Temple Grandin introduced us to the world of visual thinking as it relates to Autism Spectrum Disorders and other forms of neurodivergence in her first book, Thinking in Pictures. It was also made into a movie that does a great job illustrating what it’s like to be a visual thinker.
So, I was so excited to hear that she has just released a new book, Visual Thinking. I just started reading it and I can’t get over how perfectly it talks about the importance of visual thinking. Not only are we not effectively teaching and honoring what the visual, right side of our minds can do, but we have lost so much more in the worlds of design and innovation along the way. Ms. Grandin uses real world examples of things she has seen to document the cost of focusing on language based ways of thinking instead of encouraging all ways of thinking and learning.
When we fail to encourage and develop the talents and skills of people who think in different ways, we fail to integrate ways of learning and thinking that benefit and enrich society.
Finally someone gets it! Ms. Grandin expands upon the idea that all kids need art that I presented in my book, Being Visual, by adding that we need to bring back the hands on classes such as welding, drafting, shop and auto mechanics to allow the visual thinkers often thought of as “poor performers” to show their great abilities and give them the skills to potentially invent new ways of making in the future. Not only do we need to bring back the apprenticeship model of learning but we need to work harder to make it available for those kids who are typically do not perform well in standard methods of learning and behaving so their gifts can be truly realized.
Go get this book! I can’t wait to finish it and would love to hear what you think about the book in the comments below.