Posts Tagged ‘Professors’
Understanding the Hidden Curriculum: An Essential Social Skill for Children and Youth with Asperger’s Syndrome
Understanding the Hidden Curriculum: An Essential Social
Skill for Children and Youth with Asperger’s Syndrome
Brenda Smith Myles and Richard Simpson
This article by Brenda Smith Myles and Richard Simpson, both professors of Special Education, provides a clear look at what was for me a new term: The Hidden Curriculum – the social skills “we are not taught directly but are expected to know.” (2001) The piece also contains a great summary of the diagnosis and traits of children with Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as citing very helpful examples and anecdotes that make clear the absolute complexity of understanding social interaction for kids with the disorder.
Writer and scientist Temple Grandin, who is herself an autistic person, has written a rule system for guiding social interaction and this is also included in the article. Her clear, open comments and perspectives on what she has learned that one can and cannot do in public and the consequences resulting from not heeding her advice affected me greatly.
The authors maintain that it is possible to teach the nuances of social interaction to children and teens with ASD, but that it must be done through a systematic, structured approach which is painstakingly described here. Also included is a very helpful chart with examples of “hidden curriculum” teaching points, such as, ‘You should not have to pay students to be your friends,’ and ‘When a teacher is scolding another student it is not an appropriate time to ask the teacher a question.’ (2001) The use of social stories to teach appropriate responses and understanding of social behavior is also recommended, as are “acting lessons,” which are referred to as “an appropriate means of teaching to aid in self awareness, self-calming and self-management.”
I found this article to be very helpful in illustrating for me just how complicated social interaction must seem to young people with ASD, and the accounts of how interaction works in ways we do not even think about if we are not disabled in this way gave me additional insights into this problem.
And so it begins! I had exactly two classes Thursday and came home completely exhausted, overwhelmed and scared. Such a big place! Everybody is even younger than they used to be when I was in college and they were really young then! And the technology the professors talk about – crazy! And one of my classes is an online class…what is that about?! No face to face?
And so those were my worries when I got home Thursday. And what I really needed to do was to simply start on the work, which I did, and to remember to take things one step at a time, which I am trying to do, and to remember it is as if the grad program is a full time, 9-5ish job and to to treat it as such. Let it go at the end of the day.
The other grad students (lol – younger, more energetic grad students ) tell me to remember it is all about time management. Unfortunately I have no time management skills, so when they said this it was far from comforting. But I know, I know, it is time for me to learn this too. And in my Developmental Psych text book – this is the online class which I am finding quite fascinating now that I have bravely begun to work on it – it says that even as older people we can develop new skills and new pathways in the brain and even new synapses! New Synapses!
I’m going for it! I’m gonna need a lotta new synapses…
How odd to be gearing up for school again - me going to school I mean! Getting all the necessary ducks in a row, and ordering books – the psych book alone was 155.00 – this seems ridiculous to me! I had thought professors would be more cognizant of the amount students have to spend on books and consider a cheaper edition, but this is perhaps not the case…or perhaps not possible.
But still, I am looking forward to that class, though it is an online class, my first, and I am sure I will miss the “face to face” as dear Ann in VT calls it. But the idea that I will be able to arrange my involvement with the class to suit my schedule is tempting, I must admit.
I am most looking forward to the text analysis class, as I find that sort of thing fascinating. And the Directing workshop, which is not only for the MAT students, but is geared toward directing high school students. And ok, the process drama class, which has a component in the schools and will surely give me ideas for how to reach and teach children of all differnt ages in a way that does not have as its purpose any sort of performance stress at all.
Ok, I admit it. I can’t wait. My brain is raring to go and I can’t wait to get back to using it.
I have been on vacation far too long.
Yesterday I had the delightful experience of watching the USC Opera Experience for kids and their original performance: Fred the Bull! It was based on the wonderful story by Munro Leaf: The Story of Ferdinand. One of my absolute all time favorite children’s books.
The director of the program started out the experience that evening by telling us that the children met for the first time that Monday morning. the book was read to them in english and then in italian. Next they began brainstorming and came up with a story of their own that was close in theme and concept – there were cows and bulls – but pretty much the original story had taken on a modern twist. Smoothies figured in the new creation quite significantly. It was delightful.
There were only 6 children in the little production, but the director told the audience that there were fully 15 professionals – professors, choreographers, accompanists, etc. – supporting the young students. This was music to my ears, as I am all about surrounding the children with as many professionals as possible in order that they may learn not only the caliber of work important for a quality learning experience, but build their self esteem as it becomes clear to them that what they are doing is fully worthy of the attention of such experts.
The show was short – only 10 minutes – but start to finishh it was child-led, and professionally supported.
I was enchanted.
Conceived and choreographed by Doug Elkins
Directed by Barbara Karger and Michael Preston, both professors at Hartford’s Trinity College
Modern dance piece performed to the soundtrack from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s movie ”The Sound of Music.” Lots of humor, puppets, clever costumes and props like sheets becoming Austrian mountains bring the classic to life amidst dance interpretations of the songs (where Maria or other female characters often are danced by males).
I had heard tht the Sound of Music was becoming a campy favorite, and I wonder if this is one of the reselts from that. Seems odd to me, though I am sure it would be very intersting to watch. I also wonder if the mainstream audience would get it, and if so, if they would appreciate the humor, or be offended, or be oblivious.
I am embarrassed to say that for the most part, modern dance leaves me cold. Probably a sign of a lack of sophistication on my part!
I never liked theatre of the absurd either.