Teaching Smart vs. not LO13724

prkosuth (prkosuth@mychoice.net)
Mon, 26 May 97 11:26:49 PDT

Replying to LO13708 --

Hal wrote:

> I have a nephew named Randall who has been declared to be "learning
> disabled". He does very poorly in school and has difficulty learning any
> of the standard subjects. Randall has been told he can't learn and
> believes it.
> Last Christmas, Randall and his friend Mike both received Nintendo games.

> In less than a week, he had memorized over 1000 pieces of information and
> solved puzzles that left me baffled.
> Why?
> I believe it is because of the vision he had to be the best and that
> included learning and solving whatever problems that game offered.

> What this makes me do is wonder if there are applications for designing
> workplaces to motivate people to want to learn. If we have the motivation
> to continually learn from everything, can we design a workplace that
> causes others to want to learn from everything also?

> Hal Croasmun <blt@eden.com>

I think that Randall has demonstrated his obvious gifts in problem
solving, memory, spatial knowledge, etc when he was allowed to choose the
problems to meet his needs. He had a problem that he accepted, a problem
that does not have a ready solution to, and a problem that he personally
could not solve (at the outset.) The 3 components for a "problem"
situation: no ready solution, blockage and acceptance. All together this
may give motivation (in Randall yes, maybe not for everybody). I have a
student at school who has great talents in math --- he is in Algebra II --
but saw the disconnect between real math vs school math. He was doing
school math, not real math. Eventually he set up a situation where he is
trying to solve "intercept paths" between space ships in this
computer/role platying game he plays. He has used several computer
packages, graphing programs, spreadsheets, etc. I am not sure we are any
closer to solving the problem than we were a month ago but a lot of great
math has occured along the way ---- not to mention some positive behavior.
Another example of the "learning disabled" kid doing well. He is LD, his
issues are huge, but with a proper situation alot of learning can occur.

Brehm Preparatory School
Carbondale IL


"prkosuth" <prkosuth@mychoice.net>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>