Temple Grandin

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I’ve just finished reading Temple Grandin’s “Animals Make Us Human.” Her take on human behavior is fascinating and incredibly valuable, because human behavior does not come naturally to her. She has been teaching design classes to college students for many years, and has noticed some profound changes in their proficiency:
“I have been teaching my livestock-handling-facility design class for eighteen years. Since around 2000, the percentage of students having difficulty with the drawings has increased. I think this is due to lack of hands-on experience with drawing in grade school. Last semester I told my students to buy a compass to draw circles with. One girl came up to me after class and said, “Dr. Grandin, I bough a compass and I’m having trouble with my homework.” She couldn’t figure out how to draw different sizes of circles. When I looked at what she was doing, I found out she had bought a Boy Scout compass and was tracing a ircle around its circumference. It’s not just students, either. I review drawings from plants around the world and I find the same errors in plans done by draftsmen. Older draftsmen who learned to draw by hand and then switched to the computer do fine. But younger ones who learned to make scale drawings on the computer make basic mistakes like not knowing where the center of a circle is.” (Page 23, “Animals Make Us Human.”) Read the rest of this entry »

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