One-size-fits-all instructional design eats brain diversity for lunch. When seeking personalized learning for a student with unique learning needs, you may confront educators who don’t understand learning differences, refuse to differentiate based on need, fail to follow written plans for instruction, or create bureaucratic obstacles and barriers for your child. Once and a while you find heroes, women and men who go way beyond the norm and stick out their necks to serve a student with different learning needs.
You work your way through the system, standing up for your rights when needed, and thanking those who lend a hand. But challenging the system can be a long and perplexing process. Often unquestioned along the way are the underlying assumptions of the system.
The system is designed so that all students of the same age will follow, and be tested, on a standard curriculum. We teach a unit, it lasts two weeks; we give a grade, and then move onto the next unit. Kids are sorted by age into grades. Each grade has a long list of standards to “cover”. Curriculum plans, curriculum maps, and pacing guides are devised to ensure that all the content is covered for every student. District assessment systems and state assessment systems add pressure for teachers to cover the assigned content.
Standard curriculum is “covered”, tests are given, and students are sorted into winners and losers. And repeat.
Read the rest of the article: Stand Up and Speak for Diverse Brains | Joe Brooks | Pulse | LinkedIn