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No Parroting Allowed!

Learning Emergence by Asking Questions



Emergence Group Babies

"Are Learning Disabilities a Mental Illness?"

Questions for the Week of May 28, 2007



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When asked, "how do you best learn?" most people usually respond with either a technique, like "in a classroom," or by naming their favorite sense, like "I learn best visually." Unfortunately, this implies that most people define "learning" as the ability to parrot the correct answer.

What is wrong with this? "Parroting the correct answer" creates parrots, not students; dullards, not Einsteins. So how can we create more Einsteins? By asking questions which are intended to provoke the student's own questions. More important, this turns out to be the best way in which to reawaken in students their lost love of learning.

This week, our topic is "Are Learning Disabilities a Mental Illness?" Would you like to awaken a love of learning in you about this topic? You can, simply by reading the teacher's questions and then, by asking yourself, "what questions did these words just provoke in me?"

"Are Learning Disabilities a Mental Illness?"

The Teacher's Questions (asked by Carol)

  • Why are the four Social Priorities named after Mental Health conditions?
  • Is Asperger's an illness? A brain abnormality? Or is it due to something which went wrong in early childhood?
  • Can Asperger's be cured. Or is it permanent?
  • Can ADD be cured or only managed?
  • Can learning patience and tolerance make kids with ADD better students?
  • Is OCD a learning disability or a mental condition?
  • Why do Emergence Practitioners consider OCD an autism?
  • What happens to cause OCD? Is OCD a physical disease? Or is it more a mental illness?

Sample Student Response Questions (asked by Thomas)

  • Are Autistic people considered Mind First people or Body First people?
  • Is Kanner's Autism ever treatable, or is behavioral therapy all that can be done?
  • Do autistic children need physical contact? Or does touching them cause them to suffer?
  • Can medicating a person with ADD ever change the person over time?
  • Why do so many people see Asperger's as a mental condition?
  • What makes people think all folks with Asperger's have no social skills?
  • Why are learning disabilities treated with medications?
  • Why is ADD medication so similar to the drugs people take to lose weight?

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