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Rhodes Professor of Imperial History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rhodes Professorship of Imperial History is one of the senior professorships in history at King's College London and was endowed by the Rhodes Trust in 1919. After the  Beit Professorship of Colonial History at  Oxford (founded in 1905), it is the second oldest chair in its subject in the world.

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  • Jonathan Mooney: "The Gift: LD/ADHD Reframed"
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JELLAR:COURTNEY CASH JELLAR.I'M AN ACCESS ADVISER AND ADHD SPECIALIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION CENTER.CAN EVERYONE HEAR ME OKAY? HOW'S THE -- YOU WANT -- REBECCA WAS AH, OOH, EH.OKAY. SO IF -- IF AT -- IF AT ANY TIME ANYONE CAN'T HEAR ME, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND.YOU CAN JUST PUT YOUR HAND IN THE AIR, AND I'LL TRY AND SPEAK UP. YOU'RE IN TROUBLE ALREADY IN THE FRONT HERE.THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING. BEFORE I INTRODUCE JONATHAN, I'M GOING TO TELL A LITTLE STORY ABOUT HOW HE CAME TO BE HERE TODAY.AND THAT STORY STARTS IN 2005 WHEN I FIRST READ JONATHAN'S FIRST BOOK "LEARNING OUTSIDE THE LINES."AND IT WAS MY FIRST YEAR OF MY PHD PROGRAM.I HAD JUST GOTTEN A DIAGNOSIS OF ADHD AND ATTENTIVE TYPE.AND I THOUGHT I'D PICK UP HIS BOOK AND LEARN SOME -- SOME STRATEGIES.MAYBE HELP ME READ A LITTLE FASTER, GET THROUGH SOME PAPERS A LITTLE BETTER.BUT ESPECIALLY AFTER READING JONATHAN'S STORY ABOUT HIS EDUCATIONAL HISTORY, ABOUT HIS STRUGGLES IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, I -- I ENDED UP GETTING A LOT MORE FROM THAT BOOK.IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT I HAD EXPERIENCE WITH A STRENGTH-BASED PERSPECTIVE ON PEOPLE WHO LEARN DIFFERENTLY. AND AFTER READING WHAT HE HAD TO SAY, I FELT LIKE I HAD AN ALLY.I NO LONGER FELT AS MUCH OF THE SHAME THAT IS -- IS SOMETIMES A PART OF BEING SURROUNDED BY TRADITIONAL LEARNERS.AND I ALSO FELT MORE EMPOWERED. IT WAS A MONUMENTAL EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND ONE THAT HAS DRIVEN MY WORK IN WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. SO FLASH FORWARD FIVE YEARS, I GOT A GTF, A GRADUATE TEACHING FELLOWSHIP, AT THE OFFICE OF DISABILITY SERVICES HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.AND I WAS PUT IN CHARGE IMMEDIATELY OF DOING THE YEARLY AWARENESS EVENT, DISABILITY AWARENESS EVENT.AND I -- I WAS SEARCHING THE INTERNET FOR POTENTIAL SPEAKERS.AND I KEPT ON FINDING MYSELF ON JONATHAN'S WEBSITE.AND I HAD TOLD THE -- THE STAFF ABOUT JONATHAN, AND EVERYBODY WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT BRINGING HIM. BUT THEN SHORTLY AFTER I DID SOME RESEARCH INTO IT, IT BECAME REALLY CLEAR THAT OUR SMALL OFFICE WOULD NEED TO DO A LOT MORE FUNDRAISING BEFORE WE COULD BRING JONATHAN HERE.SO EVERY YEAR WE TALKED ABOUT BRINGING JONATHAN, BUT FINALLY NOW FOUR YEARS LATER EVERYTHING HAS COME TOGETHER SO THAT WE'RE ABLE TO HAVE HIM HERE AND TO SPEAK WITH US. SO THE OFFICES THAT HAVE MADE THAT POSSIBLE ARE, OBVIOUSLY OUR OFFICE, THE ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION CENTER. WE JUST CHANGED OUR NAME FROM DISABILITY SERVICES, AND ONE OF THE REASONS WE DID THAT WAS TO REFLECT OUR -- THE MISSION OF OUR OFFICE, WHICH IS MUCH MORE IN LINE WITH THE THINGS THAT YOU'LL HEAR -- HEAR JONATHAN TALKING ABOUT TONIGHT.BUT COLLABORATING FOR EDUCATION.NOT JUST PUTTING THE ONUS ON STUDENTS, BUT ALSO COLLABORATING AS A UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY TO CREATE ACCESSIBILITY FOR EVERYONE.AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR OFFICE OR WANT TO KNOW MORE INFORMATION PLEASE FEEL WELCOME TO -- TO -- THIS TABLE OVER HERE IS GOING TO HAVE SOME PAM -- OR HAS SOME PAMPHLETS AND THINGS ON THERE.SO IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION CENTER, PLEASE FEEL WELCOME TO GO IN THERE, TAKE A PAMPHLET. THE OTHER ORGANIZATION IS THE ACCESSIBILITY STUDENT UNION.THEY'VE DONATED A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF MONEY TO BRING JONATHAN HERE.AND THE ACCESSIBILITY STUDENT UNION IS A -- I WANT TO MAKE SURE I GET THIS RIGHT HERE. IT'S A CROSS-DISABILITY, STUDENT-RUN U OF O GROUP.SO THE GROUP CONSISTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, BUT ALSO STUDENTS WHO ARE ALLIES THAT BELIEVE THAT DISABILITY CAN BE VALUED AND CELEBRATED, PART OF ONE'S IDENTITY.AND THEIR MISSION IS TO RAISE AWARENESS, TO ADVOCATE FOR EQUAL ACCESS IN BOTH PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS, AND TO HAVE FUN.IT PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR EACH OTHER. audience:WOO HOO! JELLAR:YOW!AUDREY MEDINA.AUDREY MEDINA, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.AUDREY MEDINA, WHO JUST WOO HOOED, IS A COLLEAGUE OF MINE.SHE'S A GTF AT THE ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION CENTER.AND SHE IS ALSO ON THE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP OF THE ACCESSIBILITY STUDENT UNION.SO SHE AND ALSO THE OTHER LEADER IS ANNIE KEENAN WHO IS ALSO HERE.AND -- audience:WOO HOO! JELLAR:THANK YOU, REBECCA. audience:AND JAMES BARTIK. JELLAR:AND JAMES BARTIK IS THE THIRD LEADER FOR ACCESSIBILITY STUDENT UNION.AND THEY'RE LOOKING FOR MORE STUDENT LEADERSHIP.SO IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN BEING A PART OF THIS VERY IMPORTANT STUDENT GROUP, ALSO PLEASE GO OVER TO THE TABLE AND PICK UP SOME -- WE HAVE SOME PAMPHLETS AND THINGS OVER THERE. THE THIRD GROUP THAT MADE THIS POSSIBLE WAS THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON LIBRARIES.THEY HAVE DONATED THEIR TIME TO VIDEOTAPE THIS EVENT SO THAT PEOPLE WHO AREN'T ABLE TO BE HERE TODAY ARE ABLE TO STILL EXPERIENCE JONATHAN'S SPEECH.AND IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, LOOK FOR A LINK TO THAT VIDEO ON OUR WEBSITE. SO NOW TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT JONATHAN.SO JONATHAN IS A DYSLEXIC WRITER AND AN EDUCATIONAL ACTIVIST AND AN INSPIRING SPEAKER.HE'S BEEN A SPEAKER IN MORE THAN 43 COUNTRIES.HE'S BEEN FEATURED AND QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, NPR, THE WASHINGTON POST AND THE BOSTON GLOBE.HE WROTE HIS FIRST BOOK BEFORE GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE -- THAT WAS "LEARNING OUTSIDE OF THE LINES" -- IN 2000.HE'S ALSO WRITTEN ANOTHER BOOK CALLED "THE SHORT BUS:A JOURNEY BEYOND NORMAL."HE'S A TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT AND A RHODES SCHOLARSHIP FINALIST. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY IN MY OPINION, HE'S KNOWN FOR VIGOROUSLY, HUMOROUSLY AND PASSIONATELY GIVING VOICE TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SILENCED.PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME JONATHAN MOONEY. MOONEY:THANK YOU.OH, GOOD EVENING.HOW YOU ALL DOING? YOU ALL DOING WELL?OKAY.WELL, MY NAME IS JONATHAN MOONEY AND I'M A -- I'M REALLY DEEPLY HONORED AND PRIVILEGED TO BE SPENDING SOME TIME WITH YOU ALL TONIGHT. BEFORE I BEGIN, JUST A FEW PIECES OF -- OF HOUSEKEEPING OF MY OWN.FIRST AND FOREMOST, I WANT TO RECOGNIZE THE VARYING DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO FACILITATED ME BEING HERE THIS EVENING. YOU KNOW, FOLKS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ONE OF THE MOST MARGINALIZED GROUPS IN OUR SOCIETY.THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES OUT OF ANY MINORITY GROUP IN THIS COUNTRY.HIGHEST HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATES. HIGHEST INCARCERATION RATES.THIS IS A CRITICAL ISSUE. AND ACCESSIBLE HIGHER EDUCATION IS A CENTRAL COMPONENT OF CHANGING THOSE STATISTICS. AND THE FOLKS WHO CAME TOGETHER TODAY TO SUPPORT THAT, DIALOGUE ABOUT THAT AND IMAGINE A ACCESSIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR PEOPLE WHO LEARN AND LIVE DIFFERENTLY ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE.AND I THINK THAT DESERVES A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE.CAN YOU ALL DO THAT?YEAH. SECOND PIECE OF HOUSEKEEPING, WANT TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW I'D LIKE TO SPEND OUR TIME TOGETHER IF THAT'S ALL RIGHT.YOU KNOW, I READ RECENTLY THAT THE AVERAGE HUMAN ATTENTION SPAN -- AVERAGE HUMAN ATTENTION SPAN IS ABOUT 15 MINUTES.RIGHT?AND I THEN I READ THAT THE AVERAGE ATTENTION SPAN OF SOMEBODY ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 7:30 IS ABOUT 15 SECONDS.RIGHT?SO I'M GOING TO DO MY BEST TO RESPECT THAT RESEARCH AND -- AND REALLY KEEP MY -- MY TALKING AT YOU DOWN TO A MANAGEABLE MINIMUM, AND REALLY MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE AMPLE TIME FOR US TO TALK TOGETHER IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS, ANSWERS, DIALOGUE, CONVERSATION. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A GOOD WAY TO SPEND AN HOUR OR SO? YEAH?DOES THAT WORK FOR YOU ALL?OKAY.LAST PIECE OF HOUSEKEEPING.I AM CERTAINLY AN INDIVIDUAL WHO COULD NOT SIT IN A CHAIR FOR EVEN 15 SECONDS.AND IF I WAS IN YOUR SHOES, I WOULD DO -- NEED TO DO MANY THINGS TO MAKE THIS LECTURE MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ME.SO IF YOU'RE LIKE ME AND YOU NEED TO TAKE A BREAK WHILE I'M TALKING, YOU NEED TO STAND IN THE BACK AND PACE BACK AND FORTH, THIS TIME IS YOUR TIME.YOU NEED TO DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE IT WORK AND I WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE OFFENDED. I MYSELF MAY WANDER OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF MY PRESENTATION.OKAY?SO YOU ALL WILL BE ACCOMMODATING AND UNDERSTANDING OF THOSE DIFFERENCES, RIGHT?OKAY. SO WITH THAT SAID AND DONE, KIND OF HOUSEKEEPING OUT OF THE WAY, MY TIME WITH YOU ALL THIS EVENING IN MANY WAYS IS -- IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD, IT'S PRETTY SIMPLE. YOU KNOW, I WAS ASKED HERE TONIGHT TO -- TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL MY PERSONAL JOURNEY.MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF GROWING UP WITH A SIGNIFICANT COGNITIVE DIFFERENCE, LEARNING DISABILITY.MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE INSTITUTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND -- AND MY JOURNEY THROUGH HIGHER EDUCATION.SO IN THE SPIRIT OF SHARING THAT JOURNEY WITH YOU ALL TONIGHT, I WANT TO BEGIN BY JUXTAPOSING OR COMPARING TWO VERY DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL REALITIES IN MY LIFE. AND THEN I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF OUR TIME TOGETHER FILLING IN THE MIDDLE BETWEEN, WHAT WILL BECOME APPARENT TO YOU, ARE TWO EXTREMELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES. SO LET ME BEGIN NATURALLY AT THE BEGINNING.I GREW UP IN AND AROUND LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I WAS WHAT THE FOLKS IN MY SCHOOL COMMUNITY LOVINGLY REFERRED TO AS ONE OF "THOSE" KIDS.ANYONE IN THE AUDIENCE KNOW ANY OF -- OF "THOSE" KIDS?YEAH, WELL, THAT WAS -- THAT WAS ME, THAT WAS JONATHAN MOONEY. I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS WHO HAD SUCH A HARD TIME SITTING STILL IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THAT I GREW UP CHILLING OUT WITH THE JANITOR IN THE HALLWAY.RIGHT? I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL WHO HAD SUCH A HARD TIME KEEPING HIS MOUTH SHUT THAT I GREW UP ON A FIRST NAME BASIS WITH SHIRLEY THE RECEPTIONIST IN THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE.RIGHT? AND IN HIGH SCHOOL, I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS WHO HAD SUCH A HARD TIME LEARNING TO READ, AND SPECIFICALLY A TORTUROUS TIME READING OUT LOUD, I SPENT MOST OF MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE HIDING IN THE BATHROOM TO ESCAPE READING OUT LOUD WITH TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE.I DID NOT LEARN TO READ UNTIL I WAS 12 YEARS OLD.COULD NOT READ UNTIL I WAS 12 YEARS OLD.I WAS LABELED OR DIAGNOSED WITH DYSLEXIA IN FOURTH GRADE.I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD, WHICH STANDS FOR ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, IN FIFTH GRADE.AND I DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL FOR A YEAR IN SIXTH GRADE. THAT YEAR WHEN I LEFT SCHOOL, TWELVE YEARS OLD, I HAD A PLAN FOR SUICIDE.WHEN I REENROLLED IN SCHOOL, AFTER TWO YEARS OUT OF TRADITIONAL EDUCATION, MY FIRST DAY OF NINTH GRADE, FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL, MY GUIDANCE COUNSELOR CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE, PULLED ME ASIDE AND SAID, "JONATHAN, I GIVE YOU A 50/50 CHANCE OF GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL.PEOPLE LIKE YOU HAVE NO PLACE IN COLLEGE AND USUALLY END UP FLIPPING BURGERS FOR A LIVING.THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU."WHEN I WAS 18 AND THEN I HAD GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL, PRETTY MUCH ONLY BECAUSE I WAS GOOD AT SOCCER.I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU ALL, IF WASN'T FOR -- FOR BEING GOOD AT PLAYING BALL, IF IT WASN'T BEING GOOD AT SOMETHING, I WOULD BE A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT TODAY.BUT WHEN I GRADUATED AT 18, THE SAME GENTLEMAN WHO TOLD ME I WOULD FLIP BURGERS FOR A LIVING CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE AND SAID, "JONATHAN, YOU WOULD BE LUCKY TO FLIP BURGERS BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU USUALLY END UP INCARCERATED." RIGHT?SO THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF MY EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY.IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME, LET ME FLASH FORWARD TO THE END OF THAT JOURNEY. BECAUSE IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT NEITHER ONE OF THOSE VERY HOPEFUL PROPHECIES CAME TO PASS IN MY LIFE OR IN MY EDUCATION.OPPOSED TO FLIPPING BURGERS, AS WAS PREDICTED FOR ME, I ENDED UP GRADUATE OF -- OF BROWN UNIVERSITY, WHICH YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW IS AN IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY.I GRADUATED FROM BROWN WITH AN HONOR'S DEGREE IN, OF ALL THINGS, ENGLISH LITERATURE.ALL RIGHT? OPPOSED TO BEING INCARCERATED, AS WAS PREDICTED FOR ME, I ENDED UP THE AUTHOR OF TWO BOOKS, THE FIRST OF WHICH I WROTE AS AN UNDERGRADUATE AT BROWN UNIVERSITY.SO I HAVE DONE MANY, MANY THINGS IN -- IN MY LIFE.GONE OFF TO COLLEGE, WROTE SOME BOOKS, LECTURED IN MANY PLACES AROUND THE WORLD.DONE MANY THINGS IN MY BRIEF LIFE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FLIPPING BURGERS OR BEING INCARCERATED, RIGHT?NOW MY JOB TODAY WITH YOU ALL IS TO REALLY FILL IN THE MIDDLE BETWEEN THOSE TWO EXTREMES. MY JOB IS TO ANSWER THE VERY VALID QUESTION THAT I'M ASKED ALL THE TIME WHEN FOLKS HEAR ABOUT SUCH A PROFOUND JOURNEY OF CHANGE.I'M ASKED ALL THE TIME BY MOMS, DADS, INDIVIDUALS, EDUCATORS, "JONATHAN, HOW DID YOU DO IT?HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY GO FROM A SIXTH GRADE DROPOUT WHO COULD NOT READ AT 12 YEARS OLD TO SOMEBODY WHO COULD STUDY ENGLISH LITERATURE AT BROWN?HOW DID YOU DO THAT, JONATHAN?WHAT DRUGS DID YOU TAKE, AND WHERE CAN I BUY SOME?"ALL RIGHT?I KNOW THAT THAT IS THE -- THE, SORT OF, QUESTION ON YOUR MIND TONIGHT, AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT -- WHAT CHANGED IN MY LIFE.I WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT TYPES OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS WERE INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE TO SOMEBODY WITH CAPACITIES BUT CAPACITIES THAT EXPRESSED THEMSELVES IN VARYING DIFFERENT WAYS. SO THAT'S MY GOAL THIS EVENING, TO TALK ABOUT WHAT WERE THOSE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS LIKE.SO IN TALKING ABOUT THAT WITH YOU TODAY, I REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT THREE THINGS.OKAY?I'M GOING TO SHARE THESE THREE THINGS WITH YOU, THREE IDEAS ABOUT HOW WE CREATE THOSE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, WHAT CONSTITUTES THOSE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO OPEN IT UP FOR SOME QUESTIONS, CONVERSATION AND DIALOGUE. SO LET ME START WITH WHAT, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, IS THE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLE OF MY JOURNEY OF CHANGE, BUT ALSO OF CREATING AN ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE PLACE FOR PEOPLE WITH COGNITIVE AND PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES.THE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLE IS REALLY TO CHALLENGE OUR DEFINITION OF WHERE DISABILITY LIES.YOU KNOW, I THINK WE LIVE IN A CULTURE -- WE CERTAINLY HAVE CREATED A MEDICAL FRAMEWORK THAT TELLS US THAT DISABILITY LIES IN BODIES.RIGHT?THAT IT'S A PROBLEM WITH SOMEBODY'S MOBILITY, OR IT'S A PROBLEM WITH THE LEFT HEMISPHERE OF MY BRAIN WHERE DYSLEXIA SUPPOSEDLY LIES.SO WE'VE BUILT THIS WHOLE UNDERSTANDING AS DISABILITY BEING A PROBLEM WITHIN PEOPLE.AND SUBSEQUENTLY, WE'VE BUILT AN ENTIRE, SORT OF, EDIFICE OF INTERVENTION THAT'S ABOUT FIXING PEOPLE.RIGHT?AND WE SPEND MOST OF OUR TIME AND ENERGY TRYING TO FIX THESE SO-CALLED DISABLED PEOPLE. BUT IF YOU HANG OUT WITH FOLKS WITH COGNITIVE AND PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES FOR ONE MOMENT AND YOU LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES, YOU WILL HEAR THAT IT'S NOT THEIR MINDS OR BODIES THAT TRULY DISABLE THEM, IT'S HOW ENVIRONMENTS REACT TO THOSE DIFFERENCES.THAT'S WHERE DISABILITY LIES.FOLKS DON'T HAVE DISABILITY, THEY EXPERIENCE DISABILITY IN ENVIRONMENTS THAT AREN'T ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE.RIGHT? TALK TO FOLKS IN WHEELCHAIRS.RIGHT?SURE, THAT'S PROBLEMATIC.SURE, THEY STRUGGLE WITH THAT, BUT THE REAL DISABILITY IN THEIR LIFE IS WHEN BUILDINGS DON'T HAVE RAMPS.YOU KNOW?THAT'S THE ESSENCE OF DISABILITY.IT CHALLENGES OUR DEFINITION OF WHERE DOES DISABILITY LIVE.SO WHAT THAT MEANS WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING ABOUT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, IS WE SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME TALKING ABOUT HOW WE CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT THAT SURROUNDS PEOPLE AND NOT THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES. SO YOU LOOK AT MY JOURNEY.IT REQUIRED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS TO NOT FIX ME, BUT TO QUESTION SOME FOUNDATIONAL MISGUIDED BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD DO IN THOSE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS.SAID DIFFERENTLY, JONATHAN MOONEY DIDN'T OVERCOME DYSLEXIA. FOLKS LIKE TO SAY THAT ALL THE TIME."JONATHAN OVERCAME DYSLEXIA."NO, I DID NOT OVERCOME DYSLEXIA.IF I OVERCAME ANYTHING, IT WAS DYSTEACHIA.OKAY?THAT -- THAT'S WHAT I OVERCAME, RIGHT?I OVERCAME SOME ENVIRONMENTS THAT WEREN'T BUILT FOR MY BRAIN. SO LET'S UNDERSTAND, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, FROM MY EXPERIENCE, WHERE WERE THOSE ENVIRONMENTS MISDESIGNED. WHERE WERE THEY POORLY DESIGNED?WHAT MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS DID THEY MAKE NORMS AND SUBSEQUENTLY MARGINALIZED ME FROM THE PROCESS? SO IN THINKING ABOUT THAT, IT REQUIRES US TO TALK HONESTLY ABOUT HOW LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, HAVE A VERY NARROW NOTION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, HUMAN BEHAVIOR, AND HUMAN MOTIVATION.AND IT'S THAT NARROW DEFINITION OF INTELLIGENCE, BEHAVIOR AND MOTIVATION THAT IS REALLY MY DISABILITY, NOT DYSLEXIA, NOT ADHD.SO WHAT I WANT TO SHARE WITH NOW IS MY THOUGHTS ON THAT NARROW DEFINITION OF INTELLIGENCE, MOTIVATION AND BEHAVIOR AND THE IMPACT THAT THAT HAD ON MY LIFE. SO LET'S START FIRST AND FOREMOST, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND MY EXPERIENCE, THE NARROW DEFINITION OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR.AND I ENCOUNTERED THIS DEFINITION WHETHER IT WAS FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN OR WHETHER IT WAS BROWN UNIVERSITY.RIGHT?AND I THINK THIS NARROW DEFINITION THAT REALLY DISABLED ME CAN BE SUMMED UP THIS WAY.IN MANY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, WE THINK GOOD KIDS SIT STILL AT THE SCHOOL DESK, RIGHT?AND THAT IS A DEEPLY HELD BELIEF, RIGHT?IT IS SOMETHING WE HOLD ON TO SO DEEPLY IN OUR CLASSROOMS THAT THE GOOD KID IS THE COMPLIANT KID, IS THE KID WHO SITS STILL WELL.AND THAT HAD DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES IN MY LIFE.IT REALLY DID. LET ME IMMERSE YOU INTO MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SCHOOL DESK FOR A MOMENT, OKAY?AND -- AND IT IS A -- IT IS A FRAUGHT AND -- AND TUMULTUOUS RELATIONSHIP.RIGHT?AND IT'S A FIRST GRADE RELATIONSHIP, IT'S A BROWN UNIVERSITY RELATIONSHIP.RIGHT?I SEE THAT DESK AND BEFORE I EVEN SIT IN IT, MY HANDS START TO SWEAT, RIGHT, MY -- MY FACE GETS ALL RED.BECAUSE I KNOW AFTER FIVE SECONDS AT THAT DESK, FIVE SECONDS AT THAT DESK, MY FOOT IS GOING TO START BOUNCING.RIGHT?TEN SECONDS AT THE DESK, BOTH FEET ARE GOING TO START BOUNCING.RIGHT?FIFTEEN SECONDS AT THE DESK, OH, I'M GOING TO BUST OUT THOSE DRUMS.RIGHT? TEN MINUTES AT THE DESK, IT IS ALL OVER.I AM THE KID TRYING TO TAKE MY LEG AND PUT IT BEHIND MY NECK.RIGHT? AND THAT YOUNG PERSON IS SHAMED BECAUSE THERE'S A DEEPLY HELD NORM THAT GOOD KIDS ARE COMPLIANT KIDS, THAT THAT'S THE DEFINITION OF POSITIVE HUMAN BEHAVIOR.AND SO YOUNG FOLKS LIKE ME ARE GIVEN THE IDENTITY OF BEING BAD BECAUSE WE DON'T FIT THAT NORM. WE'RE SHAMED AND TOLD WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I HEARD THAT AT HOME, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, FROM MY FATHER.YOU KNOW, I GREW UP IN A GOOD, OLD-SCHOOL IRISH CATHOLIC HOUSEHOLD.AND AT THE DINNER TABLE GOOD KIDS SAT STILL.SO I GREW UP IN HOUSEHOLD THAT PERPETUATED THAT NORM.SO MY DAD EVERY NIGHT, "JONATHAN, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?STOP IT.STOP IT.STOP IT."AND I GREW UP IN SCHOOLS THAT HAD THE SAME NORM.NOT ALL OF MY CLASSROOMS, BUT MANY OF MY CLASSROOMS.NEVER FORGET, I HAD A SECOND GRADE TEACHER NAMED MRS. C.I'VE HAD MANY, MANY GIFTED, BRILLIANT TEACHERS WHO I'M GOING TO CELEBRATE TONIGHT.MRS. C WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE.OKAY? MY FOOT WOULD BE BOUNCING, SHE WOULD STOP CLASS, SHE WOULD POINT AT ME AND SHE WOULD SAY AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS, "JONATHAN, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?"RIGHT?WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?IF I HAD A NICKEL FOR EVERY TIME I HEARD THAT WORD IN MY LIFE I WOULD BE A RICH MAN TODAY, RIGHT? SO I WAS GIVEN THIS IDENTITY THAT I WAS A PROBLEM BECAUSE OF A NORM IN THE ENVIRONMENT THAT GOOD KIDS SIT STILL.AND THERE IS REAMS OF RESEARCH CHALLENGING THAT NORM.THERE'S RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT MANY PEOPLE MOVE BECAUSE IT HELPS THEM PAY ATTENTION, THAT IF THEY DON'T MOVE, THEIR BRAINS TURN OFF.THERE'S RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT THE SAME TRAIT THAT CAUSES SCHOOL PROBLEMS CAN LEAD TO LIFE SUCCESS.RIGHT?THAT THE KID IN THE HALLWAY, IF THEY CHANNEL THAT ENERGY, CAN BE THE CEO IN THE BOARDROOM OR THE ARTIST IN THE GALLERY.RIGHT? THERE'S A CORRELATION BETWEEN TRAITS AND BEHAVIORS THAT CAUSE SCHOOL PROBLEMS AND LEAD TO LIFE SUCCESS. MY IRISH GRANDMOTHER SAID IT BEST.SHE USED TO SAY TO ME -- WHEN I WAS HAVING A HARD TIME, SHE WOULD SAY, "JONATHAN, DIFFICULT CHILDREN MAKE INTERESTING ADULTS." RIGHT?AND THERE'S TRUTH TO THAT.THERE'S TRUTH TO THAT.BUT WE HAVEN'T BUILT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS TO EMBRACE THAT PARADOX.WE'VE BUILT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS BASED ON THE MYTH THAT APPROPRIATE AND VALUABLE HUMAN BEHAVIOR IS ABOUT COMPLIANCE.AND WE'VE DONE ALL HUMAN BEINGS A DISSERVICE WHEN WE'VE DONE THAT.WE'VE DONE ME A DISSERVICE, CERTAINLY, BECAUSE I'M IN THE HALLWAY ALL DAY, BUT WE'VE DONE EVERYONE A DISSERVICE WHEN WE NARROWLY DEFINE HUMAN BEHAVIOR. WE'VE ALSO NARROWLY DEFINED HUMAN INTELLIGENCE.AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE TRUE DISABILITY IN MY LIFE, IT WAS THE BELIEF THAT I WAS STUPID BECAUSE I DIDN'T FIT THIS NARROW DEFINITION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE.AND THE NARROW DEFINITION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE IN MY WORLD WAS THE BELIEF THAT SMART PEOPLE, ABOVE ALL ELSE, READ.RIGHT? DO YOU ALL REALIZE THE WAY THAT WE HAVE CONFLATED READING WITH INTELLIGENCE?WE'VE CONFUSED WHAT IS BASICALLY A SKILL WITH A GLOBAL CAPACITY OR FACULTY. AND THAT'S DEEPLY INGRAINED IN OUR CULTURE AND IN OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, THAT THE SMART PERSON READS.AND IF YOU DON'T READ WELL, SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG WITH YOU.IT'S IN OUR CULTURE, ISN'T IT? AND I'M THE FATHER OF THREE.I GOT -- I GOT THREE BOYS UNDER FIVE YEARS OLD.RIGHT?THREE BOYS UNDER FIVE YEARS OLD.SO I SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH OTHER PARENTS. AND I'VE GOT MY OLDEST, MAX, GETTING READY TO GO TO KINDERGARTEN.RIGHT?AND I SPEND TIME AT THE PARK WITH MOMS AND DADS, AND EVERY TIME I'M AT THE PARK WITH THOSE MOM AND DADS AND THEY HAVE A FIVE-YEAR-OLD, I'M ALWAYS HEARING ABOUT HOW SMART THEIR KID IS.RIGHT? EVERYONE'S GOT A GENIUS ON THEIR HANDS, YOU KNOW. AND -- AND HOW DOES EVERYBODY KNOW THAT THEY'VE GOT THE GENIUS ON THEIR HANDS?BECAUSE OF THE READING, RIGHT? BECAUSE OF THE READING. OH, MY KID IS SO SMART, THEY'RE READING CHAPTER BOOKS AND THEY'RE IN PRESCHOOL.OH, MY KID IS SO SMART, THEY KNOW ALL THEIR LETTERS AND THEY'RE THREE YEARS OLD.OH, MY KID IS SO SMART, THEY KNOW PHONICS AND THEY'RE IN UTERO.RIGHT?IT AIN'T EVER MY KID'S SO SMART, THEY'RE GOOD AT BUILDING THINGS WITH THEIR HANDS.I AIN'T EVER HEARD THAT ONE.IT AIN'T EVER MY KID'S SO SMART, THEY'RE GOOD AT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS AND HAVE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.IT AIN'T EVER MY KID'S SO SMART, THEY'RE A GOOD TALK -- IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE READING.AND WE'VE LEFT SO MANY BRAINS OUT IN THAT DEFINITION, THAT THE SMART PEOPLE READ WELL. WELL, I STUDIED ENGLISH LITERATURE AT BROWN UNIVERSITY. I GOT 4.0 IN ENGLISH LITERATURE AT BROWN UNIVERSITY, AND I READ IN THE 12TH PERCENTILE TODAY, THE 12TH PERCENTILE.I READ LIKE A THIRD GRADER TODAY.IT'S A DEFINITION THAT WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE.IT'S A DEFINITION THAT WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE IN OUR CULTURE, BUT IT'S CERTAINLY A DEFINITION THAT WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE IN OUR SCHOOLS.BECAUSE WE START TRACKING KIDS BASED ON HOW WELL THEY CAN READ AND WRITE COME KINDERGARTEN NOW, RIGHT?IT'S NEVER HARD TO TELL THE SMART OR THE STUPID GROUP, IS IT?WHO REMEMBERS TRACKING FROM WHEN THEY WERE GROWING UP?ANYBODY?LET ME ASK THE QUESTION DIFFERENTLY.WHO REMEMBERS THE READING GROUPS FROM WHEN THEY WERE GROWING UP?ANYBODY?COME ON NOW, LET ME ASK YOU ALL A QUESTION.WAS IT EVER HARD TO TELL WHICH READING GROUP WAS THE SMART READING GROUP AND WHICH READING GROUP WAS THE STUPID READING GROUP? IT -- IT WASN'T HARD TO TELL.RIGHT?YOU -- YOU HAD THE BLACKBIRDS OVER HERE, YOU HAD THE BLUEBIRDS OVER HERE, AND THEN OVER IN THE ANNEXED TRAILER BUILDING -- RIGHT? -- YOU HAD THE SPARROWS.YOU KNOW?COME ON NOW, EVERYBODY KNOWS THE SMART GROUP AND THE STUPID GROUP. LET ME PUT THIS THIS WAY.WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, EVERYBODY KNEW THAT MY GROUP WAS THE STUPID GROUP BECAUSE MY GROUP WAS A BIRD THAT DID NOT FLY.OKAY?IT WAS AN OSTRICH AND IT RAN QUICKLY.RIGHT?AND I WAS HANGING OUT WITH "SEE SPOT RUN" AND EVERYBODY KNEW, EVERYBODY KNEW THAT THE CONDORS WERE THE SMART GROUP BECAUSE THE CONDORS WERE READING WAR AND PEACE.OKAY? IT AIN'T HARD TO TELL.THE SMART KID READS, THE SMARTER KID READS EARLY AND THE SMARTEST KID READS EARLY AND FAST.GOT TO CHALLENGE THAT.AND THE BRAIN SCIENCE IS CHALLENGING THAT.MARYANNE WOLF FROM TUFT'S UNIVERSITY HAS DONE PIONEERING WORK TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE READING BRAIN AIN'T NATURAL NOR NORMAL.IT'S A NEW INVENTION. BACK IN ANCIENT GREECE IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE A TALKING BRAIN, YOU WERE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION.RIGHT?THAT OUR DEFINITIONS OF WHAT IS SMART IS CULTURALLY CONSTRUCTED. THAT WE MAY BE ENTERING THE AGE IN WHICH THE READING BRAIN IS SECONDARY TO THE BRAIN THAT CAN PROCESS VISUAL IMAGERY.RIGHT?AND CAN DEAL WITH VISUAL COMMUNICATION.WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE THIS IDEA THAT -- THAT THIS ONE BRAIN IS BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHER BRAINS. BECAUSE I KNOW IN MY LIFE SOME OF THE SMARTEST PEOPLE I'VE EVER MET, THEY DIDN'T READ WELL, THEY DIDN'T WRITE WELL, BUT THEY COULD REBUILD THAT CAR ENGINE FROM SCRATCH.RIGHT?AND THAT WAS A FORM OF INTELLIGENCE THAT NEEDS TO BE NURTURED, NEEDS TO BE VALUED, NEEDS TO BE NAMED. INTELLIGENCE ISN'T ONE THING, IT'S MANY THINGS.RIGHT? AND WE NEED TO ASK A DIFFERENT QUESTION ABOUT YOUNG FOLKS AND STUDENTS AND OURSELVES.WE SHOULDN'T BE ASKING OURSELVES HOW SMART AM I, WE SHOULD BE ASKING HOW AM I SMART.RIGHT?BECAUSE WHEN WE ASK THAT QUESTION, WE OPEN UP A REALITY THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IN THIS ROOM HAVE A CAPACITY THAT WE CAN GROW, THAT WE CAN -- THAT WE CAN BUILD OUR LIFE ON, THAT ADDS VALUE TO A COMMUNITY, TO A CULTURE AND TO A SOCIETY. SO I HAD TO OVERCOME THAT NARROW DEFINITION.I HAD TO OVERCOME NOT DYSLEXIA, BUT THE FEELING THAT I WAS DUMB BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ONE OF THOSE READING BRAINS.AND I HAD TO OVERCOME NOT ADHD, BUT I HAD TO OVERCOME THE FEELING OF BEING THE DEFECTIVE PERSON MORALLY BECAUSE I DIDN'T COMPLY TO THE MYTH THAT GOOD KIDS ARE COMPLIANT. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I HAD TO OVERCOME THE PERVASIVE MESSAGE THAT I WAS THE LAZY KID, WHICH WAS GROUNDED IN A FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING OR NARROW UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN MOTIVATION. BECAUSE THAT'S THE OTHER THING I HEAR ALL THE TIME.I HEAR THAT FOLKS LIKE ME ARE -- ARE -- ARE LAZY.RIGHT? AND THAT'S OFTEN AN ACCUSATION THAT IS LEVERAGED AT SOMEBODY WHEN THEY ARE EVALUATING MOTIVATION THROUGH THE LENS OF EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION.RIGHT?DIFFERENT WAYS TO BE MOTIVATED, BUT THE DOMINANT WAY THAT WE BELIEVE HUMAN BEINGS ARE MOTIVATED IS THROUGH EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION. RIGHT?A DESIRE FOR REWARDS OR A FEAR OF PUNISHMENT. GOLD STARS OR DETENTION.STICKS OR CARROTS.AND SUBSEQUENTLY, WE HAVE DESIGNED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AROUND THOSE MOTIVATION DRIVERS.RIGHT?THE GOLD STARS AND THE DETENTION.NOW THAT WORKS FOR SOME FOLKS, IT DOES.BUT THERE'S A WHOLE GROUP OF FOLKS FOR WHOM THAT DOESN'T WORK FOR AT ALL.RIGHT? GIVE YOU THE BEST EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THOSE FOLKS THAT I'VE MET.AND THIS CAME AFTER I GAVE A TALK LIKE THIS, BUT IT WAS REALLY GEARED TOWARDS FAMILIES.AND AFTER I GAVE THIS TALK, THIS FATHER CAME UP TO ME.AND HE HAD HIS 17-YEAR-OLD SON WITH HIM, 17-YEAR-OLD SON.AND HE CAME UP TO ME AND HE SAID, "JONATHAN, I HEARD WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY ABOUT -- ABOUT NARROW DEFINITION OF HUMAN MOTIVATION, WHATNOT, BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IT.MY KID IS LAZY," HE SAID.AND I WANTED TO RESPECT THE -- THE MAN'S OPINION.I -- I DIDN'T KNOW HIM.SO I -- I ASKED HIM, "TELL -- TELL ME WHY YOU THINK YOUR SON IS LAZY." AND THE 17-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS RIGHT THERE.AND THE FATHER WENT ON TO DESCRIBE THE SCHOOL WEEK.RIGHT?AND HE TOLD ME HOW HIS SON WOULDN'T GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING, TOLD ME HOW HIS SON WOULDN'T TURN THINGS IN. TOLD ME HOW HIS SON SEEMED APATHETIC AND DISENGAGED WITH EVERYTHING THAT WAS HAPPENING IN SCHOOL.AND I GRANTED HIM THAT IT SEEMED LIKE HIS SON WAS -- WAS VERY UNMOTIVATED.AND THEN I TURNED TO THE 17-YEAR-OLD.AND I SAID, "OKAY, MAN, I HEARD WHAT YOUR FATHER HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE SCHOOL WEEK.NOW TELL ME ABOUT THE WEEKEND." RIGHT?YOU THINK YOU GOT A LAZY YOUNG PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU?ASK ABOUT THEIR TIME.RIGHT?NOT THEIR SCHEDULED OR PRESCRIBED TIME, BUT THEIR TIME.SO I TURNED TO THE YOUNG MAN, I SAID, "TELL ME ABOUT THE WEEKEND."AND THE YOUNG MAN SAID HE SPENT MOST HIS WEEKEND -- OF HIS WEEKEND IN HIS ROOM.AND THE FATHER JUMPED IN AND SAID, "SEE, HE'S LAZY, LAZY."WELL, I SAID, "HOLD UP, WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN YOUR ROOM?"AND THE YOUNG MAN SAID, "WELL, I'M ON MY COMPUTER."AND DAD ROLLED HIS EYES, YOU KNOW, BIG SIGH.RIGHT?AND I SAID TO THE YOUNG MAN, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR COMPUTER?" AND YOUNG MAN SAID, YOU KNOW, "I'M DESIGNING VIDEO GAMES ON MY COMPUTER."RIGHT? AND I SAID, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE VIDEO GAMES THAT YOU DESIGNED?"AND HE SAID, "I'M SELLING THEM TO MY FRIENDS."THIS SO-CALLED LAZY KID WAS SPENDING 15 HOURS A DAY WITH HIGH-LEVEL COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, WITH HIGH-LEVEL MATH, WITH HIGH-LEVEL GRAPHIC DESIGN SKILLS AND WITH HIGH-LEVEL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXPERIENCES, AND PEOPLE CALLED HIM LAZY.WRONG LENS OF MOTIVATION.YES, THIS YOUNG PERSON WASN'T EXTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THE GOLD STARS OR DETENTION DURING THE SCHOOL WEEK.THIS YOUNG PERSON WAS INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED.INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IS VERY DIFFERENT, RIGHT?INTRINSIC MOTIVATION ARE DRIVERS LIKE AUTONOMY, MASTERY AND PURPOSE.AUTONOMY, MASTERY AND PURPOSE. AND WHEN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OR ANY ENVIRONMENT IS BUILT AROUND THOSE DRIVERS, SEEMINGLY DISENGAGED FOLKS WHO STRUGGLE WITH ENGAGEMENT AND MOTIVATION CAN OFTEN BECOME THE VIDEO GAME ENTREPRENEUR WHO ARE SELLING THINGS TO THEIR FRIENDS.RIGHT?IT'S A RADICAL REFRAMING OF HOW WE THINK ABOUT MOTIVATION.BUT YET WE'VE BUILT MOST OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS WITH THE STICKS AND CARROTS, WITH THE GOLD STARS AND DETENTION. WE'VE BUILT MOST OF OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS TELLING PEOPLE WHEN TO THINK, HOW TO THINK AND WHAT TO THINK. AND WE'VE NEGATED THE POWER OF CHOICE, AND THE POWER OF LETTING FOLKS CRAFT AN EDUCATION THAT IS GROUNDED IN THEIR ASPIRATIONS, THEIR VISION FOR THEMSELVES.RIGHT? AND WHEN WE DO THAT, WE SEE FOLKS WHO ARE TRADITIONALLY DISENGAGED BECOME EXCEPTIONALLY ENGAGED.AGAIN, THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MY INATTENTIVE ADD, IT HAD TO DO WITH THE NORM OF THE ENVIRONMENT.AND WHEN THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGED, MY EXPERIENCE CHANGED.SO INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS REQUIRE US TO RETHINK WHERE DISABILITY IS.IT AIN'T IN BODIES, IT'S IN THE INTERACTION OF DIFFERENCE WITH ENVIRONMENT.THAT'S WHERE DISABILITY OR EMPOWERMENT OCCURS.AND IN RETHINKING THOSE ENVIRONMENTS, WE'VE GOT TO CHALLENGE THAT MYTH THAT GOOD PEOPLE ARE COMPLIANT, THAT NARROW DEFINITION OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR.AND CHALLENGE THAT MYTH THAT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SMART IS TO READ.THERE ARE MANY VERY BRIGHT PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE TREMENDOUSLY WITH THAT TRADITIONAL SKILL SET.AND THEY ADD VALUE NOT DESPITE THAT STRUGGLE, BUT OFTEN BECAUSE OF THAT STRUGGLE. AND LASTLY, IT REQUIRES US TO RETHINK HOW WE FRAME MOTIVATION.HOW DO WE BUILD LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS THAT EMBRACE INTRINSIC MOTIVATION, AUTONOMY, MASTERY AND PURPOSE?AND EVERY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT EMPOWERED ME, THAT I FELT INCLUDED IN, THAT WAS ACCESSIBLE, HAD THAT AS ITS CORE.AND THAT WAS THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT STEP.BUT IT WASN'T THE LAST.RIGHT? BECAUSE I TOLD YOU I WENT ON THIS JOURNEY FROM THE KID WHO HID IN THE BATHROOM TO THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU BECAUSE OF THREE THINGS.ONE, A REDEFINITION OF WHERE DISABILITY LIES.THAT WAS NUMBER ONE. NOW LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT NUMBER TWO.OKAY?A CENTRAL COMPONENT OF MY JOURNEY WAS IN IDENTITY TRANSFORMATION FROM BEING A PATIENT TO BEING AN AGENT IN THE PROCESS.YOU KNOW I TOLD YOU ALL THAT BECAUSE WE MISDEFINE WHERE DISABILITY LIES, WE THINK IT'S IN BODIES, WE'VE BUILT THIS ENTIRE SORT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, A FRIEND OF MINE CALLS IT THE DISABILITY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.RIGHT?WE'VE BUILT THIS WHOLE INFRASTRUCTURE ABOUT FIXING FOLKS, ABOUT TURNING PEOPLE INTO PASSIVE RECIPIENTS OF TREATMENT AND SERVICE, OF TURNING PEOPLE INTO PATIENTS. BUT BEING A PATIENT IS THE MOST DISEMPOWERED PLACE A HUMAN BEING CAN BE.THE GREEK ROOT FOR THE WORD PATIENT, THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD, IS TO BE FLAT ON YOUR BACK.THAT'S NOT A PLACE WHERE SOMEBODY BUILDS A LIFE FROM.SO WE NEED TO CULTIVATE A SENSE OF AGENCY IN PEOPLE, WHICH IS THE OPPOSITE OF PATIENTHOOD.AND IN MY LIFE THE MOST MEANINGFUL INTERVENTIONS, THE MOST MEANINGFUL PEOPLE IN MY LIFE WERE PEOPLE WHO CULTIVATED A SENSE OF AGENCY.AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THEM AND HOW THEY CULTIVATED THAT SENSE OF AGENCY. WELL, THE FIRST PERSON WHO DID THAT WAS MY MOTHER.I WOULD NOT BE HERE IF IT WASN'T FOR COLLEEN MOONEY. OKAY?SO I WANT TO GIVE YOU A MENTAL IMAGE OF MY MOM BEFORE I TELL YOU WHAT SHE DID TO CULTIVATE AGENCY. SO YOU CAN SEE HER IN YOUR MIND.MY MOTHER, NOT A TALL WOMAN, ON A GOOD DAY IN HIGH HEELS ON HER TIPPY TOES, SHE'S ABOUT 4'11.ALL RIGHT?SHE'S A LITTLE IRISH BULLDOG.YOU KNOW?MY MOTHER, NOT A WEALTHY WOMAN, RAISED MY BROTHER AND TWO SISTERS ON WELFARE IN SAN FRANCISCO.MY MOTHER, NOT AN EDUCATED WOMAN, NEVER WENT TO COLLEGE, MOST LIKELY UNDIAGNOSED DYSLEXIC, STRUGGLED PROFOUNDLY WITH READING, HAD A LOT OF LOW EXPECTATIONS SURROUNDING HER IN HER CHILDHOOD, HER EDUCATION.SO MY MOTHER WAS OFTEN, SORT OF, DISMISSED.SHE WASN'T TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THE SCHOOL FOLKS IN MY LIFE.SHE WASN'T TALL, SHE WASN'T WEALTHY, SHE WASN'T EDUCATED AND SHE ALSO HAD A VERY FUNNY VOICE.SHE HAD A VERY HIGH PITCHED, SQUEAKY VOICE LIKE MICKEY MOUSE.BUT FOLKS DISMISSED HER AT THEIR OWN PERIL.OKAY?BECAUSE SHE WASN'T TALL, SHE WASN'T WEALTHY, SHE WASN'T EDUCATED, YES, SHE SOUNDED LIKE MICKEY MOUSE, BUT MY MOTHER, SHE CURSED LIKE A TRUCK DRIVER.OKAY?AND I'LL ASK YOU A QUESTION, IF YOU'RE A PRINCIPAL OR A TEACHER OR A SOCIAL WORKER, DID YOU WANT CURSING MICKEY MOUSE IN YOUR OFFICE?ALL RIGHT?THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION, IF YOU'RE AT ALL CONFUSED, IS NO.OKAY?BUT GUESS WHERE MY MOTHER WAS EVERY DAY?WHEN SOMETHING WASN'T GOING RIGHT FOR HER SON, SHE WAS -- SHE WAS IN THAT OFFICE. HOW -- HOW DID WE KNOW SHE WAS IN THAT OFFICE?BECAUSE EVERY DOG IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WAS RUNNING AWAY.ONLY BATS COULD HEAR HER HIGH-PITCHED OBSCENITIES, RIGHT?MY MOTHER -- MY MOTHER WAS A VOCIFEROUS ADVOCATE FOR ME. AND THE CENTRAL COMPONENT OF MY RELATIONSHIP FOR HER, SOMETHING SHE SAID EVERY DAY, WAS YOU DON'T NEED SOMEBODY TO FIX YOU, YOU NEED SOMEBODY TO FIGHT FOR YOU AND WITH YOU.BECAUSE WHAT'S HAPPENING TO YOU IS AN INJUSTICE.WHEN I LOOK AT MY MOM'S ROLE IN CULTIVATING AGENCY IN MY LIFE, IT WAS THAT DISCOURSE AND CONVERSATION OF INJUSTICE THAT WAS CENTRAL TO IT. BECAUSE THAT AIN'T USUALLY HOW WE TALK ABOUT IT.WE USUALLY TALK ABOUT IT AS A FAULT OR PROBLEM IN PEOPLE. IF IT'S A DISEASE, IT'S AIN'T AN INJUSTICE THAT YOU'RE STRUGGLING.BUT IF YOU ARE A MINORITY AND YOUR EXPERIENCE REPRESENTS A FORM OF DIVERSITY THAT FOLKS AREN'T ACCOMMODATING OR CELEBRATING, WHAT'S HAPPENING TO YOU IS WRONG.AND MY MOM SAID THAT TO ME EVERY SINGLE DAY. SHE SAID, "IT AIN'T RIGHT FOR YOU TO BE IN THE HALLWAY, IT AIN'T RIGHT FOR YOU TO BE IN THE BATHROOM."IT AIN'T RIGHT FOR SOMEBODY TO BE MARGINALIZED BECAUSE OF A DIFFERENCE.IT ISN'T RIGHT.IT ISN'T RIGHT IF THAT DIFFERENCE IS THE COLOR OF SOMEBODY'S SKIN, IT ISN'T RIGHT IF THAT DIFFERENCE IS THEIR SEXUALITY OR THEIR GENDER OR WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD THEY COME FROM, AND IT ISN'T RIGHT IF THE DIFFERENCE IS IN HOW YOU LEARN.MY MOTHER MADE A DIRECT LINKAGE TO A RIGHTS DIVERSITY CONVERSATION.AND THAT'S A LINKAGE WE HAVE TO MAKE.IN OUR BROADER DISCOURSE, IN OUR INDIVIDUAL INTERACTIONS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND STUDENTS, AND IN OUR OWN LIFE. BECAUSE I'M NOT GONNA FIGHT AND ADVOCATE FOR MYSELF IF I'M THE SICK PATIENT WHO SHOULD BE CURED.IF I'M THE PERSON GETTING LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE OF A DIFFERENCE, I'M ANGRY AND I'M GONNA FIGHT.AND THAT BECOMES THE CENTERPIECE TO MY EXPERIENCE.RIGHT? I NEED TO CULTIVATE A RIGHTS-BASED PARADIGM, A DIVERSITY FRAMEWORK, AND I NEED TO BECOME AN ADVOCATE AGAINST WHAT IS A FORM OF DISCRIMINATION AND MARGINALIZATION.AND THAT'S AN IMPORTANT TRANSITION IN AGENCY, RIGHT, AND MY MOM PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN THAT.BUT THERE WERE OTHER PEOPLE WHO PLAYED A BIG ROLE IN THAT, AND THAT'S THE EDUCATORS IN MY LIFE.AND I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THEY CULTIVATED AGENCY.RIGHT?BECAUSE MY MOTHER'S OVER HERE TELLING ME, "LOOK MAN, YOU'VE GOT TO FIGHT AGAINST THIS, YOU'VE GOT TO BE AN ADVOCATE, YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE A VOICE IN YOUR EDUCATION." AND THEN I HAD EDUCATORS IN MY LIFE, PARTICULARLY EDUCATORS IN MY HIGHER EDUCATION, WHO WERE CONSISTENTLY CULTIVATING THE LANGUAGE OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ME. WHO HELPED ME SEE THINGS IN MYSELF BEFORE I EVEN SAW THEM.RIGHT?AND ONE OF THE MOST MEANINGFUL EDUCATORS WHO DID THAT WAS AN EDUCATOR AT MY FIRST COLLEGE BEFORE BROWN UNIVERSITY, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY IN LOS ANGELES.AND I WENT TO LMU REALLY TO JUST BE AN ATHLETE.YOU KNOW, I WENT THERE ON DIVISION ONE SOCCER SCHOLARSHIP.I THOUGHT I WAS THE DUMB JOCK, THAT WAS IT.RIGHT?I HAD NO INTEREST IN MY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE.I WAS GOING TO PLAY BALL.THAT WAS IT.SO I GOT TO LMU AND -- AND IN THE FIRST WEEK, WE HAD TO GO AROUND AS A TEAM AND LISTEN TO ALL THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS GIVE THEIR -- THEIR PITCH.RIGHT?DECIDE WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO MAJOR IN.AND I WENT TO THE PITCHES, AND -- AND I WAS SO DISENGAGED.RIGHT?DIDN'T THINK I HAD ANY PLACE AS A LEARNER.MANY OF THEM WERE BORING, LET'S BE HONEST ABOUT THAT.AND I WAS DISENGAGED.BUT THEN I GOT TO THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, AND I'LL NEVER FORGET.THERE WAS A FACULTY MEMBER, SHAKESPEARE SCHOLAR NAMED FATHER YOUNG. FATHER YOUNG WAS THE CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT.AND HE WAS UP THERE TALKING ABOUT SHAKESPEARE AND LITERATURE AND NARRATIVE LIKE HIS HEAD WAS ON FIRE.RIGHT?MAN THOUGHT NOTHING WAS MORE IMPORTANT IN THE WHOLE WORLD THAN LITERATURE AND CARING ABOUT IT.AND THAT WAS INFECTIOUS.RIGHT?I FELT THAT, YOU KNOW.SO I WENT UP TO FATHER YOUNG AFTERWARDS BECAUSE I HAD ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN STORIES, NARRATIVE.DIDN'T READ, DIDN'T WRITE WELL, BUT BELIEVED IN NARRATIVE. SO I WENT UP TO HIM AND I SAID, "OKAY, YOU KNOW, I'M -- I'M FEELING WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, MAN.I'M GOING TO DECLARE AN ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJOR HERE AT LMU.WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, FATHER YOUNG?"AND FATHER YOUNG SAID, "IT'S A GREAT IDEA."AND I SAID, "BUT -- BUT I'M DYSLEXIC.I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO IT.I -- I DON'T READ WELL, I READ IN THE 12TH PERCENTILE.I SPELL LIKE A THIRD GRADER," I SAID TO HIM.WHICH IS TRUE."I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO IT.WHAT DO YOU THINK, FATHER YOUNG?"AND HE LOOKED AT ME AND HE SAID, "W. B. YEATS WAS DYSLEXIC. IF THAT GUY CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT. JOHN IRVING, MOST FAMOUS LIVING AMERICAN NOVELIST, THAT GUY ALMOST FAILED OUT OF SCHOOL BECAUSE OF HIS DYSLEXIA. IF HE COULD DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT.I SEE SOMETHING IN YOU."NOBODY HAD EVER SAID THAT TO ME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.RIGHT?NOBODY.SO I WAS EXCITED.AND I LEFT THAT GUY'S OFFICE.AND THEN I WENT ON OVER TO MY ACADEMIC COUNSELOR.RIGHT?AND THIS PERSON WAS SUPPOSED TO GUIDE ME THROUGH MY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE, RIGHT?AND THAT ACADEMIC COUNSELOR ALSO HAD WITH HIM MY FILE.YOU ALL KNOW THE FILE, RIGHT?YOU KNOW, THIS HAS BEEN THE THING THAT HAS BEEN FOLLOWING ME SINCE I STARTED SPECIAL EDUCATION, YOU KNOW.AND THOSE -- THOSE THINGS ARE THICK AND DEEP.KGB GOT NOTHING ON SPECIAL ED, YOU KNOW?LIKE,THEY -- THEY -- THEY DO THEIR DILIGENCE.RIGHT?AND SO THEY HAD EVERYTHING ABOUT ME. YOU KNOW, EVERYTHING. AND SO THE GUY, I TELL HIM I'M GOING TO STUDY ENGLISH LITERATURE, AND -- AND HE BRINGS OUT MY FILE, AND THE THING LANDS ON THE DESK WITH A THUD.YOU KNOW, BAM. GUY STARTS FLIPPING THROUGH THE FILE.RIGHT?HE'S JUST SHAKING HIS HEAD,HE'S LIKE, "YOU DON'T READ WELL. ENGLISH LITERATURE?"MUTTERING UNDER HIS BREATH."YOU DON'T WRITE WELL.YOU CAN HARDLY PAY ATTENTION." RIGHT?"YOU SHOULD CONSIDER SOMETHING LESS INTELLECTUAL."THAT'S WHAT HE SAID TO ME.SOMETHING LESS INTELLECTUAL.AIN'T GONNA WORK.SO I WENT BACK TO FATHER YOUNG, AND I SAID, "FATHER YOUNG, YOU DON'T NEED TO SIGN THE PAPER ANYMORE BECAUSE I'M NOT GOING TO STUDY ENGLISH LITERATURE HERE."AND HE SAID, "WHY, WHY, WHY?" AND THEN I SAID, YOU KNOW, "THEY -- THEY THOUGHT IT WAS TOO HARD FOR ME.I'M DYSLEXIC.TOLD YOU I DON'T READ WELL.COULDN'T DO IT."AND FATHER YOUNG LOOKED AT ME, AND HE SAID, IN A WAY THAT ONLY AN OLD-SCHOOL JESUIT CAN, HE SAID, "WELL, SON YOU'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO PROVE THAT BASTARD WRONG."RIGHT?AND THE NEXT DAY I ENROLLED IN FOUR ENGLISH LITERATURE CLASSES.AND THE GUY WHO TOLD ME I SHOULD STUDY SOMETHING LESS INTELLECTUAL, WELL, HE'S GOT AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF BOTH OF MY BOOKS ON HIS DESK RIGHT NOW.ALL RIGHT? THAT'S AGENCY.AND THAT'S SOMEBODY WHO REFUSES TO NEGATE SOMEBODY'S HUMANITY BECAUSE OF A LABEL.YOU KNOW, WE SPEND SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT THE PROBLEM, WE LOSE THE PERSON.RIGHT?AND WE SPEND SO MUCH TIME CAPTURED IN THIS LANGUAGE OF DEFICIT THAT WE LOWER EXPECTATIONS FOR FOLKS LIKE ME.YOU KNOW, GEORGE W. BUSH ONCE SAID THAT THERE'S THIS A SOFT BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATION IN THIS COUNTRY FOR CERTAIN GROUPS.AND I DON'T GO AROUND QUOTING GEORGE W. BUSH ALL THAT OFTEN AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, BUT HE GOT THAT RIGHT.WE LOSE -- WE VIEW PEOPLE THROUGH THAT LENS AND WE LOWER THE BAR, AND WE NEED TO RAISE IT. NOW, THE THING ABOUT FATHER YOUNG -- BECAUSE I TOOK EVERY CLASS YOU COULD TAKE.YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU FIND THAT -- THAT -- THAT INTELLECTUAL, THAT MIND THAT -- THAT -- THAT IS JUST ON FIRE, YOU WANT TO BE AROUND THAT.SO I TOOK EVERY CLASS WITH THAT GUY.AND THIS GUY WAS NOTORIOUS.YOU ALL KNOW JESUITS, OLD SCHOOL, MAN.THIS GUY WAS -- WAS NOTORIOUS FOR BEING ONE OF THE MOST RIGOROUS PROFESSORS IN THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION.I TOOK EVERY ONE OF HIS CLASSES.AND I REMEMBER THE FIRST CLASS I TOOK WAS A SURVEY OF SHAKESPEAREAN LITERATURE. SURVEY OF THE PLAYS, MAJOR PLAYS.AND THE FIRST PLAY WE READ WAS KING LEAR.AND THE CLASS HAD TWO WEEKS TO READ IT, COME BACK, TALK ABOUT.FATHER YOUNG PULLED ME ASIDE, AND HE SAID, "JONATHAN, YOU HAVE FOUR DAYS TO COME BACK AND TALK ABOUT THIS PLAY."I SAID, "FOUR DAYS, MAN?WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"LIKE, WHAT ABOUT DYSLEXIA DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?YOU KNOW.DON'T READ WELL, MAN.WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?OTHER GUYS GOT 14 DAYS, I GOT FOUR.WHAT?WHAT DO YOU MEAN? FATHER YOUNG LOOKED AT ME AND HE SAID, "I DIDN'T SAY YOU HAD TO READ IT.IT'S A PLAY FOR GOD'S SAKES.HERE'S THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PERFORMING IT IN 1985, BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE.WATCH IT.HERE'S A WEBSITE WHERE YOU CAN LISTEN TO AUDIO RECORDINGS OF EVERY SHAKESPEAREAN DRAMA.LISTEN TO IT."YOU KNOW, REAL INTELLECTUALS, THEY DON'T CARE HOW YOU GET THERE, THEY JUST WANT YOU TO GET THERE. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT PROCESS, THEY CARE ABOUT IDEAS. THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE ON FIRE ABOUT THE BIG IDEAS IN THE WORLD, AND THE OTHER STUFF IS MINUTIA.RIGHT?AND THAT'S WHAT FATHER YOUNG BELIEVED, THAT'S WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD.HE WAS GOING TO HOLD ME TO THE HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS, HIGHER EXPECTATIONS THAN THE REST OF THE CLASS, BUT HE WAS GOING TO GIVE ME MULTIPLE WAYS TO REACH THOSE EXPECTATIONS.AND THAT IS WHAT AN AGENCY EDUCATION IS ALL ABOUT.I DIDN'T HAVE TO ARGUE WITH THIS GUY ABOUT WHETHER WE NEEDED TO TAKE TIME EXTENSIONS OR NOT.BECAUSE HE UNDERSTOOD THAT HOW WELL I KNOW SOMETHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOW FAST I KNOW SOMETHING.HE UNDERSTOOD THAT WE'RE NOT TRYING TO EDUCATE A GENERATION OF JEOPARDY CONTESTANTS.RIGHT? WHY -- WHY IS TIME THE DETERMINING FACTOR, RIGHT?SO HE UNDERSTOOD THAT IF YOU GET SOMEBODY INTERESTED IN THESE IDEAS, WE GOT TO NURTURE THAT.AND WE HAVE TO ACCOMMODATE AND CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT.AND THAT WAS A POWERFUL EXPERIENCE OF AGENCY, RIGHT?OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS WITH DIFFERENT MULTIPLE WAYS TO REACH THOSE EXPECTATIONS. AND THAT WAS THE SECOND FOUNDATION OF AN INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, A TRANSITION FROM PATIENTHOOD TO AGENCY.AND IN MY LIFE, MY MOTHER DID IT BY CULTIVATING THE LANGUAGE OF INJUSTICE, CULTIVATING THE LANGUAGE OF DISCRIMINATION.AND EDUCATORS IN MY LIFE LIKE FATHER YOUNG DID IT WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS, BUT MULTIPLE WAYS TO REACH THOSE EXPECTATIONS WITH A FLEXIBILITY IN THE CLASSROOM THAT WAS INCLUSIVE OF LEARNING DIVERSITY AND SAW IT AS VALUABLE. LAST BUT NOT LEAST.I TOLD YOU THERE WERE THREE, RIGHT? I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE STATISTICS BECAUSE I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REDEFINE DISABILITY, WHERE IT LIVED.I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME AN AGENT IN MY LIFE AND AN ADVOCATE IN MY LIFE.AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY IN MY LIFE TO SWITCH FROM A DEFICIT PARADIGM TO AN ASSET-BASED STRENGTH PARADIGM.AGAIN, THAT SORT OF DISABILITY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IS ALL ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE CAN'T DO.AND WE SPEND MOST OF OUR TIME TRYING TO FIX WHAT THEY CAN'T DO.BUT THE PROBLEM IS WHEN ALL WE DO IS FIX PEOPLE, THE MESSAGE WE GIVE TO THEM IS THAT THEY ARE BROKEN.NOBODY LIVES A MEANINGFUL LIFE FEELING BROKEN.NOBODY HAS THAT AS THE CENTERPIECE OF THEIR LIFE AS A ENGAGED HUMAN BEING, FEELING BROKEN. SO IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT WE CULTIVATE THAT CAPABILITY FRAMEWORK, THAT ASSET-BASED FRAMEWORK.AND IF YOU LOOK AT MY LIFE, IT WAS THAT AS A HUGE BREAK POINT, RIGHT? THE MOMENT THAT I COULD SWITCH FROM WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME TO WHAT'S RIGHT WITH ME WAS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF MY JOURNEY.AND AGAIN, MY MOTHER HAD A -- A BIG ROLE IN THAT.I MEAN, A BIG ROLE IN MY LIFE BUT A BIG ROLE IN THAT. AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT HOW SHE MADE THAT REAL. BECAUSE MOST OF MY EDUCATION, ESPECIALLY MY YOUNGER EDUCATION, WAS ALL ABOUT WHAT I COULDN'T DO.YOU KNOW. AND WE TRIED EVERYTHING TO FIX ME, RIGHT, AND WE SPECIFICALLY SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, THOUSANDS OF HOURS ON TRYING TO FIX ONE TRAIT, FRANKLY PERHAPS THE MOST IRRELEVANT TRAIT IN THE WORLD IN THE 21ST CENTURY, AND THAT IS SPELLING.RIGHT?GOD BLESS SPELL CHECKER, YOU KNOW.BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENERGY GONE INTO FIXING SPELLING, TO WORRYING ABOUT SPELLING, IT'S STAGGERING ISN'T IT?RIGHT?AND THAT WAS MY EDUCATION. RIGHT?EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY IN FOURTH GRADE WAS SPELLING TEST DAY, RIGHT?WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO END THE WEEK, YOU KNOW. AND ALL WEEK WE INVESTED TIME, MONEY AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL ON FIXING THAT IRRELEVANT TRAIT.WE WOULD SPEND THREE HOURS ON MONDAY DOING FLASH CARDS.RIGHT?AND THEN ON TUESDAY, WE WOULD SPEND THREE HOURS DRAWING THE WORDS IN THE SAND.AND THEN ON WEDNESDAY, WE WOULD SPEND THREE HOURS BUILDING THE WORDS WITH BLOCKS.AND THEN ON THURSDAY, WE WOULD SPEND THREE HOURS OF INTERPRETIVE DANCE TO GET THE WORDS IN.RIGHT?AND WHAT HAPPENED EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY?I SPENT -- I FAILED THAT TEST.BUT ONE FRIDAY I WOKE UP, CAME DOWNSTAIRS, AND THERE WAS NO LAST MINUTE DRILLS, NO LAST MINUTE FLASH CARDS.I SAID TO MY MOM, "WHAT'S UP?"SHE SAID, "WE'RE NOT DOING THE SPELLING TEST TODAY.WE'RE DITCHING SCHOOL AND GOING TO THE ZOO," SHE SAID. I WAS ASKED IN 2000 BY THE USA TODAY WHEN "LEARNING OUTSIDE THE LINES," MY FIRST BOOK, CAME OUT -- THEY DID ABIG PROFILE.THE REPORTER ASKED ME, "JONATHAN, GIVE ME AN INSPIRING MESSAGE ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO BROWN UNIVERSITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE."AND I SAID, "DITCH SCHOOL."OKAY?BECAUSE WHAT ME AND MY MOM DID EVERY FRIDAY FROM -- HENCEFORTH, EVERY FRIDAY, WAS WE SPENT TIME GETTING GOOD AT SOMETHING.THAT'S WHAT WE SPENT TIME AT.WE SPENT TIME DEVELOPING STRENGTH.THAT'S WHAT MY MOTHER CALLED IT.SHE LITERALLY CALLED IT THE "GET GOOD AT SOMETHING DAY."WE SPENT TIME BEING INTERESTED IN THE WORLD.WE SPENT TIME FIGURING OUT WHERE MY CAPACITIES WERE, TALKING ABOUT MY CAPACITIES, TALKING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE MY WAY IN THE WORLD WITH MY CAPACITIES.NOT MY DEFICITS, BUT MY ASSETS.AND THAT WAS A RADICAL SHIFT IN MY LIFE.WE SPEND MOST OUR TIME TRYING FIX PEOPLE LIKE ME, AND WE'RE DOING THEM A SIGNIFICANT DISSERVICE.NOT ONLY DOES IT CULTIVATE AN IDENTITY OF BEING BROKEN, OF -- OF BEING DEFECTIVE, BUT IT'S A DISSERVICE PRAGMATICALLY FOR LAUNCHING A SUCCESSFUL ADULT LIFE.AND THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT'S RELEVANT FOR FOLKS LIKE ME CERTAINLY, BUT IT IS FRANKLY RELEVANT FOR ALL FOLKS.AS WE AS AN INSTITUTION THINK ABOUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LAUNCH PEOPLE INTO THEIR ADULT LIFE, THERE IS RESEARCH PILING UP EVERY DAY THAT SHOWS THAT SCHOOL, INCLUDING HIGHER EDUCATION, IS TRYING TO CREATE GENERALISTS FOR A WORLD OF -- GUESS WHAT? -- SPECIALISTS.MORE THAN EVER THE WORLD REWARDS SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE.HOWARD GARDNER FROM HARVARD SAID IT BEST.HE SAID, "SCHOOL IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE WE ASK HUMAN BEINGS TO BE GOOD AT ALL THINGS."YOU GET OUT OF SCHOOL, YOU AIN'T GOOD AT ALL THINGS.IF YOU'RE ANYTHING LIKE ME, YOU ARE LUCKY IF YOU'RE GOOD AT ONE OR TWO THINGS.RIGHT?THE WORLD IS REWARDING SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MORE THAN EVER. THERE'S A SOFTWARE DESIGN COMPANY IN FINLAND.RIGHT? HIRES 200 COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS A YEAR.BUT WHAT MAKES THIS SOFTWARE DESIGN COMPANY UNIQUE IS THE COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS IT HIRES ARE ALL COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS WITH AUTISM OR ASPERGER'S.EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.THIS IS NOT A CHARITY, THIS IS A BUSINESS.THEY THINK THAT SPECIALIST BRAIN IS BETTER AT THE JOB.THEY DON'T CARE WHAT THE BRAIN CAN'T DO.THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT WHAT THE BRAIN CAN DO.AND THAT MAKES SENSE, RIGHT?IT'S OFTEN A BRAIN THAT'S GOOD AT SYSTEMS THINKING, IT'S A BRAIN THAT'S GOOD WITH NUMBERS, AND LET'S BE HONEST, IT'S A MORE PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEE.THEY DON'T WASTE A LOT OF TIME WITH CHITCHAT, YOU KNOW?LIKE GET TO WORK AND DO SOME PROGRAMMING.YOU KNOW?THE WORLD IS REWARDING THAT SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MORE THAN EVER. SO WE NEED TO CHALLENGE THAT DEFICIT ORIENTATION.WE NEED TO CHALLENGE IT IN THE LIVES OF STUDENTS WITH LABELS, BUT WE NEED TO CHALLENGE HOW WE'RE FORCING EVERYONE TO BE THE SAME IN OUR EDUCATIONAL MODELS WITH THIS IDEAL NOTION OF A GENERALIST APPROACH TO BEING SUCCESSFUL.WHERE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL HUMAN BEINGS AREN'T GOOD AT EVERYTHING, THEY'RE GOOD AT ONE OR TWO THINGS.AND THEY SCALE THOSE STRENGTHS. HOW DO THEY MITIGATE THOSE WEAKNESSES?WELL, THEY MITIGATE THOSE WEAKNESSES THE WAY WE ALL DO WITH TEAMS, TECHNOLOGY AND SUPPORT.RIGHT?THAT'S THE FOUNDATION OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE.AND THAT'S TRUE FOR ME.I WRITE BOOKS FOR A LIVING.I SPELL AT A THIRD GRADE LEVEL. HOW DO I DO THAT?WELL, GUESS WHAT?I MARRIED MY SPELL CHECKER.IT'S CALLED STRATEGIC MATING, AND IF YOU HAVEN'T TRIED IT, YOU SHOULD TRY IT.WE ALL DO THAT, RIGHT?WE BUILD SUPPORTIVE NETWORKS, WE USE TECHNOLOGY, AND WE BUILD A LIFE NOT ABOUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH US, WE BUILD A LIFE AROUND WHAT'S RIGHT WITH US.AND THAT'S THE LAST COMPONENT OF MY JOURNEY, OF AN INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.THAT'S NOT DEMANDING THAT FOLKS ARE GOOD AT EVERYTHING IN THE SAME WAY, BUT THAT'S NURTURING THESE DIFFERENT POCKETS OF DIVERSITY, SEEING THEIR VALUE, SCALING THOSE STRENGTHS, DEVELOPING THOSE TALENTS, AND SUPPORTING AND MITIGATING WEAKNESS WITH ACCOMMODATIONS, TECHNOLOGY AND HELP. SO THAT'S MY JOURNEY.I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE STATISTICS. AND THEY'RE DAUNTING STATISTICS.I'M NOT FLIPPING BURGERS, I'M NOT INCARCERATED.BECAUSE PEOPLE REDEFINED DISABILITY IN MY LIFE.AWAY FROM BEING IN BODIES TO BEING IN THE INTERACTION BETWEEN BODIES AND ENVIRONMENTS.I'M HERE TODAY BECAUSE I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME AN AGENT IN MY LIFE.NOT A PATIENT, BUT AN AGENT.MY MOTHER FOUGHT FOR ME, TAUGHT ME IT WAS AN INJUSTICE.AND THE GIFTED EDUCATORS IN MY LIFE,PROFESSOR -- FATHER YOUNG HELD ME TO HIGH EXPECTATIONS, BUT GAVE ME DIFFERENT WAYS TO REACH THAT. AND I HAD THE CHANCE TO GET GOOD AT SOMETHING.NOT EVERYTHING.I AIN'T GOOD AT EVERYTHING BY ANY MEANS. I'M BAD AT MOST THINGS.BUT I GOT GOOD AT A FEW THINGS, AND I BUILT MY LIFE, BUILT MY EDUCATION AROUND THAT.SO WHY DOES IT MATTER THAT WE BUILD INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS?YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE QUESTION I WANT TO TALK ABOUT BRIEFLY BEFORE WE OPEN IT UP FOR CONVERSATION.BECAUSE IT MATTERS ON TWO DIFFERENT FRONTS.IT MATTERS PHILOSOPHICALLY FROM A MORAL PERSPECTIVE, AND IT MATTERS FROM A PRAGMATIC PERSPECTIVE. FROM A PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE, IT MATTERS DEEPLY BECAUSE WE HAVE BUILT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, OUR CULTURE, OUR COMMUNITIES, AROUND THE MYTH OF NORMAL AND AVERAGE.AND THAT MYTH OF NORMAL AND AVERAGE HAS BOMBARDED ALL PEOPLE WITH A PERVASIVE IMPERATIVE THAT TO BE OKAY AS A HUMAN BEING, TO BE ACCEPTABLE AS A HUMAN, YOU HAVE TO STRIVE FOR THIS MYTHICAL NORM, THIS MYTHICAL AVERAGE.WHICH BY DEFINITION DOES NOT EXIST.WE DIDN'T HAVE THE WORD NORMAL IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNTIL THE 1860S.NORMAL IS A PRODUCT LINGUISTICALLY OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, OF STANDARDIZING PRODUCTION, OF MOVING IN A PLACE THAT'S FORCING PEOPLE TO FIT THAT STANDARDIZED MOLD.NORMAL IS SOMETHING THAT WE KNOW IS A STATISTICAL CONCEPT, NOT A FACT IN THE WORLD. THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW.IF YOU'RE ANYTHING LIKE ME, THE ONLY NORMAL PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW VERY WELL, RIGHT?BECAUSE HUMAN BEINGS BY DEFINITION ARE DIFFERENT.WE BY DEFINITION DIFFER IN SO MANY BEAUTIFUL WAYS, AND CHALLENGING THAT MYTH OF NORMAL IS A PHILOSOPHICAL IMPERATIVE BECAUSE WE ARE DOUBLING DOWN ON NORMAL.WE HAVE A MEDICAL COMMUNITY THAT'S FOUND A SICKNESS FOR EVERY SINGLE HUMAN DIFFERENCE. RIGHT?DSM KEEPS GROWING EVERY SINGLE YEAR WITH NEW WAYS TO BE DEFECTIVE, WITH NEW WAYS TO BE LESSENED.WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE THAT.AND CHALLENGING THAT MYTH OF NORMAL IS LIBERATING.IT FREES SOMEBODY.IT CAN MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN SOMEBODY'S LIFE, WHETHER THEY'RE 25 OR WHETHER THEY'RE EIGHT YEARS OLD.TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT THAT, ABOUT HOW CHALLENGING THAT IDEA OF NORMAL CAN CHANGE A LIFE. WHEN I WAS AT BROWN UNIVERSITY, I STARTED SOMETHING AS A SIDE PROJECT CALLED PROJECT EYE TO EYE.AND PROJECT EYE TO EYE REALLY HAD A PRETTY SIMPLE MISSION.ITS MISSION WAS TO BRING INTO THE LIVES OF YOUNG FOLKS WITH COGNITIVE AND PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES ROLE MODELS, MENTORS, TO GIVE THEM HOPE FOR THEIR FUTURE.AND WHEN WE STARTED PROJECT EYE TO EYE, THERE WAS ONLY FIVE OF US.FIVE BROWN STUDENTS, FIVE THIRD GRADERS IN A ROOM TALKING ABOUT BEING DIFFERENT.AND I'LL NEVER FORGET, IN THIS BIG CONVERSATION ABOUT BEING DIFFERENT, ONE PAIR -- BROWN STUDENT, THIRD GRADER -- DIDN'T WANT TO SHARE, AND THEY WENT OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM AND TALKED PRIVATELY.THE BROWN STUDENT WHO DIDN'T WANT TO SHARE HIS EXPERIENCE, HIS NAME WAS KENT ROBERTS.AND KENT ROBERTS WAS AND STILL IS -- AND I MEAN THIS AS A COMPLIMENT -- A COMPLETE FREAK SHOW.OKAY?TOTAL FREAK SHOW.RIGHT?GUY HAD A BIG BEARD DOWN TO HIS WAIST, LONG HAIR DOWN TO HIS WAIST.HE TOTALLY LOOKED LIKE JESUS.YOU KNOW?TOTALLY LOOKED LIKE JESUS.HE HAD EVERY LABEL UNDER THE BOOK, ADD, ASPERGER'S, EVERYTHING. AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO SHARE HIS EXPERIENCES WITH THE GROUP.SO HE WENT OVER, AND HE WAS JOINED BY THIRD GRADER NAMED PHILIP.AND PHILIP WAS A HURTING KID. PHILIP, IN SPECIAL ED, LABELED ADD, LEARNING DISABLED, ASPERGER'S AS WELL.HE WAS SO ANXIOUS ABOUT SCHOOL WHEN I MET HIM THAT PHILIP HAD AN ANXIETY TIC WHERE HE RUBBED HIS LEFT EYEBROW RAW.SO WHEN I MET PHILIP, HE -- HE HAD NO LEFT EYEBROW.THAT'S HOW TERRIFIED OF SCHOOL HE WAS.SO THEY WERE QUITE A SIGHT TO SEE.RIGHT?YOU'VE GOT HURTING LITTLE PHILIP, NINE YEARS OLD, TERRIFIED OF SCHOOL.AND THEN YOU'VE GOT FREAK SHOW KENT ROBERTS, RIGHT, TOTALLY LOOKING LIKE JESUS.YOU KNOW.AND THEY WENT OVER TO TALK AMONGST THEMSELVES, AND -- AND THAT WAS COOL.AND THE BIG GROUP DISBANDED, AND I WENT AND JOINED THEIR CONVERSATION.AND I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN I WENT TO GO JOIN THEIR CONVERSATION I HEARD KENT WHEN I WALKED OVER SCREAMING AT PHILIP AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS. TOP OF HIS LUNGS.AND REMEMBER PHILIP IS NINE YEARS OLD.OKAY?KENT ROBERTS IS SCREAMING, "PHILIP, IF YOU LEARN ONE THING IN PROJECT EYE TO EYE, YOU HAVE TO LEARN THAT NORMAL PEOPLE SUCK, PHILIP.THEY SUCK, RIGHT?" THAT -- THAT'S NOT WHAT JESUS SAYS, MAN.I MEAN COME ON NOW, I AM IN A PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, I THINK THE COPS ARE COMING NEXT, YOU KNOW?I WANTED TO DO PROJECT EYE TO EYE AS MY PROFESSION UPON GRADUATION, AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AN ORGANIZATION WHOSE MISSION IS TO CURSE AT CHILDREN.OKAY?THERE'S NO MONEY FOR THAT.SO I AM DEEPLY DISTURBED BY WHAT KENT ROBERTS HAD TO SAY, AND I'M UPSET PROFOUNDLY.SO I GO HOME THAT NIGHT, AND I CALL HIM ON THE PHONE AND I YELL AT HIM."WHY DID YOU SAY THAT?HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"FOR ABOUT TEN MINUTES. KENT ROBERTS DIDN'T SAY A WORD UNTIL THE VERY END OF THE CALL.ALL HE SAID WAS, "IT'S TRUE" AND HUNG UP THE PHONE.ALL RIGHT?THAT'S IT.SO I'M THINKING -- I'M THINKING MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE, RIGHT?RIGHT UNDER THE RUG.NO PRINCIPAL WAS PRESENT.NOBODY HEARD IT.FORGET ABOUT IT.WRONG. NEXT MORNING, NINE IN THE MORNING, I GET A CALL FROM PRINCIPAL MARY BENNETT, THE PRINCIPAL OF THE FOX POINT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AND SHE RESPECTFULLY SUMMONS ME TO HER OFFICE TO DISCUSS WHAT TRANSPIRED THE DAY BEFORE AT PROJECT EYE TO EYE. SO I DRIVE TO -- TO HER OFFICE, AND I'M THINKING OF ALL THE WAYS I CAN APOLOGIZE FOR SCARRING THIS THIRD GRADER. AND TO CONFIRM MY FEARS, WHEN I GET TO THE OFFICE, NOT ONLY IS IT PRINCIPAL MARY BRENNAN, BUT IT'S ALSO PHILIP'S GRANDMOTHER.BECAUSE PHILIP LIVES FULL-TIME WITH GRANDMA.AND IF I'VE LEARNED ONE THING IN MY BRIEF LIFE, IT IS DO NOT MESS WITH GRANDMA.RIGHT?DON'T -- DON'T DO IT.DON'T DO IT.SO BEFORE I EVEN SIT DOWN, PHILIP'S GRANDMOTHER, SHE STANDS UP AND SHE POINTS AT ME AND SHE SAYS, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY GRANDSON?"I SAID, "NOTHING.IT WAS THAT KENT GUY, YOU KNOW."RIGHT UNDER BUS, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?LIKE, IT WAS -- IT WAS KENT ROBERTS, YOU KNOW. AND SHE HAD TEARS IN HER EYES.AND SHE SAID, "JONATHAN, FOR THREE YEARS MY GRANDSON, FROM HOME TO SCHOOL, HAS BEEN IN TEARS BEGGING ME TO TURN AROUND AND GO BACK. FOR THREE YEARS, MY GRANDSON'S HID UNDER HIS BED BEFORE SCHOOL AND BEGGED ME NOT TO MAKE HIM GO.BUT TODAY, DAY AFTER PROJECT EYE TO EYE, MY GRANDSON WAS UP EARLY, WAITING IN THE CAR, READY TO GO TO SCHOOL.WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY GRANDSON?"I LOOKED AT HER AND I SAID, "WELL, IT WAS MY GOOD FRIEND, KENT ROBERTS."RIGHT?AND IT WASN'T ME.IT WAS KENT.FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PHILIP'S LIFE, SOMEBODY SAID THE MYTH OF NORMAL IS WHAT'S BROKEN. AND THE IDENTITY THAT IF YOU DON'T FIT IT THAT YOU'RE LESS THAN, THAT'S WHAT'S BROKEN.AND WE NEED TO REFRAME WHAT WE PROBLEMATIZE, NOT BODIES, NOT DIFFERENCE, BUT THIS PERVASIVE IMPERATIVE TO BE NORMAL.AND WE NEED TO REFRAME IT FOR PHILOSOPHICAL REASONS BECAUSE IT'S A VIOLATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL COMMITMENT TO BE INCLUSIVE OF OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. BUT ULTIMATELY, WE NEED TO REPLACE IT FOR PRAGMATIC REASONS.BECAUSE THE REALITY IS ALL PROGRESS, ALL EVOLUTION IS DRIVEN BY DEVIATIONS FROM THE NORMS.IT WAS SOME ADD MONKEY THAT CLIMBED DOWN FROM THE TREES, YOU KNOW, AND STARTED WALKING IN THE SAVANNA.ALL EVOLUTION AND PROGRESS IS DRIVEN BY MUTATIONS AND DEVIATIONS.AND IF WE LOSE THAT, IF WE ERADICATE THAT, WE HAVE LOST OUR STRENGTH AS A COMMUNITY, AS A SOCIETY. WE NEED TO EMBRACE THAT BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.BUT WE NEED TO EMBRACE IT BECAUSE IN AN AGE IN WHICH WE NEED MORE CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION TO SOLVE PRESSING PROBLEMS, WE NEED MORE OF THOSE KIDS IN THE HALLWAY NOT IN THE HALLWAY.WE NEED MORE OF THOSE KIDS HIDING IN THE BATHROOM TO BE CONTRIBUTING BECAUSE THEY'RE THE NEXT GENERATION OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS AND INNOVATORS.AND THEY ARE THE NEXT GENERATION NOT DESPITE THEIR DIFFERENCES, BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR DIFFERENCES.THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR LISTENING TO ME TALK AND SHARE MY EXPERIENCES.I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT.THANK YOU. WE HAVE -- WE HAVE A FEW MINUTES FOR SOME DIALOGUE IN THE GROUP.AND THEN I WILL MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE AFTER THE FACT TO TALK TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE AND WE'LL STAY HERE AS LONG AS THERE IS SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO TALK.SO LET'S DO MAYBE A FEW QUESTIONS IN THE GROUP HERE, AND THEN WE'LL BRING IT TO THE SIDE FOR SOME CASUAL CONVERSATION.I THINK WE'RE GOING TO RUN YOU A MIC IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION SO EVERYONE IN THE ROOM CAN HEAR. SO THE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO HAVE HAD TO KEEP UP WITH MY FAST TALKING DOING THE CAPTIONING CAN HEAR THE QUESTION AS WELL.AND WE APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH.AND WE'LL GO FROM THERE.THOUGHTS?COMMENTS?PLEASE. audience:OKAY.SO I HAVE TO SAY ONE OF THE BEST -- I'M ADD, AND ONE OF THE BEST WAYS I LEARN HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS WHILE PLAYING (UNCLEAR) GAMES.IN LITERATURE CLASS I WAS TERRIFIED THAT THE TEACHER WOULD FIND OUT AND I WOULD BETRAY MYSELF SOMEHOW.OTHER THING IS THAT IN DEALING WITH BEING DIFFERENT AND THE IDEA OF -- WHAT THE?OKAY.SORRY -- BY THE CAPTIONS.ONE OF MY STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH BEING DIFFERENT IN CERTAIN WAYS IS THAT MY IMPRESSION IS THAT -- ESPECIALLY AS AN ARTIST IS THAT IF I'M DIFFERENT IN ONE WAY I'M A FREAK, BUT IF I'M DIFFERENT IN, LIKE, TEN WAYS I'M ECCENTRIC. AND I'M SORT OF LIKE LOOK AT, LIKE, LADY GAGA OR -- WHO AM I LIKE? -- OR RICHARD BRANSON, WHO WE DON'T LIKE.OR JUST LIKE ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST, LIKE, COMPLETE FREAKS OF NATURE.AND THEY ARE FAMOUS AND ADMIRED AND GET LOTS OF MONEY.AND I'M LIKE OKAY, I HAVE AN INHERENT ADVANTAGE HERE.THERE ARE ALREADY TEN THINGS ABOUT ME THAT ARE TOTALLY FREAKISH AND I DON'T HAVE TO MAKE THEM UP. ALTHOUGH I THINK RICHARD BRANSON ACTUALLY DOES HAVE ADD. BUT SO I WAS WONDERING IF THAT -- DOES THAT ACTUALLY SOUND LIKE A VIABLE STRATEGY TO YOU?BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING FOR A FEW YEARS NOW. MOONEY:YEAH, IT'S A -- YOU KNOW, AND -- AND WE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK BEFORE.SO THANKS FOR SHARING THAT. THERE'S NO -- THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THIS -- THIS SORT OF LINE BETWEEN VALUABLE ECCENTRICITY AND -- AND, SORT OF, PATHOLOGIZED DIFFERENCE IS A -- IS A SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED LINE.AND RUNNING WITH YOUR DIFFERENCES AS VALUABLE ECCENTRICITY IS -- IS EXACTLY HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE, IT'S EXACTLY THE CENTERPIECE OF HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE.AND THE CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US, BUT CERTAINLY THE CHALLENGE FOR FOLKS LIKE MYSELF, IS HOW DO WE DO, SORT OF, NICHE CREATION THAT ALLOWS THE TRAIT TO ACQUIRE VALUE OPPOSED TO BE DAMAGING TO OUR LIFE.THAT'S THE -- THAT'S THE CHALLENGE, AND THAT SHOULD BE ALL THE CONVERSATION THAT WE HAVE. BECAUSE I'LL BE FRANK WITH YOU, MY DIFFERENCES HAVE SIGNIFICANT PROS AND SIGNIFICANT CONS.AND IF I'M NOT COGNIZANT OF THOSE, IF I'M NOT AWARE OF THEM, AND IF I'M NOT STRATEGIZING TO HOW DO I CREATE AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT THAT MITIGATES WEAKNESS AND -- AND -- AND GROWS STRENGTH, THEN I'M NOT GOING TO LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE. SO I THINK THAT'S THE CHALLENGE.AND IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THOSE EXAMPLES OF WHO YOU TALKED ABOUT, WHETHER YOU CARE FOR THEM -- THEIR MUSIC OR YOU CARE FOR THEIR -- THEIR -- THEIR BUSINESS VENTURES.THOSE FOLKS ARE FOLKS WHO CREATED NICHES THAT WERE RIGHT FOR THEIR MIXTURE AND PORTFOLIO OF STRENGTHS AND DEFICIT.AND THAT IS THE CHALLENGE FOR ME.THAT'S THE -- THE -- THE CORE CONVERSATION THAT -- THAT I WOULD INSPIRE THAT SERVICE PROVIDERS, SUPPORT FOLKS HAVE WITH PEOPLE.RIGHT? AND IT'S -- IT'S GROUNDED IN THAT IDEA THAT DISABILITY LIES IN THE INTERACTION BETWEEN DIFFERENCE AND ENVIRONMENT.AND AS WE CAN CHANGE ENVIRONMENT, WE CAN -- WE CAN EMPOWER.THERE'S A LOT OF EXAMPLES OF THAT.YOU KNOW, LOOK AT ADHD, GREAT -- GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT.IN ONE CONTEXT LIKE SCHOOL, IT'S A PROBLEM.I MEAN, BE -- LET'S BE FRANK WITH YOU.LIKE IN -- IN THE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT THAT IS PROBLEMATIC, BUT THEN YOU GO TO WALL STREET AND THEY CALL IT MULTITASKING.YOU KNOW?THERE'S A BROKERAGE FIRM ON WALL STREET THAT ONLY HIRES PEOPLE WITH ADHD TRAITS, LITERALLY, BECAUSE IN THAT TASK, IN THAT ENVIRONMENT, THAT BRAIN IS AN ADVANTAGE.AND THEY ACCOMMODATE ALL THE DIFFERENT WEAKNESSES THAT COME FROM IT BECAUSE THEY FOUND A NICHE THAT IS THE RIGHT SORT OF CHEMISTRY OF ABILITY, DIFFERENCE AND ENVIRONMENT.SO THAT'S MY -- THAT'S -- THAT'S MY -- AND -- AND I HOPE THAT FOR MY KIDS, I HOPE THAT FOR MYSELF.THAT'S THE CONVERSATION THAT I WOULD LIKE FOLKS TO HAVE.HOW DO WE CREATE NICHES THAT MITIGATE/ACCOMMODATE WEAKNESS AND ARE RIGHT FOR THE PORTFOLIO OF STRENGTH AND TALENT?AND HOW DO YOU LIVE A LIFE AS A PROUD ECCENTRIC? IT ALSO RAISES ANOTHER CHALLENGE, WHICH IS HOW DO WE CREATE DISABILITY IDENTITY AND SOLIDARITY TRYING TO MARCH OUT OF WHAT ARE BY DEFINITION DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES THAT ARE GROUNDED IN THE SORT OF LANGUAGE OF -- OF -- OF DEFICIT AND DISORDER.RIGHT?THAT -- THAT'S -- THAT'S A CHALLENGE.AND I DON'T -- I'M -- I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER TO THAT CHALLENGE TO BE HONEST WITH YOU.BUT I THINK THAT'S THE FUTURE OF OUR WORK OF HOW -- HOW DO WE HAVE A SENSE OF SOLIDARITY, MAYBE ACQUIRED THROUGH THIS, SORT OF, DEFICIT LANGUAGE, BUT CREATE A COMMUNITY OF DIFFERENCE. AND I THINK THE MODEL FOR THAT IS THE NEURODIVERSITY MOVEMENT.AND THE NEURODIVERSITY MOVEMENT IS REALLY A REFRAMING OF THE ASPERGER'S/AUTISM EXPERIENCE, BUT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A BIGGER TENT THAT'S SIMILAR TO THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT FROM MY PERSPECTIVE.AND -- WHICH I'M INSPIRED BY AND -- AND LOOK TO AS A MODEL FOR HOW WE CREATE A CONVERSATION AND A POLITICAL CONSTITUENCY AROUND -- AROUND PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DIFFERENCES.SO JUST A CHALLENGE TO THE GROUP.SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER TO THAT, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO -- TO HANG OUT WITH IT.SO I APPRECIATE THAT.AND IT'S A MODEL FOR ME.LANGUAGE FOR ME TO THINK ABOUT IN MY LIFE AND MY CHILDREN'S LIFE.SIR, IN THE BACK, PLEASE. audience:THANKS.GENERALIZATIONS ARE HORRIBLE.SO WITH THAT CAVEAT.IF SOMEONE IS TRYING TO MOVE FROM PATIENT TO AGENT, GENERALLY SPEAKING, MARIJUANA AND ALCOHOL HELPFUL, NOT HELPFUL?HOW TO APPROACH THAT? MOONEY:YEAH, AND YOUR NAME? audience:DAN. MOONEY:DAN.SO DAN, LET ME START WITH -- WITH JUST PUTTING PERSONAL CARDS ON THE TABLE.I STRUGGLED WITH EXPERIENCE -- SUBSTANCE ABUSE.MOSTLY ALCOHOL ABUSE.SO THAT IS A LENS THAT I VIEW THIS THROUGH.UNPACKING THE ROOT OF THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, IMPORTANT FOR ME.AND IN UNPACKING THAT, INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, A ROOT OF THE BEHAVIOR WAS AN ATTEMPT TO ACQUIRE SOME CONTROL AND AGENCY IN CONTEXT THAT I FELT OUT OF CONTROL IN. MISGUIDED ATTEMPT, RIGHT?WITH SOME SIGNIFICANT CONSEQUENCES IN MY LIFE.ARRESTED FOR DUI, RELATIONSHIPS DAMAGED, YOU KNOW, THOSE STORIES.BUT A ROOT OF IT WAS STRUGGLING WITH THAT IDENTITY OF -- OF PATIENT VERSUS AGENT AND TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO -- TO HAVE SOME CONTROL. ANOTHER COMPONENT OF THAT WAS, AS YOU HEAR IN A LOT OF THESE STORIES IN GENERAL, BUT I THINK PARTICULARLY RELEVANT TO THIS CONVERSATION OF -- OF -- OF -- OF EMPOWERMENT AND AGENCY IS THE BEHAVIOR WAS ROOTED IN -- IN A -- IN A -- IN A -- IN PEER ACCEPTANCE AND AFFIRMATION.SO YOU'RE THE CRAZY KID, RIGHT?ALL -- ALL DAY LONG AT SCHOOL, YOUR WHOLE LIFE AT SCHOOL, YOU'RE THE SPAZ, YOU'RE A FREAK, THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE CALLED.WELL, YOU GET WITH A CREW THAT'S DRINKING, THE SAME BEHAVIOR THAT WAS GETTING YOU TEASED NOW GETS YOU CELEBRATED, RIGHT?BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE OUT PARTYING, AND THE CRAZIER STUFF YOU DO, THE COOLER YOU ARE IN THAT CREW, RIGHT?SO YOU GET THAT FEEDBACK LOOP OF A PEER AFFIRMATION THAT ALLOWED, IN A VERY DANGEROUS WAY, THE SAME TRAIT THAT WAS A NEGATIVE TO BECOME A POSITIVE.AND NOW -- NOW WE'RE -- WE'RE -- WE'RE IN A REALLY DIFFICULT, SORT OF, FEEDBACK LOOP DANCE HERE. AND UNDERSTANDING THAT AND EXTRICATING THAT, ALL MISGUIDED ATTEMPTS FOR AGENCY, WERE REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME. SO ONE OF THE COMPONENTS THAT HELPED ME EXTRICATE MYSELF FROM THAT SORT OF FEEDBACK LOOP OF -- OF, SORT OF, PEER NORM BEHAVIOR AND ATTEMPTS FOR AGENCY WAS -- AND THIS IS NO SURPRISE TO FOLKS WHO STUDY BEHAVIORAL CHANGE -- WAS A NEW PEER GROUP.AND FOR ME IT WAS ESSENTIAL PART OF MY JOURNEY, BECOMING ENGAGED IN A COMMUNITY LIKE THE STUDENT UNION THAT SPONSORED TONIGHT IN PART IS TRYING TO BUILD.THAT WAS ESSENTIAL -- YOU KNOW, THERE -- THERE IS AN ANALOGY IN THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY TO THE -- TO THE GAY RIGHTS COMMUNITY WHERE WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN THE CLOSET, YOU KNOW?NOT TALKING ABOUT, NOT BEING HONEST ABOUT IT, DISENGAGED FROM OTHER FOLKS WITH MY EXPERIENCE. AND ENGAGING IN THAT COMMUNITY WAS CENTRAL.YOU KNOW, FIRST DAY AT BROWN, TRANSFERRED THERE, HAD AN ORIENTATION.SAT AROUND IN A CIRCLE AND EVERYONE HAD TO SHARE AS AN ICEBREAKER WHERE THEY TRANSFERRED FROM AND WHAT THEY DID THE SUMMER BEFORE. AND FIRST KID SAYS, "I TRANSFERED FROM YALE, AND I WORKED AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH."SAT DOWN. I'M LIKE, I WAITED TABLES.YOU KNOW, LIKE -- LIKE, LITERALLY.YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T LEARN TO READ UNTIL I WAS 12.I'M OUT OF HERE.RIGHT?I'M GOING TO GO AND -- AND -- AND I'LL GO GET HAMBURGERS.RIGHT?I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS.NEXT KID STANDS UP."OH, I TRANSFERED FROM HARVARD, AND I'M ON A SHORT LIST FOR A NOBEL PRIZE." YOU KNOW?AND -- AND -- AND I'M LIKE, I'M OUT OF HERE, DONE.LIKE, I'M GOING TO -- I CAN'T EVEN -- I'M GOING TO LEAVE SCHOOL.AND THEN A KID STANDS UP, AND HE HAD PURPLE HAIR, HE HAD BICYCLE CHAINS AROUND HIS WRISTS LIKE BRACELETS.AND HE SAID, "MY NAME IS DAVID COLE. AND I TRANSFERED FROM LANDMARK COLLEGE, WHICH IS A TWO-YEAR COLLEGE FOR FOLKS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES. AND I WORKED CONSTRUCTION LAST SUMMER."I'M LIKE, THAT'S MY BOY RIGHT THERE, MAN.AND, YOU KNOW, HE'S THE FIRST PERSON WHO I EVER -- FIRST PERSON WITH A, SORT OF, COGNITIVE DIFFERENCE THAT I HAD A, SORT OF, RELATIONSHIP WITH AROUND A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND SOLIDARITY AND NOT BEING ALONE IN THIS EXPERIENCE.AND THAT HELPED ME DEAL AND EXTRICATE MYSELF FROM THIS SORT OF FEEDBACK, MISGUIDED ATTEMPT FOR AGENCY UTILIZING SUBSTANCES. YEAH.APPRECIATE IT. IN THE BACK PLEASE.YEAH. audience:HEY.SO I'VE HAD A LEARNING DISABILITY EVER SINCE FIRST GRADE, AND I'VE BEEN TOLD SINCE THIS TIME THAT I SHOULDN'T DO SCANTRON, THAT I NEED EXTRA TIME ON TESTS, AND I COULDN'T LEARN TO -- LEARN TO READ UNTIL SIXTH GRADE.BUT ALL THIS TIME NO ONE HAS EVER EXPLAINED TO ME EXACTLY WHAT MY LEARNING DISABILITY WAS OR HOW IT WORKED. AND I WAS JUST WONDERING IF ANYONE EVER DID THAT FOR YOU, AND IF YOU THOUGHT IT WAS HELPFUL.BECAUSE I THINK WE ACTUALLY NEED MORE EDUCATION ON, LIKE, HOW LEARNING DISABILITIES WORK IN OUR BRAIN. MOONEY:YEP.YEAH.AND WHAT'S YOUR NAME? audience:RACHEL. MOONEY:RACHEL.I APPRECIATE YOU SHARING THAT, RACHEL, IN A GROUP LIKE THIS.TAKES COURAGE.SOMETHING I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE DONE WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE.SO I -- THIS IS WHAT I THINK.I THINK -- I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE CLEAR, PRECISE, INFORMATIVE DESCRIPTIONS.BECAUSE IT'S BETTER TO BE DYSLEXIC THAN STUPID.ALL RIGHT?LIKE THAT'S -- THAT -- THAT'S -- THAT'S A -- THAT'S AN IMPROVEMENT, YOU KNOW?AND BRAIN-BASED DESCRIPTIONS THAT ARE HOLISTIC AND VALUE-NEUTRAL ARE VERY IMPORTANT.SO WHEN I WAS DIAGNOSED, TEACHER NAMED MR. R, MR. ROSENBAUM, PULLED ME ASIDE AND SAID, YOU KNOW, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR BRAIN.LEFT HEMISPHERE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR READING.LET'S LOOK AT THE NEUROLOGY OF IT.YOUR LEFT HEMISPHERE IS SMALLER.THAT'S A FACT.LET'S NOT DE -- DEBATE IT.I'M NOT GOING TO SAY THAT'S GOOD OR BAD, IT'S A FACT.AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT YOUR STRUGGLES WITH READING ARE GROUNDED IN SOMETHING OTHER THAN BEING LAZY OR DUMB. THAT'S WHAT THAT MEANS."AND IT WAS VERY CLEAR, VERY CONCRETE; IT WAS A DESCRIPTION, NOT A JUDGMENT.BUT TOO OFTEN WE'RE -- WE'RE JUDGING AND NOT DESCRIBING.AND WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING A LOT OF THE JUDGING WITHOUT, AS YOU RIGHTFULLY POINTED OUT, DOING A LOT OF THE GOOD DESCRIBING.RIGHT?WE'RE KIND OF SAYING OH, IT'S A DEFICIT OF PROCESSING.WHAT -- WHAT -- WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, RIGHT?YOU KNOW.LIKE, LET'S -- LET'S DRILL THIS CONVERSATION DOWN TO PARTS OF THE BRAIN.LET'S DRILL IT DOWN TO WHERE THE BRAIN IS -- IS -- ISN'T -- ISN'T PERFORMING AND WHERE IT IS.THAT'S THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EQUATION TOO THOUGH.SO THE OTHER THING THE GUY SAID WAS, "OKAY, YOU KNOW, THE LEFT HEMISPHERE IS SMALLER, BUT THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE IS OFTEN BIGGER, AND RIGHT HEMISPHERE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOLISTIC THOUGHT, INTUITIVE THOUGHT, INSIGHT."AND THERE'S MORE RESEARCH EVERY DAY ABOUT THE TALENTS THAT FOLKS WITH CERTAIN LEARNING DISABILITIES HAVE THAT ARE INTRINSICALLY LINKED TO THEIR DEFICITS.NOT IN A CORRELATION BUT CAUSATION WAY.AND WE NEED TO TELL THAT STORY. SO I THINK THERE IS A -- AN URGENT NEED FOR BETTER DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE, AND A -- AND THE DISCIPLINE OF NEUROSCIENCE I THINK POINTS THAT WAY.BECAUSE UNLIKE THE SORT OF -- SORT OF EDIFICE OF THE DSM, WHICH IS GROUNDED IN A, SORT OF, DEFICIT ORIENTATION, I FEEL LIKE THE -- THE -- THE DISCIPLINE OF NEUROSCIENCE IS -- IS GROUNDED IN A DESCRIPTIVE SPACE.AND WE'RE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE FUNCTIONING OF THIS VERY COMPLEX ENTITY, AND WE CAN NAME PLACES IN WHICH THE FUNCTIONING IS -- IS OPTIMAL AND PLACES IN WHICH IT ISN'T.AND THAT'S NOT GOOD NOR BAD, THAT JUST IS. AND THAT'S WHERE I THINK AND HOPE THIS GOES.APPRECIATE THE COMMENT.SIR, UP FRONT. audience:THANKS.I'M BLOWN AWAY BY HOW WELL YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF, AND I'M WONDERING -- I ASSUME, BUT I -- BUT I DON'T WANT TO ASSUME.WAS THAT PART OF YOUR -- YOUR DISABILITY?WERE YOU ALWAYS ABLE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF THIS CLEARLY AND POWERFULLY OR NOT?THAT'S ONE -- PART OF THE QUESTION. MOONEY:YEAH.WHY DON'T YOU ASK ME BOTH AND I'LL -- I'LL TACKLE THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. AUDIENCE: OKAY.AND IF NOT THEN -- OR EVEN IF YOU WERE ALWAYS ABLE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF WELL -- CLEARLY, YOU'VE CULTIVATED AN EXTRAORDINARY VOCABULARY AND ABILITY TO CRAFT HOW YOU SPEAK.AND THAT, I DON'T THINK THAT CAN COME NATURALLY.I DON'T KNOW.I'M CURIOUS AS AN EDUCATOR.SO EITHER WAY, AS AN EDUCATOR, BECAUSE IF MY STUDENTS -- AS A MARGINALLY EMPLOYED EDUCATOR IN THE EUGENE SCHOOL SYSTEM -- BUT IF THEY COULD EXPRESS THEMSELVES CLEARLY THAT CAN HELP. THAT CAN GO SO FAR IN A SYSTEM THAT'S FORTUNATELY -- IS MUCH MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN -- THAN THE WORST PARTS THAT YOU DESCRIBE.SO -- AND I ALWAYS WANT TO HELP KIDS TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.SO IF -- IF IN ANY WAY THAT WAS A DEFICIT, I'M CURIOUS AS TO HOW YOU CULTIVATED SUCH A STRONG VOCABULARY AND ABILITY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF. MOONEY:AND YOUR NAME? audience:LAWRENCE. MOONEY:LAWRENCE.I COMMEND YOU FOR THE -- FOR THE WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING, LAWRENCE.YOU KNOW.THAT'S THE -- THAT'S THE FRONT LINES OF BEING IN -- IN -- IN PUBLIC SCHOOL SETTINGS AND TRYING TO REIMAGINE WHAT LEARNING IS IN AN AGE OF VERY NARROW IMAGINATION OF WHAT LEARNING IS. SO I COMMEND YOU FOR THAT.LET ME TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT -- ABOUT -- ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES AND -- AND VERBAL SKILLS IN GENERAL. SPEECH THERAPIST GUY, MEANING THIRD GRADE, GET -- GET PULLED OUT BY THOSE FOLKS TO GO.AND IT EXACERBATED THE CHALLENGES IN SOME WAYS.AND SO I HAD -- THIS WAS A TRAIT THAT EMERGED.IT WAS A TRAIT THAT EMERGED.SO LET ME TELL YOU HOW IT EMERGED.AND I THINK THAT THIS IS IMPERATIVE IN -- IN OUR SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT THIS TRAIT.BECAUSE AS YOU MENTIONED, THERE'S A HIGH CORRELATION WITH SUCCESSFUL LIFE OUTCOMES AND VERBAL SKILLS.YOU LOOK AT THE GALLUP POLL, GALLUP SURVEY OF -- OF WHAT LEADS TO SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYEES, 8 MILLION PEOPLE SURVEYED, ONE OF THE SINGLE STRONGEST FINDING WAS VERBAL CAPACITY AND THE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. BUT AT THE SAME TIME ANOTHER RESEARCH STUDY, HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, THE NUMBER ONE WORD SAID, NUMBER ONE WORD SAID TO KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS IN THIS COUNTRY, NUMBER ONE WORD IS GUESS WHAT?SHH.A TRAIT THAT WILL LEAD TO LIFE SUCCESS IS ACTIVELY DISCOURAGED ON A DAILY BASIS, AN HOURLY BASIS, AN EVERY FIVE MINUTES BASIS.BE QUIET.ONE OF THE NUMBER ONE SAID THINGS -- THINGS SAID TO YOUNG FOLKS.SO THEN WE WONDER WHY THEY DON'T TALK IN EIGHTH GRADE.RIGHT? AND SO THAT'S ESSENTIAL, RIGHT, THAT WE -- WE THINK ABOUT WHAT SORT OF VALUES WE PLACE ON THIS.I GREW UP IN A FAMILY OF DEBATERS AND ARGUERS AND POUND-ON-THE-DINNER-TABLE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? LIKE, IRISH, FATHER WAS AN ATTORNEY.YOU MADE YOUR CASE AT DINNER, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?LIKE, YOU BROUGHT YOUR FIVE-POINT BRIEF, YOU KNOW, WITH SOME REFERENCES TO LEGAL PRECEDENT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANTED TO GO PLAY BALL IN THE AFTERNOON.YOU KNOW, LIKE, IT -- THAT'S -- SO I GREW UP IN A CULTURE THAT NURTURED THAT, CULTIVATED THAT.IN MY HOUSE.NOT IN SCHOOL.I GREW UP IN A CULTURE AT SCHOOL THAT GOT ME IN TROUBLE FOR IT.AND SO I THINK WE GOT TO -- WE GOT TO DEAL WITH THAT. BECAUSE YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT, MAN, THAT IS A ESSENTIAL, ESSENTIAL SKILL TO BE SUCCESSFULLY FULFILLED AS A HUMAN BEING.THE OTHER COMPONENT FOR ME AND WHAT YOU SEE TONIGHT IS WHAT I CALL THE -- NOT I CALL -- BUT RESEARCHERS CALL THE 10,000 HOUR RULE.TEN THOUSAND HOUR RULE.YOU WANT TO GET GOOD AT ANYTHING, GUESS WHAT?10,000 HOURS OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE.RIGHT?NOT WORKSHEET PRACTICE.DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?NOT DRILL AND KILL PRACTICE.BUT PRACTICE THAT HAS IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK.AND AS YOU LOOK AT LEARNING THEORY, THE -- CLOSING THE FEEDBACK LOOP IS ESSENTIAL, RIGHT?RIGHT? YOU -- YOU LEARN WITH STIMULUS RESPONSE.BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THE PRACTICE THAT WE GIVE AT SCHOOL IS I GO HOME AND I DO MY HOMEWORK, I TURN IT IN, A WEEK LATER I GET THE FEEDBACK.FEEDBACK LOOP IS TOO ELONGATED.SO FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN SPEAKING TO FOLKS FOR 12 YEARS.NO BETTER FEEDBACK, YOU KNOW.IF YOU SUCK, YOU KNOW IT.YOU KNOW?LIKE, GOT IT.YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?AND SO WHEN I LOOK AT MY LIFE IN DEVELOPING A TALENT, WHICH I'VE WORKED HARD TO DO, 10,000 HOURS OF DIRECTED PRACTICE WITH -- WITH A TRUNCATED, IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK EXPERIENCE WAS ESSENTIAL TO IT. SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE CAN -- WE CAN EXPORT AND EXTRAPOLATE TO -- TO -- TO VERBAL CAPACITY, BUT ALSO TO ANYTHING THAT FOLKS WANT TO GET GOOD AT.BUT AGAIN, TO GO BACK TO A CORE PREMISE OF MY PRESENTATION TONIGHT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE 10,000 HOURS AND HOW WE ALLOCATE THAT FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS, AT-RISK LEARNERS, WE ARE ALLOCATING IT TO WHAT'S WRONG, NOT WHAT'S RIGHT.SO JONATHAN MOONEY COULD HAVE STARTED GETTING HIS -- HIS 10,000 HOURS DOING THIS BACK IN THE DAY, GOING TO DEBATE CAMP.RIGHT?BUT I DIDN'T GET TO GO TO DEBATE CAMP; I WENT TO PHONICS CAMP INSTEAD.RIGHT?WHERE DID THE HOURS GO?WHERE DID THE HOURS GO? LOOK AT LOW INCOME SCHOOLS THAT ARE BEING IDENTIFIED AS PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT SCHOOLS UNDER THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND POLICY.THEY'RE CUTTING EVERYTHING BUT DIRECT INSTRUCTION ON TWO SUBJECT MATTERS, READING AND MATH. THAT'S IT.75 PERCENT OF INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS TODAY, 75 PERCENT ON AVERAGE, ARE SPENT ON TWO SUBJECTS, READING AND MATH.AND EVERYTHING THAT WERE THE REPOSITORY OF 10,000 TALENT DEVELOPMENT HOURS IS GONE.THE ART CLASS IS GONE.THE ROBOTICS PROGRAM IS GONE.THOSE ARE ALL GONE.SO THE VERBAL SKILLS HAVE TO BE NURTURED BY CULTIVATING AN ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT THAT DOESN'T PENALIZE THEM, THAT CELEBRATES THEM, THAT ALLOWS THEM TO -- TO GROW.AND FROM MY JOURNEY OF BEING GOOD AT THIS THING, I'VE LEARNED THAT I NEED HOURS.AND I NEED THOSE HOURS EARLY, I NEED THEM OFTEN.I NEED DIRECT FEEDBACK.AND IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT WE, AS FOLKS WHO CARE ABOUT SCHOOL AND YOUNG PEOPLE, THAT WE GET THOSE SITES OF TALENT DEVELOPMENT BACK AND MAKE THAT A BIG PART OF -- OF REIMAGINING WHAT EDUCATION CAN BE. SO I APPRECIATE THAT.THANK YOU.WE -- WE'RE -- WE'RE RUNNING-- WE'RE RUNNING -- WE'RE RUNNING LATE.SO LET'S DO ONE MORE.AND WE'LL DO RIGHT UP FRONT.AND THEN, AS I PROMISED TO YOU, I WILL NOT LEAVE HERE TODAY -- TONIGHT WITHOUT SPEAKING TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STAY.SO COME SAY HELLO. YOU'LL BE OUR LAST QUESTION OR COMMENT THIS EVENING. audience:HI.OKAY.I'M KATHY. MOONEY:HEY, KATHY.HOW YOU DOING? AUDIENCE:PRETTY GOOD.THAT'S MY KID GABRIEL.HE DOESN'T WANT TO BE INTRODUCED, BUT THERE YOU HAVE IT. MOONEY:NICE -- NICE TO MEET YOU, GABRIEL. AUDIENCE:ANYWAY, GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS TO GET THE I -- IEP BY BEING PART OF PATIENT PROCESS.YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO DO THAT TO ENTER THE DOOR, OKAY.BUT THEN YOU WANT TO -- TO HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT'S AN AGENT ENVIRONMENT, THAT, YOU KNOW, GIVES KIDS A CHANCE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES CREATIVELY IN OTHER WAYS OR HAVE ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS OR THINGS LIKE THAT. AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE I'VE HAD -- I HAD TO ACTUALLY GO OUT AND GET, LIKE, A CHILD ADVOCATE ATTORNEY BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.AND I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE WERE ACCOMMODATIONS THAT WERE MEANINGFUL AND INTERESTING AND, YOU KNOW, REALLY, LIKE, SPOKE TO WHAT WAS -- I WOULD LIKE TO SEE, LIKE, A COMMUNITY -- SO I'M JUST -- MAYBE YOU HAVE IT ALREADY AND I JUST DIDN'T KNOW. BUT SOMEPLACE WHERE PEOPLE COULD -- LIKE A DUMPING GROUND OR A BLOG OF CREATIVE, INTERESTING ACCOMMODATIONS. SO THAT, LIKE, NOT EVERYBODY -- I'M A SINGLE MOM, I CAN'T REALLY AFFORD AN ATTORNEY, BUT THAT'S WHAT I HAD TO DO.SO THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT CAN'T AFFORD THAT, THAT NEED A REPOSITORY OF CREATIVE, EXCITING, INTERESTING ACCOMMODATIONS THAT -- THAT SPEAK TO THEIR CHILDREN'S NEEDS. MOONEY:YEAH.WELL, I JUST WANT TO -- TO PICK UP ON TWO THINGS.AND -- AND A WONDERFUL, I THINK, COMMENT FOR US TO -- TO END OUR EVENING ON AND -- AND TRANSITION TO -- TO SOME MORE PERSONAL CONVERSATION.BUT YOU -- YOU ARE SO RIGHT IN THAT WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS A PHYSICAL PLACE AND A VIBRANT SUPPORT SYSTEM TO HELPING MOMS AND DADS, LEARNERS THEMSELVES, EDUCATORS FOR THAT MATTER.BECAUSE MANY EDUCATORS HAVEN'T BEEN PREPARED FOR THIS, AND THEY'VE BEEN DONE A DISSERVICE BY THEIR EDUCATION, OR THEY'RE NOT BEING SUPPORTED BY THEIR LEADERSHIP IN THEIR SCHOOL.THEY NEED A PLACE TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW DO WE CHANGE ENVIRONMENT AND NOT KIDS.HOW DO WE CHANGE ENVIRONMENT AND NOT KIDS?AND THE TOOLS FOR THAT ARE CREATIVE ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS.THAT REPOSITORY DOESN'T EXIST.I THINK IT'S WONDERFUL PROJECT FOR SOMEBODY TO TAKE UPON THEMSELVES.I WILL TAKE THAT BACK TO SOME OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT I'M A PART OF AND SUGGEST THAT AS A -- AN IMPORTANT AND -- AND URGENT NEED IN THE COMMUNITY AROUND THAT ISSUE. audience:IT COULD BE A PLACE THAT EDUCATORS COULD GO TO TO LEARN ABOUT HOW TO IMPLEMENT -- MOONEY:THAT'S RIGHT.THAT'S RIGHT.IT COULD BE -- IT COULD BE AN INTERACTIVE WIKI EXPERIENCE, IT COULD BE AN INTERACTIVE SOCIAL COMMUNITY AS WELL FOR PEOPLE TO SHARE IDEAS.SO THAT'S A PROJECT FOR SOMEBODY IN THE ROOM HERE DEFINITELY.AND FOR OTHER FOLKS.AND THAT'S A WONDERFUL IDEA IN THE SPIRIT OF NOT CHANGING KIDS BUT CHANGING ENVIRONMENT.NOW LET ME JUST END OUR NIGHT ON AN AFFIRMATION OF YOUR FIRST COMMENT.WHICH IS WE'VE CREATED A SYSTEM THAT HAS -- HAS YOU SUBMIT YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILD TO PATIENTHOOD TO ACCESS THE RIGHT TO LEARN DIFFERENTLY. THE RIGHT TO LEARN DIFFERENTLY SHOULD BE A UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHT THAT'S NOT MEDIATED BY A DIAGNOSIS.AND WE SHOULD BE MOVING IN THE PLACE THAT IS EMBODIED BY THE LANGUAGE OF THE SPONSOR OF TONIGHT. WHICH IS THIS ABOUT ACCESSIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR EVERYBODY.THIS ISN'T ABOUT ACCESS -- ACCESSIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR A FEW.WE NEED TO BE MOVING TO THE PLACE OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN OF LEARNING NOT JUST OF BUILDINGS, AND WE NEED TO MAKE THAT CENTRAL TO THIS ACCOMMODATION -- CONVERSATION.IT SHOULD BE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR ALL.THAT SHOULD BE THE MANDATE. BECAUSE WHEN WE GET TO KNOW ANY LEARNER, WHETHER THEY HAVE A DIAGNOSIS OR NOT, WE SEE THESE IMPORTANT HUMAN DIFFERENCES OF:I LEARN BY HEARING, I LEARN BY SEEING, I LEARN MY EXPERIENCING, I NEED MORE TIME, I NEED LESS TIME.THAT'S -- THAT'S NOT A DIAGNOSIS ISSUE. CERTAINLY ARE THERE PEOPLE ON THIS CONTINUUM THAT HAVE GREATER CHALLENGES, LIKE MYSELF, THAN OTHERS?YES.BUT IT'S A CONTINUUM NONETHELESS.AND IT'S A CONTINUUM OF LEARNING DIVERSITY THAT WE SHOULD BE CELEBRATING AS A VIBRANT PART OF AN ACADEMIC COMMUNITY.SO I APPRECIATE THAT COMMENT. SO MY THANK YOUS AGAIN TO THE VARYING GROUPS THAT ORGANIZED THIS EVENING.IT WAS A REAL HONOR FOR ME TO BE A PART OF IT.SO YOU KNOW, TONIGHT IS NOT THE ONLY ENGAGEMENT FOR ME.I'M SPEAKING TOMORROW TO EDUCATION STUDENTS.SO THEY'VE MADE A COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING NEXT GENERATION OF TEACHERS.AND I'M ALSO HAVING A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TOMORROW, WHICH I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO.THEY WORKED REALLY HARD TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.IT -- IT'S -- IT'S REALLY AN HONOR FOR ME TO BE A PART OF IT.AND CAN WE GIVE THEM JUST ONE MORE ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR -- FOR DOING THAT?OKAY? THANK YOU. ### Captioning by Elizabeth Archer ###

List of holders

References

  1. ^ Professor Andrew Porter King's College London, 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. Archived here.
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