Reaching and Teaching Neurodivergent Learners in STEM
Strategies for Embracing Uniquely Talented Problem Solvers
Publishing date: November 14, 2023
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Our society is facing enormous challenges—climate change and global pandemics—big problems that beg for innovative solutions. We need problem solvers who are creative and systematic, who pay close attention to details, and who remain persistent until a problem is solved. We have these talented thinkers among us, but all too often they are marginalized by an education system that treats them as if they are broken. Schools tend to focus on fixing neurodivergent learners rather than revealing their unique brilliance and great potential.
Reaching and Teaching Neurodivergent Learners in STEM considers how neurodiversity—the different ways people learn and think—may present an exciting opportunity to build an innovative workforce ready to tackle these challenges we face. The rates of autism, ADHD, and other forms of neurodiversity are on the rise, doubling in some cases over the last ten years. Rather than considering this trend a burden, Reaching and Teaching Neurodivergent Learners in STEM argues that neurodivergent learners may actually provide the innovative talent we need in the workforce, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Drawing from thirty years of collaboration with teachers, learners, designers, and innovators; the author integrates a rich set of personal and professional stories about neurodivergent learning to illustrate theories from research from psychology, education, and neuroscience. Reaching and Teaching Neurodivergent Learners in STEM provides a rigorous, well-rounded perspective for educators and other interested readers, while offering practical strategies to support inclusive K-12 education to foster a thriving new generation of innovative STEM problem solvers.
A Short Bio of the Author:
Dr. Jodi Asbell-Clarke is an approachable academic who loves learners. She spends as much time as she can in K-12 classrooms, working with teachers, and watching how different kids make sense of the world.
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