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Excerpt from Chapter Four:
What Am I Trying to Measure?
What if Mozart was an idiot and Einstein was a fool? What if Mozart and Einstein traded places?
If Einstein was standing before a piano, on a stage before a sold out crowd, he would look rather foolish, as Einstein does not know how to play the piano. If Mozart was to stand in a lab, in front of world renowned scientists, who were there to hear him speak and be given the opportunity to ask questions, Mozart would look like an idiot. Of course Mozart was not an idiot and Einstein was no fool. They had their area of strength and their area of weakness. Unfortunately, students with special needs are often seen as foolish or as the class idiot, when they are neither. They have just not been given the opportunity to be introduced to their area of strength but unfortunately, they are all too familiar with their area of weakness.
Tip: A student with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or an auditory processing challenge may have a thorough knowledge of the Renaissance Period but if you demand that the student with APD put their knowledge and feelings on paper, you will have put Einstein at the piano.
Tip: A student with Non Verbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) or a visual processing challenge may have a thorough knowledge of the Renaissance Period but if you demand that the student deliver an oral presentation to the class, you have placed Mozart in a science lab.
It all comes down to What Are You Trying to Measure. Are you trying to measure if a student with a visual processing disability or dyslexia, can read the question, “Who was the thirty-fifth President of the United States?” or are you trying to measure if the same student knows the answer to the question, “Who was the thirty-fifth President of the United States?” Depending on your answer, the approach if different. For example, if you have a…
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