Friday, May 29, 2020

Ableism (A tweet by Pamela Snow) Continued

Here is my tweet in response to the tweet by Pamela Snow which you may refer here.

I think it is discrimination against the able bodied and not in favour of able bodied. I am talking about the majority of kids who are wrongly classified as dyslexic. These are the really smart kids. (Luqman Michel)

I am trained in the audit field where we ask questions and look for the answers. In 2004, I was cajoled into teaching a kid who could speak good English but was unable to read in English despite having gone to kindergarten for a year and had completed grade one.

I was intrigued. I then decided to teach more such kids on a one on one basis determined to find out why many smart kids could read in Malay and those who went to Chinese school could read in Romanised Mandarin but not in English.

I observed my more than 70 such students over 15 years whom I taught on a one on one basis. I ‘interviewed’ them and found out directly from them that they were unable to read in English because of confusion due to two main reasons which I have detailed on my blog.

Upon clearing the confusion these kids begin to excel in reading as well as in other subjects. Most of my students were top students in the Matriculation class (Pre-university) and are doing exceedingly well in the university.

Currently, my first student is at Adelaide University doing a double degree in Accounting and finance.

What scientists should do is to follow up on the kids who were in remediation/intervention classes mentioned by Dr. David Kilpatrick in his book ‘Equipped for Reading Success’. I quote:

In a large study conducted by scientists from the State University of New York at Albany, researchers were able to reduce the number of children who require ongoing remediation from the national average of 30% down to about 2%.

Another example is a study by researchers at Florida State University. They showed how the most severely reading disabled students could reach grade level – and stay there- using a surprisingly brief intervention program. These examples question the inevitability of widespread reading failure.

I believe they will mostly be top students.

The students above would have been classified as disabled if not for the intervention.

From my observation and ‘interview’ of my students I have learned that these are the kids who are always asking the question ‘why’. When things do not make sense they disengage from learning to read. These are the able kids who are ‘disabled’ by teachers teaching them /kuh/ /ah/ /tuh/ for cat.

Did anyone ask how Tom Cruise was only able to read after his film Top Gun at the age of 22? He was a functional illiterate until then.

I believe it is the very smart kids who are discriminated by some puppeteers who want these kids away from important positions.

I refuse to believe that educators like Timothy Shanahan can ask such a stupid question as ‘where is the evidence for consonants to be taught without extraneous sounds.’

I cannot accept answers from educators such as David Boulton who can convince many with his stupid answer that after 15 years of research and interview of 160 top scientists that he has no answer to why kids cannot read because he does not want to be thought of as having an agenda.

Why do educators such as Diane Ravitch, Robert Slavin, P.L. Thomas not respond to my comments on their website stating that many kids disengage from learning to read due to confusion as a result of the pronunciation of phonemes being taught wrongly?

Why don't Pamela Snow, Jennifer Buckingham and Jeffrey Bowers respond to tweets tagging them and discuss my findings?

As a person trained in the audit line, I like to ask questions but have yet to find the answers to the questions in the last two paragraphs above


Anonymous said...

thank you for an interesting blog post.
I don't think many truly understand abelism. Like racism, ageism and sexism people like to deny they are 'abelist'. It's 'abelist' to presume kids must learn one way and have this approach forced upon them because it 'works for most'.
Children with dyslexia can and do learn when teachers accept there is more than one way to teach and learn. It seems to be the medicalisation of kids into diagnostic boxes as if they need to be fixed has always been a reflection of abelism.
Dr Jennie Duke

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment Dr. Jennie Duke.