‘And this is deep in the gene pool of public education; there are only two types of people – academic and non-academic; smart people and non smart people. And the consequence of that is that many brilliant people think they’re not because they’ve been judged against this particular view of the mind. So we have twin pillars – economic and intellectual. And my view is that this model has caused chaos in many people’s lives; it’s been great for some, there have been people who have benefited wonderfully from it. But most people have not. Instead they suffer this; this is the modern epidemic and it’s as misplaced and as it’s fictitious. This is the plague of ADHD.
[…] Don’t mistake me, I don’t mean to say there is no such thing as Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m not qualified to say if there is such a thing. I know that a great majority of psychologists and paediatricians think there is such a thing, but it’s still a matter of debate. What I do know for a fact is it’s not an epidemic. These kids are being medicated as routinely as we had our tonsils taken out. And on the same whimsical basis and for the same reason – medical fashion.
Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. They’re being besieged with information and calls for their attention from every platform -computers, from iPhones, from advertising hoardings, from hundreds of television channels and we’re penalising them now for getting distracted. From what? Boring stuff at school, for the most part.
It seems to me it’s not a coincidence totally that the incidence of ADHD has risen in parallel with the growth of standardised testing. Now these kids are being given Ritalin and Adderall and all manner of things, often quite dangerous drugs, to get them focused and calm them down. But according to this [map], Attention Deficit Disorder increases as you travel east across the country. People start losing interest in Oklahoma, they can hardly think straight in Arkansas and by the time they get to Washington they’ve lost it completely. And there are separate reasons for that I believe. It’s a fictitious epidemic.’
– Robinson, K. (2008, June 16) Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms. Retrieved from Ted.com