Temple Grandin on skipping algebra and autism: the “very big continuum”

Temple Grandin

I enjoyed the enthusiasm of Temple Grandin, “the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world,” in her Ted talk from February (notice the people-first language in that quote). And I'm intrigued by what she said about her struggle with abstract thinking such as in algebra class:
You see, the autistic mind tends to be a specialist mind. Good at one thing, bad at something else. And where I was bad was algebra. And I was never allowed to take geometry or trig. Gigantic mistake. I'm finding a lot of kids who need to skip algebra, [and] go right to geometry and trig. 
The way most schools teach geometry requires a strong knowledge of algebraic principles. That is not to say that Temple wouldn't have learned these principles much better in a geometric rather than purely algebraic and abstract setting.

Something to think about. Here's her talk:

No comments:

Post a Comment