She concedes how teachers can become frustrated with having to discipline students while trying to teach the required curriculum and how too much is expected of young children. She asked, “Why must so much be crammed into a young brain, not developed enough to absorb information on a permanent, sustainable level?” She suggested re-examining the educational system, instead.
Seven or eight-year-old boys are immature and wild with energy; yet, this is perceived as abnormal behavior? As a middle school teacher and a mom of an active “speed demon” son (an observation from his then first grade teacher) I understood, as did she, how boys need to fidget and move. When I taught 8th grade English, I made sure that some time during a class session students were given the opportunity to get up and move around. Drama strategies facilitated all of my class lessons to insure that students had an opportunity to take ownership of their learning utilizing an integrated arts praxis pedagogy. A correlation could be drawn to improved testing results on New York State ELA scores.
Ross Rosenfeld’s opinion that some children need more structure is noteworthy; however, Ricci added how sports, music lessons and the like are fundamental in helping train the brain to focus. Case in point: “Our son has been taking guitar lessons for two years, and his grades have improved significantly.”
Let’s hear it from you: Do you think ADHD behavior is exaggerated and overly diagnosed? How does integration of the arts help to encourage learning?