opinion | Temple Grandin: Society Is Failing Visual Thinkers, and That Hurts Us All

Author: Yuvi January 9, 2023  opinion |  Temple Grandin: Society Is Failing Visual Thinkers, and That Hurts Us All

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I spent hours tinkering and experimenting to figure out how to make parachutes out of old scarves that opened more quickly each time I tossed them into the air. Careful observation is needed to determine how small design changes affected performance. My concentration, bordering on obsession, was probably because I was autistic. At that time I really liked a book about famous inventors and their inventions. It impressed me that Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers were so focused on figuring out how to make a light bulb or an airplane. He spent a lot of time perfecting his inventions. It is likely that some of the inventors of that book were also autistic.

We hear a lot about the need to fix infrastructure in this country, but we’re focusing on the things that need to be improved and updated, rather than the people who will be able to get the job done. For more than 25 years, I designed livestock handling equipment and worked with highly skilled equipment builders. When I look at all projects designed for large companies, I estimate that 20 percent of skilled welders and drafting technicians were either autistic, dyslexic, or ADHD. and sold equipment to several companies. Our visual thinking skills were the key to our success.

Today, we want our students to be well-rounded; We must think about making sure that the education that we provide is as well. At the same time, I’d bet that the people who will fix America’s infrastructure have spent hours and hours on one thing, whether it’s Legos, violins or chess – hyper-focus is a classic sign of neurodivergent thinking and it spurs innovation. And it is important for invention.

I am often asked what I would do to improve in both elementary and high school. The first step would be to place a greater emphasis on practical classes such as art, music, sewing, woodworking, cooking, theater, auto mechanics, and welding. I would have hated school if the practical classes had been removed, as are many today. These classes also expose students – especially neurodivergent students – to skills that can lead to careers. Exposure is key. There are a lot of students growing up who have never used an instrument. They become completely distant from the practical world.

Despite my achievements, if I were a young person today, I would have difficulty graduating from high school because I would not be able to pass algebra. It was very abstract, with no visual connection. This is true for many of today’s students who are labeled as bad at math, students who might otherwise pass elective math courses such as statistics, which will also apply to real-life work situations. There is too much emphasis on testing in school and not enough on career outcomes. The fact that I failed the SAT in math kept me from getting into veterinary school, but today I am a university professor in animal science and I get to speak to groups of veterinarians to advise them on my work. has been invited to. The true measure of an education is not the grades a student gets today, but where they are 10 years from now.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

9 January, 2023, 3:30 pm

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