Thursday, March 13, 2008

More from the Learning Differences Conference

The Learning Differences Conference at Harvard was great. Although it was designed for Pre-K-12, there were a number of excited ideas and trends in teaching all students presented at the conference.

1) Most studies on ADHD have not been on all children; they have been on boys. We know very little about the science of ADHD on girls, and what we do know is the brain develops in different ways and in different developmental stages in girls.   This will have ramifications on the accommodations and modifications for girls (and women) with ADHD.  As women cross the 50% mark at most law schools, we need to learn more about ADHD in female law students. 

2) The mind and body are connected.  Some people need to move in order to activate the brain to think. This is not isolated to children.  We need to think of ways to teach that includes movement--even if it is just switching seats--to truly use the learning moment in class.

3) We need research on the needs of professional and graduate students with learning differences.  I avoid saying "more" research because there is virtually nothing out there on students over 25 with learning differences. If we want to provide the best legal education, we need to know how to teach all students, not just the best and the brightest, who may  be the most easily adaptable, but not really the brightest.

My next update will be from the SALT Conference in Berkeley. This has been my crazy conference week (3 conferences in 10 days in 3 cities, on 2 coasts) and I will be back posting 2-3 times a week when I am home in Vermont. 

(Rebecca Flanagan)

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