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Jill Bean's picture

Brains, education system, and accommodations

This morning we all agreed that all brains are different, due to the different genetic influences, different inputs, and the different architectural structures.  Paul then made the statement, "We all understand that everyone is different, but the education system doesn't treat people like they're different."  Then a conversation about special ed, accomodations, and individual responsibility arose. 

I'd like to argue that many special education programs and accomodations that teachers and schools use are actually designed to help those kids become like everyone else, to reach the same external goal that is applied to each child at a certain age.  The education systems seem to say that everyone needs to learn the same content, the same skills, and to the same extent.  If there are children who are not reaching those goals, they will make accomadations to help them reach those expectations.  Those programs do not seem to look at the child and consider what is important for that child to learn, what skills will be valuable to that child, and to what extent that child should learn things.  Now I fully acknowledge to ask a teacher to do so for a group of 30 kids is unmanagable and unreasonable.  But I do think the education system can be changed to better consider the variety of brains that exist and to consider Paul's question: What can you be best at, rather than what does the school board decide you should be?

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