Archives for March, 2010


Living Down to Expectations? A Life-Lesson from Tutoring

A lot of my work is with kids identified as learning disabled. Often, these students have been tested, found to have particular difficulties in certain subject areas, and then "accommodated." This might mean that they receive extra test-taking time, or they are allowed to type instead of write, or they might be given a reader to read them test questions. I don't necessarily have any problems with these sorts of testing adjustments, which are intended to level the playing field on an exam. But often, accommodations are made to a student's day-to-day school workload. Commonly, the student is excused from certain requirements expected of the rest of the class. It doesn't appear that the student can handle the level of work, and so expectations are reduced. One of the rationales for this is that giving a kid more than he can succeed at will damage his self-esteem.
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