wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Gifted and diverse classrooms

So...this two-day class had all the potential to be a hideously PC "celebration of diversity" class, but the guys teaching it are serious people who are serious about getting all the Anglos in the class to realize that diversity isn't just about skin color or nationality but culture, which can be very different even for people nominally in the same ethnic group. I'm not so much on board with the other thesis of the class, which is about recognizing and reaching out to kids who are gifted in ways not normally encouraged by schools, which mostly tend to exalt academic and athletically gifted students and to a much lesser extent the kids who are musically gifted. This leaves out four of Gardner's seven intelligences, although I suppose you could argue that the kids with good interpersonal intelligence wind up in student government. Anyway, my take on this may sound a little elitist, but I kept hearing the line "If everyone is special, then nobody is" going through my head. That may be a little more hardcore than I really feel...perhaps kids may be gifted in one or more of these areas, but as with young baseball players or musicians who don't practice, raw talent/undeveloped gifts will only get you so far.

So whose talents do you want to develop in your class? Most schools don't seem to have a really good idea of what they're supposed to be working on any more, although NCLB is doing its fumbling best to make sure that most of the kids have at least some of their logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences tuned up, and the lure of the big money to be made in pro sports will make sure that kids (or their parents, or their coaches) are spurred to develop their bodily-kinesthetic gifts. I'm not sure there's any good way to reach the kids with the other four gifts until they make it obvious that they do in fact have those gifts, and then maybe you can do something about it. Unfortunately, as with some highly-drafted prospects, you can kick those mules in the ass all you want and not only are they not going to turn into racehorses, they may not even be much interested in pulling your cart.

I thought I might be interested in doing something after class, but it's been a long week with too much drama in it and I am tired. I think I'm just going to go lay down and watch anime until revolutionaryjo shows up to get her sack full o' AMVs.

Oh, yeah, I got an A in the Tech class. Finally.

More important news: I got a look at my annual review. I am still, according to the Evil banking Neighbor, officially mediocre, and will probably get a raise in keeping with said mediocrity. There is still no block for "Continues to endure a managerial regime that would happily see him dead except nobody else wants his job. Nobody. At all."
Tags: teaching
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