Many of the issues facing American schools are related to the popular belief that all people are created equal in every way
. But people are different in many ways and intellectual diversity, gender characteristics, and personality profiles all contribute to the richness of our very complex society and different achievement levels in our schools and careers. It is important to acknowledge that all people are valuable and need not be the same
to be valued.
It is important to acknowledge that all people are valuable and need not be the same
to be valued.
Once we admit that there are intellectual differences, it becomes incumbent upon our leaders and policy makers to devise practices and procedures that address varying needs and capabilities.
David Lohman of the University of Iowa is one of many who have studied individual learning differences. and he has co-authored an achievement test (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) and school ability test (CogAT – Cognitive Abilities Test). Each year these test results reveal that by 1st grade, a typical same-aged mixed-ability classroom already has twelve grade equivalencies of achievement in it! This means that within the same classroom, some children speak, reason and read at the level of average 9th or 10th graders while some only know colors, letters, numbers and vocabulary that is typical of average 3-year-olds.
Grouping students by age for instruction makes about as much sense as grouping them by height. Yet few question the wisdom of such grouping and it is accepted practice to throw an incredibly wide range of learners into classrooms together and demand that the teachers figure out how to teach all of them to a certain level of proficiency. In the case of our brightest students, these bright students spend the vast majority of their time in school waiting for others and learning bad habits themselves. Countries that routinely surpass us in achievement results either have narrower ability ranges in their countries (e.g., Iceland and the Netherlands) or, unlike the USA, they begin to track their students by at least three levels (skilled labor, managerial, and university bound) by 4th or 5th grades.
Small ways that Educational Options can help change policies:
Work directly with a school
We offer flat rate fees to introduce a faculty and students to information related to intellectual profiles, gender differences (in interests and school behavior), and personality profiles.
What is included:
• Personality assessment on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
® and Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children
®, feedback information, and interpretation
• Guidance on how to use and evaluate either Otis-Lennon or Cognitive Ability group intelligence tests
• Intake forms for teachers to identify student problem behaviors and issues
• Full day training sessions and workshops for faculty on intellectual differences and profiles, gender differences, and how personality of teacher and students affects learning and behavioral outcomes
• Follow-up phone or email discussion with Dr. Ruf about individual students or classroom questions and needs
• Summary report of results and recommendations
Work directly with stakeholders, e.g. school administrators, legislators, parents, educators, science, mathematics, and skilled labor businesses
We provide workshops and materials for adult policy-makers or administrators to learn what works best for the normally wide range of student interests, abilities, and learning needs.
Work directly with other professionals, e.g., neuropsychologists, therapists, pediatricians, learning disability specialists
We provide workshops and materials for gateway professionals to teach them about how intellectual profiles, gender, and personality are related to classroom behaviors and school adjustment.