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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a disorder, it’s a different way of thinking

   Throughout the decades we have been expected to sit in classrooms, listen to our professors, write down “organized” notes, complete homework and take tests. It has been the same for years, the same ways of teaching and learning are still expected today to be the same. Think about this routine, hasn't it been forced upon every student? How do we know for sure if this routine works for everyone? With all the research neuroscientists have done about how we all think and learn very differently, why should we call a way of brain processing a disorder? 

    Research has been done about students that have ADHD succeeding better with “goal directed persistence” from the professor. The result from a “goal directed persistence” method in the classroom was proven to be positive (Martin), but if you think about it, shouldn’t all professors implement “goal directed behaviors” ? (Martin) A goal is a goal, you give it, you plan it, you take the first step and you achieve it, shouldn’t all students learn what a “goal oriented” classroom feels like? The idea of implementing goals into a classroom can be a key to better overall education, not an excuse to cure a different way of thinking. 

    Psychologists talk about different strategies for professors to use with students that are diagnosed with ADHD, one of them is to “increase the novelty of lessons by using films, tapes, flash cards, or small group work or by having a child call on others” (Child Development Institute) does this sound like classroom with children that only have disorders? As far as I know, these methods are involving a more hands-on and social behaviors way of learning, some call it “Team-Based Learning,” something that we have not done frequently in the last decades of education. Therefore, we still insist that students have some kind of disorder because they can not adjust to outdated ways of learning. 

    “Team-Based Learning” has had successful turn out in the classroom. The results were that students in a “Team-based Learning” environment agreed that this method “assists with critical-thinking, problem-solving, and examination preparation” (Frame). The description of the list of “Strategies for Cognitive and Impulsive Children,” describe “Team-Based Learning,” very close. These are methods that every professor should apply to their teaching, but it should not be categorized as a way of teaching for students who have a “disorder.”

    ADHD was first mentioned in 1902 where children needed to be seated quietly in a classroom and were not allowed to brainstorm with each other or to fundamentally create their own workshops. I work very close with a friend who has was been diagnosed with ADHD, she says “I think so quickly that I’m so good at multitasking, I’ve learned my own way of organization and I don’t use the same methods as everybody else, I still succeed.” Does this sound like someone who has a disorder? To me it sounds like a different way of thinking.

The same old industrial revolution set up is a reoccurring method that classrooms have not changed until this date! Yet, we decide to give it a name, some drugs and be done with it. While the educational system in this country continues to force the same methods of education upon individuals that simply organize their thoughts in a different manner and learn in unique ways, just like everybody else.




Frame, Tracy R., et al. "Student Perceptions Of Team-Based Learning Vs Traditional Lecture-        Based Learning." American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education 79.4 (2015): 1-11.         Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.


Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, 2nd ed., Detroit: Gale, 2013, pp. 610-613.


Martin, Andrew J. "Improving The Achievement, Motivation, And Engagement Of             Students With ADHD: The Role Of Personal Best Goals And Other Growth-        Based Approaches." Australian Journal Of Guidance & Counselling 23.1 (2013):         143-155. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.


Child Development Institute. ”Suggested Classroom Interventions For Children With ADD &         Learning Disabilities." Child Development Info. Child Development Institute, LLC,         2015. Web. 2015.     <