26 comments on “Asylum

  1. I fear that most of those on the inside ought to be on the outside, while most of us on the outside ought to be inside, if you get my drift . . .

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  2. I’m referring to Simon Winchester’s book about Dr. W. C. Minor. He was the most prolific volunteer contributor to The Oxford English Dictionary in the 1890’s and was quite an enigmatic gentleman.

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  3. I tend to think of us all sliding up and down along the same spectrum. We judge too often when we’re in the middle and hide when we’re at the extremes. Well said, Paul. We can all be construed as crazy at some time or another.

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      • Not any more. My age group still had it at the end of primary school when we had to undertake the 11+ to determine which secondary school you would attend. It stopped a few years after that as I recollect. I’m in two minds about whether that was entirely a good thing. Baby and bath water comes to mind although the IQ test wasn’t the best measure for holistic intelligence.

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        • sounds like the US experience, although we may have abandoned it earlier than you did – you’re right, it’s not definitive of holistic intelligence, but I think it can be predictive and positively indicate a suitable course of further education, especially if used as one of a variety of tests – having said all of that, I’ve always despised tests (both as giver and taker)

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          • I’m a bit of an oddity when it comes to tests. I used to really quite like them, all that pent-up excitement and camaraderie, pouring the cramming down the right arm to appear on the page like magic. (Except for chemistry amd maths where a lot of time was spent looking wildly about thinking wtf, I’ve never seen any of this stuff! What does it all mean?) Don’t know if I’d fancy it too much now.

            But I quite enjoy giving tests if they’re going to help me help the kids. I always do a reading/comprehension and spelling age assessment with new classes to gauge levels and plan accordingly. Same with numeracy. Find out, too, their learning styles. That can make a huge difference to how they perceive and process information.

            I think there probably still is a place for IQ testing together with psychometric assessments and identifying learning styles. Not everyone is suited to academia – thank god, what a world that would be – and we need to become better at identifying and matching aptitude and preferences with methodology.

            I could go on for ages here, Paul, it’s one of my hobby horses about education in its widest sense. As often as there are changes to education – and how they love to change it – it never seems to go where it should in serving the best interests of its clientele.

            I hate to come across children who have switched off very young. It shouldn’t happen. We’re not serving them or education well if they become disenchanted and disengaged.

            Saying all that, kids come into school with all sorts of baggage from home and those things have to be considered too. It’s a tricky business but I still love it. Mostly. 🙂

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