Visualise a tennis racket.
Now visualise a step ladder.
Now don’t visualise a helicopter.
Hmmm – almost impossible isn’t it?
That helps you understand what the world’s like for people who aren’t very good with language but are good with pictures.
The child is told it’s windy, don’t open the front door. He can picture windy and front door but can’t picture don’t. He goes out the front door, it slams and the glass breaks, he gets punished because he was told not to open the door.
The farm worker is told to take the quad up the race, don’t open the first gate, open the next one.
He can’t picture next and opens the first one.
Is that his problem or the farmer’s? Both, but the easiest way to solve it is for the farmer to number the gates.
This is a small snapshot from a presentation I listened to last night which helps explain why about 15% of children, most of whom are boys, have problems at school. They’re taught in language but learn from looking and doing.
Education appears to be even more language based now than it used to be. It’s not enough to be able to do something, pupils have to explain what and why they’re doing it and that is all language-based learning. It’s no wonder more children are failing to grasp the basics of literacy and numeracy if the way they are taught doesn’t help them learn.
In the words of the man who gave the presentation, it’s like trying to run a diesel vehicle on petrol.