Dyslexia · Diversity · Democracy

Shooting the Moon


Shooting the Moon ::

Alasdair Foster delivered a lecture at Newcastle University last Wednesday, which built out from his personal experience of being dyslexic to argue for a better understanding of difference within our educational system. He does not consider dyslexia to be a disability but a different ability, one which he has been able to harness and without which he believes he could have achieved what he has in life.

“Rationality should be an instrument that serves humanity, not a prison in which it is incarcerated.”

The talk began with a race to the moon, leading to an exploration of divergent thinking, brain plasticity, Ron Davis’ proposal that dyslexia is a gift not a disability and on to explore the richness suggested by Howard Gardiner’s concept of multiple intelligences.

It then considered what is lost by a narrow concept of education and the powers at play that might wish to see such a state of affairs maintained. Drawing on the work of the Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire, the talk developed an argument for the recognition of alternative ways of thinking about intelligence and creativity. It concluded with an exploration of how these ways of thinking might be harnessed and how, in doing so, we might come to recognise that each citizen can (and should) be an empowered and active participant in the creation of our shared cultures.

With thanks to Dr Miranda Lawry for organising this opportunity to speak at Newcastle University.


2 Responses to “Dyslexia · Diversity · Democracy”
  1. I was recently diagnosed to have ‘dyslexic writing’. It is interesting (at least for me) to see hand and brain (which are in fact one and the same) competing in front of a piece of paper, and to see letters out of place and interleaving words in my writings. Sometimes I get profit of this ‘errors’, which lead to a whole new story, poem or photographic series that are product of a mistake.
    I think that divergent ideas Here may converge into facts somewhere, somehow, sometime, There.
    My theorem: “There are no errors at all”. / RFI – Thank you Alasdair for sharing it.

  2. Useful theme, Alasdair. There are those, whom the US Popular Photography editor, John Durniak, called “POB”s (Print Oriented Bastards) – meaning word – non-visual or less visually stimulated people – and those like us who are more visually inclined than they. Viva la dyslexia?

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  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
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