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Schools fail ‘clever engineers’ and the country will suffer, new book says

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18min 10sec
Temple Grandin
AP Photo/Evan Agostini
Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The nation is missing out on some of its best and most original thinkers, according to a famed Coloradan who counts herself among them. Colorado State University animal scientist Temple Grandin’s latest book, for teens, is “Different Kinds of Minds.”

Grandin identifies two broad categories of learners – verbal people, who learn and communicate primarily with words, and visual people, who process information as pictures.

America’s schools, she argues, focus on verbal learning, with an emphasis on language and abstract mathematical concepts, to the detriment of visual learners who do best with hands-on training and work experience. By failing to offer those alternatives, she said, the education system and businesses are missing out on employees who can see problems and provide workable, practical fixes.