ERIC Number: EJ937271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 2
When School Makes Us Sick
Blodget, Alden S.
Independent School, v69 n3 Spr 2010
There's something wrong when attending a really good workshop leaves one sad. In mid-October, 80 dedicated, bright teachers and administrators met with some workshop leaders and speakers in Vermont to explore the growing difficulties that students with "executive function" problems have in school--problems that affect such things as attention, impulse control, memory, reading, and writing. Displaying an impressive knowledge of the brain, neuroscience, and education, the keynote speaker looked at the symptoms and diagnosed the many difficulties that result from impairments to various parts of the brain. However, the author realized that the problem might not always be with executive function, but simply a complete lack of interest. The author opines that lots of kids are really not interested in what teachers think is interesting; they find the stuff of schools emotionally irrelevant and, over time, over several years of deadening school experiences, inattention to school becomes hard wired. In this article, the author suggests that, while educators continue to address the ways in which a lack of attention can prevent learning, they also need to acknowledge that, in addition to neurological causes, inattention can also result from emotional irrelevance. While cognitive impairment can not be ignored, the author suggests that its incidence could be reduced by expanding workshops to include an honest, open-ended examination of the schools themselves. Instead of attacking the problems solely from the point of view of the schools and trying to fix the students, educators might benefit from also looking at schools from the point of view of the students and trying to fix the schools.
Descriptors: Workshops, Brain, Cognitive Processes, Neurological Impairments, Memory, Attention Span, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Student Interests, Relevance (Education), Student Motivation, Emotional Response
National Association of Independent Schools. 1620 L Street NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-793-6701; Tel: 202-973-9700; Fax: 202-973-9790; Web site: http://www.nais.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont