Without a grounding in theory or knowledge or ethics or care, the Silicon Valley machine rewards stupid and dangerous ideas, propping up and propped up by ridiculous, self-serving men. There won’t ever be a reckoning if we’re nice.

Source: HEWN, No. 321

And quite commonly on Twitter, I’ve seen people call ABA “dog training for children.”

When I see that, I tend to go on Twitter rants in reply to it, because from everything I have read and seen of ABA, it is NOT “dog training” for children.

…I would never treat a dog that way.

Echolalic speech helps autistics, many of whom process language in a different part of the brain, to process the language they have heard and understand the meaning of the words.

Yet, ABA seeks to “extinguish” these things.

A good dog trainer doesn’t extinguish behaviours which improve the dog’s mental health and happiness. But an ABA practitioner may not think twice before doing this to a human child.

Dog trainers understand that dogs need to chew and bark and dig, but ABA therapists don’t understand that autistic children need to repeat words and sentences, flap their hands, and sit quietly rocking in a corner when things get too much. 

Source: Is ABA Really “Dog Training for Children”?  A Professional Dog Trainer Weighs In. | The Aspergian | A Neurodivergent Collective

Via: Is ABA Really “Dog Training for Children”?  A… – neurowonderful

See also: Persuasion and Operant Conditioning: The Influence of B. F. Skinner in Big Tech and Ed-tech

a behavior – even if it’s harmful – is never the problem to be solved. The problem we should solve is the problem the person experiences, which is the cause of the behavior.

Source: Summary – gentle teaching

Via:

The plutocrat-backed neoliberal technocracy is being manufactured at universities around the world, and its corrupt ideology is being laundered by publications and think tanks funded by these same, unethical billionaires. And plenty of folks look the other way because they’re more committed to being in networks with the “innovators” than they are in building a world that is caring and just.

Source: HEWN, No. 320

There’s a wealth of critical literature on elevating ‘resilience’ among students as a character trait because of its tendency to rationalize systemic disparities and act as a “distancing move” to avoid confronting systemic issues. Paul Thomas is an essential source on this topic.

Source: Making Room for Asset Pedagogies – Long View on Education

See also:

Mindset Marketing, Behaviorism, and Deficit Ideology

Social psychologists sometimes use the term “fundamental attribution error” to describe a tendency to pay so much attention to character, personality, and individual responsibility that we overlook how profoundly the social environment affects what we do and who we are. This error has political implications: The more we focus on people’s persistence (or self-discipline more generally), the less likely we’ll be to question larger policies and institutions. Consider Paul Tough’s declaration that “there is no antipoverty tool we can provide for disadvantaged young people that will be more valuable than the character strengths…[such as] conscientiousness, grit, resilience, perseverance, and optimism.” Whose interests are served by the astonishing position that “no antipoverty tool” – presumably including Medicaid and public housing – is more valuable than an effort to train poor kids to persist at whatever they’ve been told to do?

The most impressive educational activists are those who struggle to replace a system geared to memorizing facts and taking tests with one dedicated to exploring ideas. They’re committed to a collaborative approach to schooling that learners will find more engaging. By contrast, those enamored of grit look at the same status quo and ask: How can we get kids to put up with it?

Source: Grit: A Skeptical Look at the Latest Educational Fad (##) – Alfie Kohn

Change also means that the ideas and concerns of all people need to be a part of the design phase and the auditing of systems, even if this slows down the process. We need to bring back and reinvigorate the profession of quality assurance so that products are not launched without systematic consideration of the harms that might occur. Call it security or call it safety, but it requires focusing on inclusion. After all, whether we like it or not, the tech industry is now in the business of global governance.

Move fast and break things” is an abomination if your goal is to create a healthy society.

Source: Facing the Great Reckoning Head-On – danah boyd – Medium