Friday, September 22, 2006

Are all children educable?

With the many EI( Early Intervention) approaches educators can avail or make use of to educate children especially those with special needs, I came upon this question in one of my readings; "Why bother with children who fail to make meaningful progress?"

And why should we? Why should I?

Ahh, with my personal and family commitments, why would I personally do my best to see a relevant manifested progress in a child and especially if he/she may be a special needs child?

The answer may vary but one thing is for sure it is passion or love for children.

Well, I've read this book, Exceptional Children by William L. Heward. Through this book, I've read about Don Baer, a professor of human development at the University of Kansas and a pioneer in the development of effective teaching methods for persons with severe disabilities. He offers this perspective on educability:

Some of us have ignored both the thesis that all persons are educable and the thesis that some persons are ineducable, and instead have experimented with ways to teach some previously unteachable people. Over a few centuries, those experiments have steadily reduced the size of apparently ineducable group relative to the obviously educable group. Clearly, we have not finished that adventure. Why predict its outcome, when we could simply pursue it, and just as well without a prediction? Why not pursue it to see if there comes a day when there is such a small class of apparently ineducable persons left that it consists of one elderly person who is put forward as ineducable. If that day comes, it will be a very nice day. And the next day will be even better.

What a meaningful perspective to contemplate on.


VICKY said...

According to new trends, there are 7 kinds of intelligence. I think that educators should pursue all 7 before concluding that a child is uneducationable. I believe that children can learn if we make learning more meaningful for them (assuming that they don't have special needs).
Very good concern, Luchie.

Luchie said...

Hi Vicky! We call it MI or Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Howard Gardner.

sachiko said...

i just wish that society stop treating kids who don't excel academically as failures. Japan for one,has a high rate of student suicides because of this.

Luchie said...

yeah,children are stressed nowadays because most parents expect them to excel academically. and it is so sad to hear of children suicides because of pressures from parents.

Major Tom said...

I do believe that the better teacher in us would be more patient and acknowledges that in reality, there could be some groups that may be highly ineducable, or those that are difficult to progress academically. In this light, the better teacher gives more attention to the ones who need it and if only a few remains at the end of the day, this by itself is a huge achievement.

Luchie said...

That is really a huge achievement Major Tom. But for those who learnt self help skill or an MR who learnt how to flush the toilet, that learning is so BIG also.