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      Laura Berlage

      beaded shawl pinsIt might be a shock to your brain that not everyone thinks the way you do!  This was a revelation to now autism activist and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin in her 30’s.  On the one hand, she knew that she was different from other people, but finding out that their entire thought process was different from hers brought a new perspective to her life–a research theme she has been chasing ever since.

      We can fall into a similar trap, thinking that students learn the same way we like to learn, when really there is an incredible amount of neurodiversity out there, even in those who would self-identify as neuro-typical.  Understanding how these differences work and how they manifest can help us better individualize our teaching for students as well as craft support materials that make a “many ways up the mountain” approach attainable.

      There are many ways to learn about neurodiversity, but Temple Grandin’s book “Visual Thinking” can sometimes give you “aha” moments into your own brain’s process as well as draw on developing science that helps you understand the minds of others.  You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Visual-Thinking-Pictures-Patterns-Abstractions/dp/0593418360/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1S01AZBDDFLMR&keywords=visual+thinking+temple+grandin&qid=1695253061&sprefix=visual+thin%2Caps%2C1120&sr=8-1

      How can understanding how different people think and learn inform your teaching practice?  What strategies do you already use or might use to bridge and reach these differences?

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