Sorry there hasn’t been much out of me lately, a brief sojourn in Brighton (eye-opener, and not for the obvious reasons) followed by a mysterious illness have put paid to posting for a while.
One of Leg-Iron’s recurring themes recently has been the Official Standard Human and the woes lying in wait for those who do not conform, and I think a story that hit the news yesterday morning demonstrates that nicely: Children labelled with special needs may simply have been poorly taught.
Brilliant. Education is so regulated today, so full of targets and key stages and whathaveyou that there is no option but to be poorly taught, unless your child fits into the Official Standard Human model, which pretty much states that each child must be able to do x in week y of key stage z with no regard to the blindingly obvious fact that all children are unique.
One of the examples given on the BBC Breakfast programme yesterday was a child that was labelled special needs because they had difficulty with long division at the alloted hour of the alloted week of their school career: a definition that would have captured your host for I too had trouble with long division (I still can’t do it) and yet went on to pass the 11+ and later had no difficulty at all with calculus, complex number and Fourier Analysis.
Attempts to fit all children into one standard model are doomed to failure, and fail the kids at the top of the ability tree as well as those at the bottom. The obvious tendancy to label those that can’t (and probably those that can, easily, and act up through boredom) as special needs is probably more to do with teachers covering their arses than it is to do with eugenic social engineering but the effect is the same, saddling humans with a label that will stay with them for years (possibly their whole lives should they come to believe it themselves) simply because they don’t fit.
And don’t even get me started on the whole ‘we’ve been saying this for years but now a government agency says it it’s news’ thing.