Day 18 – Eradicate ADHD #30dreamdays

14 Sep

ADHDinAmericaI’ve decided to step it up a notch and DREAM REALLY BIG.   If I could eliminate ADHD, I certainly would.   However, this post is more about taking a different look at the ficticious epidemic of ADHD.  This is Part II on my Reform Schools Dream.  Again, I am just hoping to inspire more people to educate themselves about the outdated model our schools are built upon and to demand better for our children.  At the bottom is one of the first videos that got me fired up.  I hope it will do the same for you.

SIR KEN ROBINSON

You can watch the video at the bottom and here is the link to the full text: Changing Education Paradigms

Excerpt from the text…

“This is the modern epidemic, and it’s as misplaced and it’s as fictitious. This is the plague of ADHD. Now this is a map of the instance of ADHD in America, or prescriptions for ADHD. Don’t mistake me I don’t mean to say there is no such thing as attention deficit disorder. I’m not qualified to say if there isn’t such a thing. I know that a great majority of psychologists and pediatricians think there’s such a thing, but it’s still a matter of debate. What I do know for a fact is it’s not an epidemic. These kids are being medicated as routinely as we have our tonsils taken out, and on the same whimsical basis and for the same reason: medical fashion. Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. They are being besieged with information and parse their attention from every platform; computers; from iPhones; from advertising holdings; from hundreds of television channels; and we are penalizing them for getting distracted. From what? Boring stuff.

At school, for the most part, it seems to me not a conscience totally that the instance of ADHD has risen in parallel with the growth of standardized testing, and these kids are being given Ritalin and Adderall and all manner of things. Often quite dangerous drugs to get them focused and calm them down. But according to this attention deficit disorder increases as you travel east across the country. People start losing interest in Oklahoma. (laughs) They can hardly think straight in Arkansas. And by the time they get to Washington they’ve lost it completely. (laughs) And there are separate reasons for that, I believe. It’s a fictitious epidemic.”

He goes on to explain Divergent Thinking which is the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question and lots of possible ways of interpreting a question.   When tested in Kindergarten, 98% of kids scored at the genius level and when those same kids were tested 5 years later, their scores went down.  Then again 5 years later, they were even lower.  These kids became educated and now there is only one right answer and that’s going to be on the test.  Does that sound engaging and exciting to you?  I don’t think so.

We have to correct this pattern in our education because our kids are not getting prepared for the level of problem solving and collaboration that our modern world and future challenges will demand.  I could go on and on…and likely will, in a future post.

I would love to get some feedback to this post.  Please share your comments.  Enjoy the 11 minute video.

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3 Responses to “Day 18 – Eradicate ADHD #30dreamdays”

  1. preciselyyourself September 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Nicole – I make the correlation between the way that we as a society rush from this to that with the cultural ADD that is weaved throughout our schools, homes and workplaces. It’s tough to know which comes first with many ‘epidemics’, the chicken or the egg so-to-speak, but I think that our inability to focus is at the very least enhanced by the rush, rush, rush mentality. We see this in our schools. There’s so much to fit in one day, the classes got shorter, the lessons got shorter and the tests became longer. I think having our in-class educators feel as though they are “teaching to the test” highlights a problem. The approach to standardized testing is outdated and arguably an inefficient way to gauge intelligence for some but not all kids/people. Being a non-educator, I don’t pretend to have the answers, and I fully support the open dialogue to come up with improved ways to test for strengths of our young people and working those respective strengths into their learning to help them reach their full potential sooner. This post is not as succinct as I’d like – I hope my point is clear.

    • Nicole Colter September 20, 2013 at 12:26 am #

      I think your reply is clear and I totally agree with your assessment. None of us has the answers but I strongly believe that what we are doing isn’t working and that it is going to take a broad range of skill sets (not just “educators”) to come up with creative solutions to fix what isn’t working. As with any problem, at first we must admit there actually is a problem before we even look to solve it. The emergence of more magnet schools is an attempt to solve the problem but we haven’t really scratched the surface yet. I will continue to do my own research and hope to keep connecting with others like you, who are mulling these things over for themselves and trying to figure out what they can do to help.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Day 26 – Lifelong Learning #30dreamdays | 30 Dream Days - September 22, 2013

    […] United States citizens who are creative and can think for themselves.  I’ve written about the fictitious epidemic of ADHD in our country that is a result, in part, to over-stimulation outside the classroom and under-stimulation inside […]

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