Is Compliance a Learning Disability? On reading this blogpost by ace-d, I was taken back to my own school years at Sir Thomas Abney Primary School, Hackney in the mid-1960s. My rather scary teacher Mr H often got frustrated with me over my failure grasp basic maths. I enjoyed listening to stories, loved history and drawing, but my memories of his lessons consisted of watching various cloud formations on the north London sky-line, making out the shapes of faces, horses, clowns, watching the milky exhausts of aeroplanes across the pure blue.
I also remember his nasal intonations, the way his voice rose and fell when he read the class ” Alice in Wonderland”, his checked cotton shirts, his frown the grey comb over which flopped away from his bald pate as he chased a naughty boy around the playground, and NHS glasses. I don’t remember, his lessons, but I do recall his huge hands and noise they made on child’s backside when he caught him. A dull heavy clapping. Quite Buddhist I suppose as it was done with only one hand.
But I can’t remember what he taught me. Not one lesson is recalled, and it has nothing to do with time and distance because I do remember more clearly other lessons from other teachers going back decades.
The author describes three types of pupils/learners. The apparently success and skilled who have the ability to adapt to any learning environment and do well in most subjects. The second, a group I tend to teach, who are disruptive, have pragmatic linguistic and other problems, who are openly out of sync with the learning environment and who, and author does not directly broach this subject, become labelled and if they are lucky statemented as Adhd, ASD, behavioural problems, possibly dyslexic with all the other cocktail of symptoms and so on.
The third, and I would say is the most common, the compliant. These are learners who are often quiet, avoid getting into trouble and attracting attention, many excel in some subjects but fail in others and they often graze along on the middle or lower streams. I would add they leave schools and colleges with a stronger sense of under achievement than others.
The author demonstrates how LQ ( Learning Intelligence) needs to be applied to these learners. What does this mean? A change or flexible approach to their learning environments. Unlike the first group who adapt to the envionments and the second group who through their behaviour attempt to change it, this group checks out.
unfortunately, even with the current policies on educational choice, the choices centre more around governance in schools rather experimenting with the school environment, and I have not come across evidence where the traditional classroom/ teacher format in urban schools hasbeen challenged. In the mean time check out of my blog and read ace-d’s excellent article.
As teachers we know that our classes can fall into three groups, this is especially evident at reporting time.
There are those that do well, are active participants in the learning, question and who are confident. You know these well and find it easy to say something about their progress, attitudes, and behaviours. “Well done. Keep it up”
There are those who have presented challenges, often of a behavioural or engagement in nature. Once again you know these well and you do not struggle to offer advice on how to do better next year. “Learn to focus and avoid distractions”
The last group are not so well known to you. They are often quiet, do as they are told and take up little of your time. In short they are compliant and when it comes to writing reports often provide the biggest challenge. “…. .”
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