Mul­ti­ple method makes sense

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Karen Kotze

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.

Photo: FIONA GOODALL

Learn­ing av­enues: Mul­ti­ple in­tel­li­gences ex­pert Frances Ad­lam writes books about a dyslexic hero.

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