Multiple method makes sense
Dyslexia has been brought on to the stage in a whole new way at the launch of a book that may open new avenues of learning for many.
Frances Adlam is a highly experienced teacher and lecturer in the arts, a therapist and an expert on multiple intelligences.
She was one of the key figures behind the implementation of the New Zealand arts curriculum, and has worked as an adviser for Team Solutions and the Education Ministry.
Frances is also the writer of nine resources for teachers of poetry, dance, drama and music, from a multiple intelligence perspective.
Her children’s books feature a dyslexic hero.
She’s also the mum of a dyslexic son.
Her latest work, Out of the Box, is her creative response to dyslexia – and many other learning difficulties.
It is the culmination of experience in all her different fields, and most importantly as a mother, that have led her to develop her own system specially for right-brained students.
“Most children who are referred to as having dyslexia, ADD or who just struggle to read are rightbrained thinkers,” she says.
She says their world view is only “a problem” because it requires a shift in the way they are taught, one which is not comfortable or convenient for the many leftbrained teachers in school.
She says this with a grin, but her work is in-depth and based on sound knowledge. It’s also immense fun.
“My course recognises the way creative children’s brains operate, and works with their particular learning styles.
It is a right-brained approach. By dancing the alphabet or dramatising a poem the kids laugh and learn. Sometimes literally in leaps in bounds.
Frances’ theory of multiple intelligences, where each child has a preferred sense they learn with, is central to her course.
“Children who are kinaesthetic learners, who need to ‘do’ things to learn a lesson, find it difficult to sit still and use just their hearing to absorb information.”
But those children are under-stimulated in class.
Out of the Box was launched at the Performing Arts School of New Zealand in Western Springs last week.
Learning avenues: Multiple intelligences expert Frances Adlam writes books about a dyslexic hero.