[AAACE-NLA] Pre- and Post-NIFL Agenda
andreawilder at comcast.net
andreawilder at comcast.net
Tue May 4 15:38:40 EDT 2010
When I was a child I checked out, maybe around 6th grade. I didn't start to come back until my doctorate.
Fortunately I have a fabulous memory and I went to an excellent school where I was surrounded by highly motivated students. I survived. There is NO WAY a child can take charge of their own schooling. They aren't as developed or as clever as teachers.
You know I agree with you because we have talked about this many times over the years. I think that the more skills the adult teacher has the better is the possibility of working well with the adult student. I am taking a course now for no credit, which means 1/2 price. I can avoid the traps set by teachers and TA's, and they do set traps.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Art LaChance" <ruhtra.glc at ellijay.com>
To: "National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE" <aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:12:31 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] Pre- and Post-NIFL Agenda
Unfortunately it goes much deeper than that. I've heard the "They just
need to 'take charge' of their own learning" many, many times over.
Then I look carefully at the self-directive capability of a 7-10 yr old
child and I wonder if we really understand the lack of capability to
develop self-direction in that age range, and how strong the
fight-flight response actually is. We're talking about learned behavior
vs instinctual behavior. Yes, we do have a "choice" - however,we must
learn and incorporate that ability and understanding over time to the
point where it can take control - over and above the instinctual
response. It's just not very difficult at all to find the point, and
most times the specific incident, where that child 'checked out' and
developed an add-on to the fight-flight response. ADD, ADHD, etc.
descriptors fit quite nicely into the picture - spontaneous development
of some distracting mental activity to remove the emotional awareness
from the immediate environment - which can become the primary
behavioral foundation? The children are simply trying to survive,
emotionally first, then physically. It amazes me that we charge 8 yr
olds with taking control of their lives and keep throwing them back in
the water without the life-jacket and then smile while they drown. Then
when they 'grow up' and finally realize the need for education and
overcome the negative issues after some time away from the situation
that created the death-throes - we leave them to their own devices based
on the "They made a bad choice by not taking advantage of our wonderful
education system". Don't believe that? Why is there literally zero
funding available to help those people? Don't believe the "zero"
factor? Compare the need factor with the support factor.
I've played what I call "20 questions" with students who initially
assess in the lower skill ranges for over 20 years. Invariably they
will tell me in detail the situation(s) that created the emotional
response leading to disengagement from the system. Invariably the time
factor for that situation will coincide within one year of their initial
TABE assessment scores utilizing the "grade level" scoring. I do not
share the grade level scoring with them before the 20 question play. I
used to think it was simply coincidental, but after hearing the same
sequencing over and over and over again, it became quite evident that it
is not happenstance. As a direct result of the foregoing, our immediate
goals at this center shifted from the simple delivery of curriculum to
appeasement of the fight-flight and restoration of self-efficacy. All
of which incorporate curriculum, but with a slightly different
end-purpose. And trust me when I say that often the childhood based
original fight-flight response WILL return when the adult sees
themselves as not ready to take the GED, and they will go away and most
probably not return, regardless of how positive the adult literacy
teacher comes across.
I guess the situation we as a nation have developed and locked solidly
in place must be "good for the economy" ?? Keeps the common laborer
pool full?? I'm quite thankful that I see evidence of a nationwide
re-evaluation of the US education system beginning to take shape.
Gilmer Learning Center
30 Southside Church St
Ellijay, GA 30540
andreawilder at comcast.net wrote:
> Sounds like what happened to the 17th Street Canal in New Orleans when
> the flood waters pushed so hard the sheet metal collapsed. It is very
> hard for me, as an adult, to say "I don't understand," in class when I
> don't, kids hunker down and stop learning. Adults have more practice
> and knowledge of situations like this, but it's still tough to take
> charge of one's own learning. My professor this semester is seasoned
> enough to wait A MUNUTE OR MORE after he asks: "Does anyone have any
> questions?" What a guy.
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