He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao? Māku i kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
We all have Special Needs
A childhood marred led to my interest in what makes humans do the seemingly inhuman.
In 1963 Stanley Milgram at Yale examined justifications for acts of genocide offered by those accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Criminal trials.
Perpetrators all find excuses, from the schoolyard bully to psychopaths.
Though personally motivated by emotional special needs, the term extends to the physical and cognitive. Teachers largely address the latter two.
At TKAS I have worked with students who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, Autism, Hearing loss, Developmental Delay and Undines Curse. Most special needs are not diagnosed. Relief from acute shyness, despair, fear, depression, anger, emotional pain are only addressed during extreme displays.
Effective teaching presupposes knowledge of causes and manifestations of conditions. These are often extremely complex.
Developments in neuroscience and social neurobiology increasingly reveal genetic, physiological and chemical influences on thought and behavior.
Some important things I’ve learnt are:
- That which is most personal, is most universal
- Every act of communication is an act of translation.
- The genetic difference between humans and chimps is less than 2%,
- The genetic difference between the most and least gifted person is 0.1%
- He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao? Māku i kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
If you were to ask me, “What is the most important thing in this world?
I would say, Tis people, tis people, tis people”
i.e. not programs, products or policies
- I’ve never taught a child with special needs, who didn’t teach me more.
- We all have special needs