Friday, July 8, 2011

The King's Speech

I had an opportunity to watch The King's Speech a few nights ago, what an amazing movie!  What was even more gratifying for me was I had chosen to review chapter 7 of the book "Mind over Muscle".  One of the forms of motor function mentioned in the chapter is oromotor (speaking).  The theme of The King's Speech is one man's attempt to overcome his speech impedement and all of the emotional undercurrents of that disability. 

A large part of the movie is the relationship between Bertie (the man to be King) and his speech therapist.  Bertie reveals layers of emotional baggage tied to his speech impedement and the speech therapist listens and eventually acts as a mentor, friend and therapist.

What is our role supporting kids?  Is it to be a diagnostician, interventionist, mentor...?


1 comment:

  1. I thought the King's Speech was a great movie too! I haven't tackled chapter 7 yet but look forward to it. Your comment also make me think of Judith Bluestone's descriptions of the role of facial nerves in speech, (including the trigeminal nerve). I'd like to look at that again. for our role?.......I believe that our role is to support kids in all of the above mentioned ways........and two thoughts in that regard keep coming to mind as I wade through this book. 1) relates to the idea of "support functions" and the "states of mind" (consciuosness and craftsmanship)of Cognitive Coaching. I believe that it is incumbant to always teach with purpose and intent. A master teacher doesn't just do for the sake of doing or because she is told that is the way it is done, rather she chooses based on the information available to her (empirical data such as test scores as well as observations in regards to affective states.)

    The second thought that keeps coming to mind is almost a caveat to what I am trying to express above because while I believe it is essential for the teacher to be knowledgable and purposeful, intentional and prepared....we must not lose sight of the fact that teaching and learning is (or should be!)a partnership between teacher and student. I think one of the biggest mistakes that has been made in the American educational system is that of often treating young students as empty vessels to be filled be seen and not heard except when it comes time to repeat back what has been said. I think back to all of your reflections on your early childhood responses to schooling and I think of my own experience. (I am the product of two very different educational systems; an American one that insisted on correct answers and very little thought and a German one that required a great deal of critical thinking, good reasons and the ability to explain yourself) In your stories it is clear how thoughtful and aware you were as children but that circumstances kept you excluded from the decisions being made about your educations. It seems to me there was lost potential with the early result being passive rather than active learners. I contrast this with my own experience and for the first time realize that in my personal experience circumstances were such that I was led to take it for granted that I was an active partner in my learning -both in making it happen and the responsibility for results....

    Anyway, it is clear to me that we have to do a better job of creating a true partnership with where learning is guided by common goals, clear vision and purpose but allows for the ups and downs of our emotional lives and the expression of our individuality. Somehow conditions must be created where the responsibility for learning lies equally between student and teacher.

    This is Karen but I can't figure out how to post except as "Anonymous!"