Friday, June 17, 2011
Kids Designing Tests for Dyslexic Talents
Greetings. Sorry for long delay. More to come now, finally. I will start again with a brief story that stays in my mind. Recently, I gave a talk at a school for young dyslexics. In my slide series I made reference to the need for new assessment tools to properly measure the talents of dyslexics. Then, I rephrased my statement and said: "I want to design a test where dyslexics will get the top score and non-dyslexics will get the bottom score." To my surprise, the room broke out into loud spontaneous applause. I had not expected this. It had never happened like that before. Clearly, they are hungry for this. And I realized this was a project the kids should work on. Have them just jump in. Try to figure out what they are good at -- and how to measure it. They will repeat what is already known -- but it will be theirs. They will know how they got there. But they will probably come up with many new things as well -- or new attention to things that were thought to be unimportant. They will likely use new technologies and approaches not used by the well-trained professionals. They will be highly motivated. It would be like hands-on ("problem based") medical training. You start with the patient and just keep asking questions. They will better understand the old tests. They will be proud of creating some new tests and approaches. They will be proud of their own thoughtful observations. They would learn much. We would learn much. I think of this daily.