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Danielle's picture

Neurodiversity and Education

Professor Grobstein proposed some very interesting questions in our last seminar that I feel need to be addressed further:


- Does education currently enhance or diminish neurodiversity?

- Should education enhance or diminish neurodiversity?

- What practices do/ would contribute to either objective?


I never quite thought about how objective and narrow minded education has evolved into. I feel that as a child, in lower school (pre-school and kindergarten), teachers and academia focus on developing a child’s independence and creativity through a non-structured teaching environment. As a child it is important to develop mentally and emotionally by interacting with the environment with minimal academic structure. Why does academia feel the need to make teaching environments structured and even more narrow minded in high school and professional schools? Academia always rewards individual and independent thought, but does not promote this in classroom teaching methods. Education has diminished neurodiversity but embraces and praises those individuals who can break from the mold that academia has created. A lack of neurodiversity in education has inadvertently evolved from the need to keep the learning environment as efficient as possible. Independence of thought has been overcome by the need to be efficient in the classroom environment. I think education should be more focused on teaching people to develop independence of mind and thought, while simultaneously teaching important subject matter. Diversity of perspective can only come about if students are allowed and encouraged to explore their individuality and develop their own opinions and visions about the world. I think the key to increase neurodiversity in academia is to make more seminar like courses, in which discussions are prompted by important subject matter to the given academic department.


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