- projects > lectures
- agency > compliance
- structural ideology > deficit ideology
- social model > medical model
- rights based > needs based
- acceptance > awareness
- spectrums > binaries
- promethean > pastoralist
The philosophy behind the heuristics: the social model for minds and bodies–for education, work, and real life.
Social Model > Medical Model: Neurodiversity and the Social Model of Disability
Instead of connecting neurodivergent kids with an identity, tribe, and voice, we segregate and marginalize them. We medicalize and assess them. We demand their compliance and rarely ask for consent. We define their identities through the deficit and medical models and then tell them to get some grit and growth mindset. We reduce emancipatory tech to remedial chains.
Let’s embrace instead the voice and choice of project-based learning and inform it with neurodiversity and the social model of disability. Create a future of education and work where neurodiverse teams of project-based learners use technology and design thinking to communicate, collaborate, iterate, and launch to authentic audiences of fellow humans.
End the segregation of special. Together, we will iterate our way through massive software-driven change. We will navigate disruption with compassion, finding opportunity and inspiration in the diversity of our shared humanity. We are humans making things for and with other humans, helping each other cope with sentience and senescence on our pale blue dot. Communicate, collaborate, iterate, launch. With these tools we’ll make it through.
To that end, the quotes and resources below provide a primer on neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and design for real life.
- Presume Competence: A Hippocratic Oath for Education
- Autistic Burnout: The Cost of Coping and Passing
- Eye Contact and Neurodiversity
- Identity First
- Neurodiversity Library
- Interaction Badges
- Hidden Disability
- Ben Foss on Dyslexia and Shame
- Compassion is not coddling
- Neurodiversity and Gender Non-conformity, Dysphoria and Fluidity
- Bathroom Bills, Neurodiversity, and Disability
- Harm reduction, addiction, tough love, 12 steps, neurodiversity, and the troubled-teen industry
- Hidden Disability
- The Gift: LD/ADHD Reframed
Communication is Oxygen: Communication, Collaboration, Open Technology, and Hacker Ethos
Change the technology culture of school. The voice & choice of inclusive education needs an open by default infrastructure for communication and collaboration. Technology will not find its place in the classroom until we move away from the remediation of the deficit model and embrace open and accessible online collaboration.
- The Open Schoolhouse
- Created Serendipity: Idea Scouting, Idea Connecting, Coworking, Distributed Collaboration, and Intersectional Bricolage
- Building Creative Culture
- Writing in Education and Plain Text Flow
- STEAM > STEM
- Privacy and Passwords
- Promethean > Pastoralist
Structural Ideology > Deficit Ideology
Growth mindset without structural ideology, restorative practices, and inclusion can be more harmful than helpful. Do not use growth mindset to shift responsibility for change from our systems to children. The practice and implementation of growth mindset has been suborned by deficit and bootstrap ideology. Develop an authentic voice based on diversity & inclusion, neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and structural ideology instead of propagating the untempered language of the latest deficit/bootstrap fad. Inclusion and structural ideology are the way forward. Growth mindset as commonly implemented is just another bootstrap metaphor that excuses systems from changing and learning. Acknowledge pipeline problems and the meritocracy myth, and stop blaming kids.
- Inspiration Porn, Growth Mindset, and Deficit Ideology
- DSISD Growth Mindset
- The Pipeline Problem and the Meritocracy Myth
- The deficit model is a business model
Diversity and Inclusion
Inclusion is the new normal.
Schools with transphobic bathroom policies break the codes of collaboration. They don’t meet the standards for hosting WordCamps, WordPress Meetups, or Automattic sponsored events. They eliminate themselves from hosting meetups for many open source communities, something schools should be doing more of, not less. Phobic policies distance public education from the creative commons and the engines of modernity.
In an era of massive software driven change, the culture of public education should be compatible with the norms of agile teams and distributed collaboration. Self-organizing teams working in open by default, inclusive by default cultures build great things. This is the present and future of work. What we’ve learned over decades of iterating development culture for adult creatives applies also to students.
Our market is the world. Our audience is the world. Designing for the lived experiences of the full spectrum of human diversity requires working inclusively. Together, we will iterate our way through massive software-driven change. We will navigate disruption with compassion, finding opportunity and inspiration in the diversity of our shared humanity. We are humans making things for and with other humans, helping each other cope with sentience and senescence on our pale blue dot. Communicate, collaborate, iterate, launch. With these tools we’ll make it through.
Source: Inclusion is the new normal
- Inclusive Education
- Contributor Covenants, Codes of Conduct
- The Segregation of Special
- Inclusion > special
- Corporate Diversity and Inclusion
- Neurodiversity and Cognition Representation
- Surviving Is Diversity Work
- GenderMag and Cognitive Walkthroughs
- Cindy Gallop, Make Love Not Porn, Sextech, Gender Balanced Writers’ Rooms
- D&I Water Cooler
- Security Theater, Threshold Flow, and Inclusion
- Thinking, Fast and Slow: Heuristics, Rules of Thumb, and Unconscious Bias
Projects > Lectures: Projects, Teams and Psychological Safety
Collaborative, project-based teams make great things. Teams that offer psychological safety are more productive and creative. This is true for adults and children—especially children. “Every child deserves an education that guarantees the safety to learn in the comfort of one’s own skin.” What we have learned in industry through continuous iteration works also for students. Give them psychologically safe teams where they can collaborate on shared passions. Give them a home of opportunity.
- Project-based Learning and School Culture
- Agile and Scrum in Education
- Books that influenced my views on education and project-based learning
- Use what you make and default to open
Agency > Compliance: Agency and Play
- The Leader in Me and Compliance Culture
- CHAMPS and the Compliance Classroom
- The Effects of Authority, Compliance, and Pathologizing Students
- The Gift: LD/ADHD Reframed
- Please take off your hat for the threshold guardians just doing their jobs
- Excellent Sheep
- On Recess
Acceptance > Awareness
Awareness means we know what is hard for us. As we grow up autistic we are measured against the yardstick of “normal” in many ways over and over. Thus, autistic children often have a keen sense of who they are NOT. This deficit-based understanding may be necessary in the diagnostic realm, but it does little to support a healthy lifestyle. Who we ARE in this world – our abilities, strengths and interests – provide us with a satisfying life because that is the way it is with human beings. And yes, autistic people regardless how autistic they may or may not be, are ALL human beings. This means ALL autistics have intrinsic value.
Awareness focuses on the deficits – on understanding the deficits of the autism diagnosis – which leads to general assumptions by society of a substandard, less than group of people and it spirals downward from there, as we all have seen in today’s status quo autism rhetoric, stereotypes and assumptions. Awareness extends a hand the erroneous idea of a flawed group of substandard human beings. Awareness often provides the fertile soil supporting the growth of inspiration porn about our tribe.
Acceptance focuses on autistics rather than on autism. And yes, there is a difference. Autism is our diagnosis; it is about what is hard for us. Autistic is who we are as autistic human beings; being autistic is about who I am in this world, how I function and what I contribute. Acceptance lends itself to ideas of equality, the premise of different rather than lesser creatures. This can lead to an upward spiral towards embracing concepts such as neurodiversity, inclusion and universal design.
For society, when awareness is the focus – society understands the deficits and which, when unbalanced with the humanity of autistics, often result in a hopeless and burdensome feeling. I believe when autistic acceptance becomes society’s focus we will shift to looking at abilities, strengths, interests of autistic individuals, which will then allow us our place in the fabric of society – as actually equal human beings.
So, at this point in time, as a society we have mostly Autism Awareness, especially during the month of April. We also do have a tiny wee bit of Autism Acceptance, mostly from autistic people themselves and their allies. When society is focused on Autism Awareness deficits of autistic people and inspiration porn about them are highlighted. When society is focused on Autism Acceptance strengths and abilities of autistic people are highlighted.