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WARNING: dangerous topic (politics!)


Are you sure?

/edit: We are not only talking about ADHD but also other diseases.


Sure I’m sure. If the help of the class were not enough, then the child can be helped by a dedicated professional teacher, specific for the child’s disease. But only if really needed.


Yes well, nothing major in this world is ever simple enough to put in an article. We are proud of our educational system, yet, we are changing it. There are a lot of advances, tests, concerns, problems and disagreement how to go forward. Some people think we are creating something great, others say we are ruining everything (and they are basing it on experiences from other countries, mostly Sweden). But yes, they are testing everything, it seems. Mostly I’m worried about the teachers. I know a few, and they are struggling.

The subject about abandoning subjects: I just read an Finnish article from 2015 about this (not sure if it’s really implemented nationwide), and it actually said they would move from old subjects to teaching “phenomenon based” subjects, which would mean they would teach e.g. a subject of EU, which would combine information about finance, history, languages and geography. So basically a bunch of subjects would be replaced by other (partially combined) subjects.


I understand even just food can play a big role.


What does this look like in a classroom? Do teachers take more time to listen to the students’ own ideas and opinions, and to develop discussions based on them, perhaps?


Here are some UK-based thoughts about that:

Some thoughts by Rebecca Bean (a CELTA certified ESL teacher)

In my opinion, a good language lesson requires a teacher who is proficient in communicating using many different methods. The teacher should be able to convey one message in several ways while engaging the entire class. She should also be patient with her students and understanding of the challenges that normally arise while learning something new.

A good language lesson should include phrases that can be used immediately in daily life, colloquialisms, sentence structure, pronunciation, grammar and spelling. These may be taught by repetition, asking the class to repeat after the teacher, role-play, writing, word games and showing subtitled television programs or movies when the class is in need of a break from intense learning.


So true!

I think that really depends on the child. Some prefer to play and experience the lessons being taught, while others perform better in a more classic system. Forcing all to follow the same approach probably wouldn’t work. It’s like forcing introverts to be extravert or vice versa.
But offering the choice in the teaching methods is applaudable. We have some different teaching method schools here with the same quality and yet totally different approaches. There’s the same legal end terms that need to be met for all of them, so the destination is the same, but the journey greatly differs.
Lots of schools try to include using tablets in their lessons today. And I am not sure if that is such a good evolution. It’s not like children wouldn’t be able to use them otherwise. I think it just forms a greater distraction.

I never had evaluations with letters.
We got points. Hard numbers. Much easier to quantify than those letters.

That they should indeed encourage (even) more, and at a younger age (not wait until secondary school)


Oh and hi Arto! @Festarossa
Long time since reading you on the blog!


We had some form of letters attached to our numbers. Something like this. I’ve also attached a rough mapping to foreign (American) letters as I understand it but I might be wrong about about where the letters go.

  1. Zeer slecht (ZS?) — very bad
  2. Slecht (S?) — bad
  3. Zeer onvoldoende (ZO?) — low failure
  4. Onvoldoende (O) — failure (F)
  5. Bijna voldoende (O? BV?) — almost pass (D-)
  6. Voldoende (V) — low pass (D)
  7. Voldoende goed (VG) of ruim voldoende (RV?) — satisfactory ©
  8. Goed (G) — good (B)
  9. Zeer goed (ZG) — very good (superior) (A)
  10. Uitmuntend (U) — outstanding (A+)


Genetics seem to be the main cause of ADHD, but certain environmental factors can play a role too, during pregnancy and in cases of brain damage. (Source)

A quick search on food and ADHD mostly brings up results on which foods worsen the symptoms, and which foods alleviate them.


Depends on the teacher, I would say. But pupils and students call their teachers by their first names and are allowed to discuss about pretty much anything with their teachers. I think it creates a level of trust, which converts to a better teaching scenario. Is it better than a strictly hierarchical relationship? I have no idea, as there are many variables, and the more hierarchical system produce excellent results too.


Just the other day they talked on the radio about the “M-decrete”, which stipulates that all children should be able to go to any school and that the school should foresee well-trained teachers to cope with that. So-called inclusive education (in a nutshell).
So the teacher told she has a class this year with 4 children having ADHD, 5 with ASD, 3 dyslexic, 2 dyscalculic, 3 hypersensitive and 2 highly gifted. And then 3 others with no “disorder” (although I bet they feel like they’re “abnormal”).
I think you need to be a superman/Wonder Woman to teach to such a class and adapt to each of them and get them on board.


:blush: well, “normal” it’s a label after all. A child with deficit in attention is for sure excellent in something else.


And a strange one, too. After all, everyone’s minds work in different ways, and react differently to certain things. In that sense, maybe there is no such thing as “normal” :smiley:


I agree that it could be very challenging. Extra staff may be needed to attend to the needs to individual children, for example when they’re feeling overwhelmed. But if the main teacher can get them all involved in the lesson, so that they’re all learning and interacting with their peers - rather than having individual work for them to do alone - I think that would be hugely beneficial for them.


It’s interesting that two-thirds of these are for unsatisfactory performance :hushed:


At the primary school, the teacher used to write grades like these…

  1. Sufficiente - sufficient
  2. Discreto - decent
  3. Bene (or Buono), - good
  4. Ottimo - optimum
  5. Bravo - bravo

They could also have a plus or minus sign (e. g. : Bene +) to specify better.

I wonder why I don’t remember the grades under the sixth position :thinking:


In maths/statistics there is a “normal distribution”. I think that sums it up really: none of us are right in the centre on all aspects. So there is no “perfectly average” person. He/she would be so predictable too. Probably marketeers and politicians would love everyone to be as average and normal as possible for that reason.

For sure children on either side of any distribution have something to learn from learning and interacting with peers on other positioned elsewhere on the curve. If nothing else, to learn to respect and cope with the difference and value people on their abilities rather than just comparing to your own “standard”/position.
In the past, having a (very) high IQ was seen as an advantage and not requiring any special attention or care from the teachers (because these kids get good grades, so no problem, right?) wrong! I’m glad to see they treat this in an equal eay as, say, a child who has some trouble to understand things or who’s having to cope with dyslexia or something.
Of course if you compare the homework or exercises they get, it is hugely different too. (Differentiation). This makes a bit harder to jointly work on the same thing in a classroom. But it is the same in life later too, so I’m fully in favour of that. Rather than trying to train uniform clones.

Perhaps those are the only ones he remembered :wink:
I have to say, I find them to be a disproportionately high amount too. That’s at least one advantage of using hard numbers.


So you have worked with those kids already?


Well, I’m formerly a computer programmer, but especially during summer, I get in touch with children 9-13 as an educator in a summer camp, from about 15 years. I had seen a variety of behaviours, affection, “things that you human beings couldn’t ever imagine”… and gave my best to support them.

You know, one of the best thing that an adult can do to help a child, is to sit down, be quiet and listen him. Simply listen without judging.


The normal range of actually given grades tends to sit between 5 and 9. Lower than 5 is really bad and is normally only an exception, while 10 is essentially unattainable, at least on a report card.

So yes, we could definitely do with a 5 number system. More degrees than that quickly become meaningless anyway. Still, to go to vwo I had to get an average of 7.5 if I recall correctly, so it certainly wasn’t meaningless to us.

(Although getting a 7.5 average wasn’t particularly challenging, at least for me. There were some kids who struggled, that is really made their homework and studied and everything, and failed.)