As a teacher, what is your primary concern for ensuring that your classroom is a place where all types of children can learn? What do you need to do to ensure this? Post your response to the discussion board.
There are many learning disorders out there: ADD, ADHD, Autism, full-blown mental retardation, Asberger's Syndrome, and other emotional and behavioral disorders. Einstein was said to have autism. The over-diagnosis of ADHD is attributable directly to the strict hierarchies of classrooms. Rarely does any form of democracy pop up during High School classes, and with so much curriculum, we teachers need to stuff the student's brains with hour long lectures every day, for three months, mostly about basic instructions, what other choice do we have, but to Ben Stein lecture at them? We “Teach Others” so we're retaining 90% of our experience, as the Learning Pyramid points out, plus getting paid, becoming better public speakers, gaining a receptive audience, in a position of authority, maybe even a career, increasing our value, giving back to the greater good while the students barely can stay awake, falling asleep at their desk, drooling all over their outdated 12th Edition McGraw-Hill textbook hand-me-downs. If they're able to stay awake, then only 5% of that lecture will be learned through observing others, through osmosis. So perhaps that's why some of the students can't sit still in their seats. The human condition yearns for the polite and pleasant decorum of remaining seated and silent at behest mein Fuhrer to be smashed into oblivion. That's not ADHD. That's the pangs of freedom.
Gifted and Talented can be considered a learning disorder as well, for the same reasons listed above. The students who are smart enough to figure out all of the problems we put in front of them, can become bored, feel unchallenged and discouraged, as well as question authority. Teachers are required to teach to the middle of a classroom. We do not want to dumb the material down, which is condescending, but also, we shouldn't complicate our subjects with too much of the field's jargon, or their own form of legalese, even if speaking the rich language of Calculus is exactly what the doctor calls for what ails little Johnny or Sally.
WEB DuBois spoke highly about elevating a “talented tenth”, the intelligent children, the top 10%, in order to raise up Black people as a whole. That same philosophy transcends race. The Prussian-Industrial-Education-Complex can benefit greatly by elevating their best and brightest, harnessing creativity, focusing their imaginations towards positive constructive tangible forms. Those with the most talent, or potential, those with high I.Q.s, or other intelligences, Gardner points out 8 other intelligences, and physical motor skills takes genius, too... I recall coming across a study, but logic had preceded the study beforehand, but it still served as a reinforcer... but the study said the energetic, athletic, the doers, they are smart. They have neurotransmitters firing in more efficient ways. Exercising in the morning is a great way to wake up. One is more focused right after a workout, a run, a basketball scrimmage, etc. So America is slipping compared to world standards in the basic subjects, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, English, and that goes for electives too. Just in general, a society should want to improve from one generation to the next, and we're the Information Generation, and the Internet will always be with us, as long as Nuclear Winter never descends upon us, then it's smoothing cruising from here on to Red River Gorge.
Because we're all the same, yet we're all different, my number one focus is to make sure everybody feels included, and welcome. Some folks can be stubborn, but since I genuinely care about others, I hope those sentiments can transcend the most bullheaded into being more expressive. The Reggio Emilia approach says that we're all endowed with over 100 languages in each one of us, and our goal as educators, is to find those different methods of communication, and to facilitate that growth. We all need to be included. The days of the one-room schoolhouse should come back. Older children felt a sense of obligation to helping out the younger students, and those more competent would help out the less competent, which would help out those who truly have ADHD, and other disorders, which not only hinders their learning, but it also makes their basic living functions more difficult too. We all should be included. Maslow's Hierarchy gave a good overview of what we all need in order to be self-actualized, and for real learning to occur.
While I love the dream of the one-room schoolhouse, I also wonder if a two-tiered system would be better for GT. The Gifted and Talented would, theoretically, strive and thrive better around other gifted and talented folks such as themselves. Instead of organizing a school based on ages, we should organize according to ability. To not educate our best and brightest, to marginalize them and to cap their creativity, we aren't just hindering their own precious development—socially, physically, spiritually, politically, economically—but we're also destroying society and civilization as we know it.
I would also have many different methods for students to learn. This is my dream classroom of course, but a classroom where one can get the one-on-one help they need, the hands-on experiences, audio or visual learning, or through dialogue, there's plenty of money for supplies, good programs, etc. Khan's Academy opens up all teachers to become administrators to over 30 subjects. All you need to do is track your student's progress. Students are motivated by you caring about them. One could just get the students a learning style quiz online, and then have a tailor-made IEP written out specifically just for them, based upon which styles of learning works best for them.