. We start at the top point (our belly button) and move down one side, across the base, and up the third side.
The latest nonsense from Edutopia has me thinking of the Lament for Geometry Proofs I once posted on Out In Left Field:
(Cross-posted at FacilitatedCommunication.org.)
This is the second in a series of occasional critiques of a series of articles co-authored by Morton Gernsbacher. Collectively, these articles attempt to present evidence for the redefinition of autism upon which the plausibility of FC depends: namely, the notion that autism is not (despite eight decades of research to the contrary) a socio-cognitive disorder, but rather a motor disorder.
Today’s article, Gernsbacher, Sauer, Geye, Schweigert, and Goldsmith (2008), is titled Why does Joint Attention look Atypical in Autism. Joint attention, discussed here, occurs when two people jointly attend to the same object or stimulus.
Most of the autism miracle cure memoirs I’ve read recently have been about kids who are purportedly unlocked through some form of facilitated communication. But there’s another variety out there involves kids who appear to undergo genuine recoveries: e.g., Let Me Hear Your Voice and The Boy Who Loved Windows.
A recent conversation with a friend looking to hire someone to his bioinformatics team has validated what I’ve long been saying. If you want a decent programmer, either:
1. Hire a math major
2. Hire a programmer who is at least 40 years old.
As far as I can tell, not much has happened since I first posted this on Out In Left Field:
…Actually, while metaphors proliferate in facilitated communication (as in “My senses always fall in love / They spin, swoon”, attributed to Deej), I’m not sure I’ve seen a single good example of irony in facilitated speech.
Anyway, my post on metaphor naturally segues into another old post from Out In Left Field, this one on irony.
Autism Diaries: Irony and Jokes
Those parents who have some degree of school choice, I suspect, pick their kids schools for the peers at least as much as for the academics.
But how does this mesh with the premise of The Nurture Assumption?
Here’s what I wrote earlier:
Here’s an alternative to the narrative we keep hearing about.
My son was not the valedictorian of Drexel University.
He did not stand at a podium and output a speech.
He did not win a single prize.
He did not graduate with honors.
It took him 7 years to graduate.
He got zero media coverage.
He does not have a $90,000 grant from the Soros Foundation to get an advanced degree at a prestigious school, and his next steps remain unclear.
(Cross-posted at FacilitatedCommunication.org)
In a series of occasional posts that start today, I’ll be going through a half dozen articles co-authored by Morton Gernsbacher, a psycholinguist at the University of Wisconsin. Collectively these articles attempt to present evidence for the redefinition of autism upon which the plausibility of FC depends: namely, the notion that autism is not (despite eight decades of research to the contrary) a socio-cognitive disorder, but rather a motor disorder. More specifically, autism is, purportedly, a disorder in which intentional motor movements, including speaking and pointing, are difficult or impossible to perform.
Your children are not your children.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
Facilitated communication has extracted all sorts of figurative language from minimally-speaking autistic individuals, for example, this, from Deej:
The ear that hears the cardinal / Hears in red;
The eye that spots the Salmon / Sees in wet
My senses always fall in love / They spin, swoon;
They lose themselves in / one another arms.
Of course, all the evidence suggests that facilitated metaphors come from the facilitators.
Meanwhile, the evidence-based research on autism suggests that autistic individuals have actually have difficulty with metaphors.
But there’s a catch. Here’s on old post from Out in Left Field that I just put back up: