25 Thought-Provoking Thoughts from Books on Learning (#3)
The story of Gillian Lynne…referred to a psychiatrist for serious school problems who figured out that she, “wasn’t sick”. She was, “just a dancer.” He recommended that she go to a dance school. She went on to join the Royal Ballet Company, form her own musical theater company, and create some of the most successful plays of all time (Cats, Phantom of the Opera) with Andrew Lloyd Weber.
What would have happened to Gillian had she been in school these days? This story is recounted in Sir Ken Robinson’s book The Element: How Finding your Passion Changes Everything. In it, he suggests that Gillian would have received a diagnosis of ADHD and been put on Ritalin or a similar drug. Here is a video of Robinson telling the story of Gillian. What do you think? Is he right about what would most likely happen to such a child in today’s educational system? What if a particular student’s passion isn’t found so readily? How do we find a balance between helping students who really need it, excessive pathologizing and squashing their creativity?
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