I recently had an opportunity to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak to a 4-H youth organization.
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is an animal behavior scientist, and on the autism spectrum.
4-H (head, heart, hands, and health) is a youth organization that has been around since the early 1900s. Their mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” Traditionally, they have had an emphasis on agriculture. They also focus on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology programs.
In her talk, Dr. Grandin mainly addressed the needs of students on the autism spectrum, while intertwining this with her work in the field of animal sciences. Here are some of the key points I came away after the talk:
- If you don’t show kids interesting stuff, they don’t get interested. It’s that simple.
- We need to be thinking a lot more about careers.
- Free play teaches negotiation and turn taking.
- There is too much emphasis on deficit and not what a kid is good at.
- Kids need to learn to do what is assigned to them. In the real world–you get assigned things.
I absolutely appreciate Dr. Temple Grandin’s practicality when it comes to teaching!