I agree with Temple Grandin, the world needs all kinds of minds.
We should stop celebrating normal and worrying endlessly about what doesn’t fit within that normal.
Temple’s ability to verbalise her own autism has broadened our understanding of what it means to be autistic. Instead of looking at autism in terms of what is wrong, Temple turns our perspective around by stating that we wouldn’t have evolved without those people who think and function differently.
I’ve pulled out some of what she said in her TED talk, things which resonate with me, both as a teacher and just in general:
People are getting away from doinghands-on stuff. I’m really concerned that a lot of schools have taken out the hands-on classes
We’ve got to think about all these different kinds of minds. And we’ve got to absolutely work with these kind of minds, because we absolutely are going to need these kind of people in the future.
And this brings up mentors. You know, my science teacher was not an accredited teacher. He was a NASA space scientist. Now, some states now are getting it to where if you have a degree in biology, or a degree in chemistry, you can come into the school and teach biology or chemistry. We need to be doing that. Because what I’m observing is the good teachers, for a lot of these kids, are out in the community colleges. We need to be getting some of these good teachers into the high schools.
If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the Earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.
Question: So, most people, if you ask them what are they most passionate about, they’d say things like, “My kids” or “My lover.” What are you most passionate about?
Temple Grandin: I’m passionate about that the things I do are going to make the world a better place.
I would love to see the school that Temple would create if she were a principal or education department head, wouldn’t you?