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OT: "Special needs" (Was Michael Adams/Abrigon (Was [OT] Books for sanskrit self-study))

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Monday, July 17, 2006, 21:49
On 7/17/06, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
> On 7/17/06, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote: > > Is this a serious question? > > Yes.
What he said.
> > You would probably find it strange to collect money for the rich. > > What I find is that you are using an extremely inapplicable and > offensive analogy.
> > If the challenged are well-supported, the smart ones should have > > access to enough books, though, for feeding any interest and keeping > > them from getting bored. > > Once they're old enough, sure - assuming that their experiences within > the educational system haven't destroyed their desire to learn > altogether. > > There's a reason many school systems have a special program for > "gifted" children. Assuming that your goal is to educate the > students, then dealing with them is as serious a problem as reaching > the children who are slower than normal for whatever reason.
*nod* To elaborate on that somewhat: I don't want to touch the subject of *priority* - as noted by Christian, that's a 'social justice' sort of sensitive question that I don't think really applies. But to answer to the point... Sure, now that I am an adult and have access to a world of information, classes, college textbooks, etc etc on my own time, the "you're smart enough, teach yourself" argument applies. But when I was a kid, I didn't. I was by law required to go to school, an institution that did very little to educate me, and whose social "education" would only prepare one for life in prison, not the real world (where we have things like laws, and meritocracies, and real lives that we engage in because we want to). It's a mistake to assume that a kid, even a hyperintelligent one, is any more developed in the aspect of being able to teach themselves than others are; that's a skill. One that takes time to learn, and one that (if anything) school teaches you NOT to learn. And y'know - I read lots and lots of books when I was a kid. Literally you could not find me without three in my posession, and one in front of my nose, if I was awake (and possibly when I was asleep too :-P). But that's hardly the same thing as an education; hardly the same thing as being taught properly. I didn't really educate myself; I read for fun, not so much for knowledge - because I didn't know what knowledge *would* be fun. IMHO as someone who's been there, the "let smart kids figure things out themselves despite the system" is a terrible disservice. - Sai


Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...>