Book Talk: Learning Outside the Lines
SLIDE 1 — Title
(Book picture, Title, A book review by Noël Szado)
Learning Outside the Lines: Two ivy league students with learning disabilities and ADHD give you the tools for academic success and educational revolution.
By Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
THIS BOOK IS A GUIDE
How you can conquer school
Truly about how to move from struggle to success
SLIDE 2 — INTRO
(Quote: “Education is one of the most beautiful and liberating things we can pursue in our lives, but too often it is approached as a restrictive, punitive, linear, and moralistic act.” ― Jonathan Mooney”)
● Directed at students about to start or in the middle of college
● Written from SLD and ADHD perspective
● Helpful to all students frustrated with traditional education
● Helpful to provide understanding and ideas to teachers
● Authors focus on how to beat the traditional education system
SLIDE 3 — WHY THIS MATTERS
(Artwork, Sidebar: One out of every five people in the United States is identified LD/ADHD)
WHY I CARE
● With ADHD, I thought I was deficient and lacking in certain ways
● I did well in school
● But certain things were really, really, hard
● I felt bad about the things that challenged me — like anything to do with executive function
○ I lacked self-awareness
○ Thank God I went to art school
○ Focused on MY ABILITIES
● Now that I have a son with more pronounced ADHD symptoms,
● I want to do better for him, and I want to see schools do better
WHY THIS MATTERS TO EVERYONE
(click for animation)
One out of every five people in the United States is identified LD/ADHD
More than 50% of them will:
● drop out of high school
● abuse substances
● spend time in juvenile detention
One out of every five people in the United States is identified as having a learning or attention issue. “The State of Learning Disabilities” 2017. National Center for Learning Disabilities.
A disproportionate number of students with disabilities who are imprisoned – 85% of incarcerated youth have learning and/or emotional disabilities. “Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities.” 2015. National Council on Disability.
Roughly 92% of individuals diagnosed with an LD have incomes of less than $50,000 within 8 years of graduating high school, and 67% earned $25,000 or less. “The State of Learning Disabilities.” 2017. National Center for Learning Disabilities.
SLIDE 4 — STRUGGLE TO SUCCESS
(Graphic: Struggle to Success)
This books basically outlines — How you can conquer school
The reason the authors teach us “how you can conquer school”
Is so that those of us with LDs and/or ADHD can shift from struggle to success
● So, you can get the education YOU want.
● So, you can attain the goals YOU choose.
● The authors don’t define SUCCESS with grades.
○ (But they do teach you how to get good grades.)
● Define SUCCESS as building the life that YOU want.
○ Conquering school is JUST a way to get there.
○ (In fact, they see the lust for gold stars and good grades as a bit of a trap that tortures you because it PUSHES you toward “normal”)
● ***It is extremely destructive if you strive for normal***
SLIDE 5 — STRUGGLE TO SUCCESS
(Quote: “There is more to learning then trying harder. There is more to achieving than buckling down.” — Edward M. Hallowell M.D., author of Driven to Distraction)
1 in 5 is at risk because they are LD/ADHD
At a young age they are told:
Good equals sit still and listen quietly.
Smart equals do and remember what you’re told.
● You will be moved by the authors stories of pain and struggle.
● Hopefully you will feel just a little more empathy for a student.
● Because we all want to keep students with LD and ADHD from falling into the pit of pain and shame.
● That’s where they:
○ LOSE the love of learning
○ LOSE their interest in school
● It can:
○ DESTROY their self-esteem
○ And Potentially, DESTROY their lives.
SLIDE6 — AUTHORS
(Graphic: Jonathan Mooney author with dyslexia, David Cole author with ADHD.
words appear: LAZY!, STUPID!, CRAZY!)
our system of education demands emotional and intellectual sacrifices
The author’s met at transfer orientation to Brown University
Bonded over shared experiences.
Early in school they were told they were:
(click for animation)
LAZY, STUPID, and CRAZY.
Their open honest stories show everyone a little of what it can be like to go through school with LD/ADHD.
Jonathan Mooney: author with dyslexia
Growing up experienced the stigma of a learning disability
● Did not learn to read until he was twelve
● Frequent trips to the resource room in elementary school humiliated him
● Attitude of his General teacher made him feel stupid
HE THRIVED WHEN:
● teachers showed him respect and support
● he was given accommodations
● he was able to do project-based learning
● spelling was not counted against him
● he was able to use the computer
● his work was based on his own interest
○ Example: 8th grade graduation speech—moved the audience to a standing ovation
HE FLOUNDERED WHEN:
● Teachers or schools gave him NO accommodations
● Teachers did not show him respect
● Eventually, he dropped out
Like many, with LD/ADHD his mental health suffered
● self-esteem dropped
● self-worth dropped
● contemplated suicide
● self-medicated with alcohol
David Cole: author with ADHD
The education system focused on their weaknesses and not their strengths.
● Teachers taught in their own style
● and did not modify instruction for diverse learners.
● He was labeled disabled
● felt all the negative connotations
● Lost his passion for learning and passion for school
Laments: The intuitive, emotional and creative side of their mind or considered irrelevant.
SLIDE 7— THE PLAN
(Graphic: THE PLAN)
It’s a revolutionary process to learn in the way
that is appropriate for your mind
and to follow your heart.
1. Confront the trauma of educational failure, including lingering psychological effects
2. Understand individual strengths and weaknesses
3. Understand the tasks and rules of academic success in this new educational environment (colleges and universities)
4. Build skills and work habits that work with individual strengths and weaknesses
5. Build a positive self-image outside of academic performance
In addition to the Plan, authors believe:
In college we should be tasked with looking with-in and charting our own path.
SLIDE 8— Multiple Intelligences
(Graphic: Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences)
The authors are strong advocates of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Their tips match different learning styles
● Such as: oral, social, kinetic, and multisensory approaches to learning
● Mix-and-match skills and work habits that work best for the individual
● They make it easy to self-assess and identify which approaches may work for you.
● Then it’s trial and error.
“Think of times when you were really engaged, and you learned something really well.
Were you writing, were you make me something? Take a vantage of this knowledge, this is how you can learn and do anything.”
SLIDE 9— STRUGGLE SUCCESS SCALE
(Graphic: Struggle — Success scale)
Most of the book focuses on study skills and tools
SKILLS AND TOOLS
● Test Preparation
● Focusing Attention
● Appropriate Ways of Conducting an All-Nighter
● How to Recover Lost Class Notebooks
● How to Make the Most of a Syllabus
● "The Seven Habits of Highly Disorganized People"
● Get HELP!!!!!!! (So important)
These skills are a means to getting where you want to go.
Take notes, read, participate in discussions, write, and study
in the ways that work for you as an individual.
Learn your strengths and weaknesses and what type of learner you are.
ALSO, set short-term and long-term goals AND think about what you want from life.
Decide your objective first — then your strategy
■ If it is your favorite book of all time: READ IT TWICE
■ Something you need to comment intelligently in class: SKIM
■ Optional reading and you have more important things to do: SKIP
There are levels in between and they give you specific advice at how to meet your objectives most efficient way possible.
My side note:
When I started adopting certain supports, like speech to text, it felt like I was cheating. Because I used to have to work so very hard to do certain things. Supports keep me from tripping up on my executive function challenges and let me focus on my strengths.
SLIDE 10— HELP!
(graphic: HELP! — “The best most valuable ideas come commingled with the messiest and least accessible.”— Edward M. Hallowell M.D., author of Driven to Distraction)
Advocating for yourself is extremely important.
1975: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Ensures that children with disabilities have equal access to public education.
To do this, many educators use differentiated instruction strategies.
2000: No Child Left Behind
Further promoted differentiated and skill-based instruction
Because it has been researched and it works.
If you have difficulty in class discussions:
○ be upfront with your professor
○ ask if you can get study questions in advance,
○ ask for cues before you’re called on,
If you are nonverbal and can don’t feel you can talk in class:
○ ask the professor for extra credit to compensate.
if you are if you talk too much:
○ ask the professor to verbally or nonverbally let you know when you’ve said enough.
○ Or ask if they can call on you, maybe every third time that you raise your hand.
(click for animation)
FYI: In college, Jonathan Mooney faxed everything he wrote to his mother to proofread.
○ Writing Centers, Tutors
○ Campus Mental Health Services
○ Deans, Professors, Advisors, DSS Coordinator
○ Personal Support System
○ RELATIONSHIPS are IMPORTANT!
SLIDE 11— DIFFERENTIATION
(quote: “In short, you can teach form but ideas are priceless.” ― Jonathan Mooney)
Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs.
Ways to differentiate instruction
○ Learning environment
NOTE TO TEACHERS
EXAMPLE: Occasionally highly disorganized people will lose their notebooks.
● They may turn to the professor for help
● Professor can offer their notes (which are usually brief)
● Connect them with a TA for notes
● The student or professor can call out to the class and ask if anyone is willing to help with a complete set of notes.
SLIDE 12— PBL
(John Dewey—The Power of Doing)
John Dewey is a highly influential education theorist who believed in the power of doing.
○ Reading = 20% retention
○ Reading and say it out loud = 30% retention
○ Read speak and review it = 50% retention
○ But when you experience it and truly make it part of your life
eventually you make that knowledge your own
That is strong evidence supporting
Inspired by John Dewey and his belief in the power of doing.
Authors believe strongly in project-based learning.
It allows students with different strengths to approach learning—
to approach a problem— from many different angles.
PBL is not easily institutionalized, try:
○ Bringing your life into your study
○ Developing your own projects as alternatives to assigned work if possible
○ Trying an Independent Study
○ Or even a personalized Major (this is a big pain)
○ Look for service-based learning projects
SLIDE 13— EYE TO EYE
(Eye to Eye logo and photos)
Authors’ PBL in college — was actually service-based learning
PROJECT EYE TO EYE
● Matches Middle Schoolers with LD and/or ADHD
○ And a Mentor with LD and/or ADHD
● Weekly art projects and activities
○ designed to spark meaningful conversations between student and mentors
● More than 150 schools across the country
(1:40 video about Eye to Eye)
EYE TO EYE SITE
(Invite them to work or speak at your school)
Developed their own PEDAGOGY
Each meeting includes:
The art projects are highly structured and challenging.
*Spatial relationships, abstract thinking skills, interpersonal relationships skills*
All projects are failure-proof
● Mentors model acceptance of self
● Projects are broken down into the smallest parts.
● All of the projects require help
○ Because getting help is so important—they want to practice it
● Always push them out of their comfort zone
○ Develop critical thinking
They believe students with LD/ADHD are gifted alternative thinkers
and they want them to feel proud.
SLIDE 14— CONCLUSION
SUCCESS IS A LIFE LESS ORDINARY
● The education you choose
○ focus on your strengths
○ advance your goals
● The life you want
○ know your self-worth
○ not based on a grade
We need to understand that not everyone’s minds work the same.
Neuro-typical OR Neuro-diverse
(ALSO—environment, community, and culture)
With some supports, LD, ADHD, neuro-diverse and all types of learners
○ can get the most out of school, the most out of life,
○ AND then THEY will make the world a better place.
Authors study skills let them:
○ close the door on their past failures in education and
○ open the door to academic success
Authors encourage you to:
○ Develop your reflective self
○ Develop your creative and passionate self.
■ be with children no one is more creative are passionate
■ Read the paper and get emotional
■ Journaling sketching
■ engage in popular culture
■ music plays movies
■ make things
Support students by:
○ Showing them respect
■ you will build their self-esteem
○ Giving them accommodations
■ this will make their academic achievements possible
■ and put them on a winning path
A student who is lost in the struggle:
○ suffers a loss of potential
○ and this is a loss of potential for the world