When I was asked to work for a school district, I had a few things I wanted to go after. One of them is the whole notion of “learning disabilities,” “minimal brain dysfunction'” “dyslexia,” or “educational handicaps.” Those are very important-sounding words, but what they all describe is that the teaching isn’t working.
I’d rather not describe failure that way. I’d rather think about it as a “teaching dysfunction,” and at least leave open the possibility that we can learn to change it. If we pretend that you can teach anyone anything, we’ll find out when it’s not “yet” true. But if we think that when someone isn’t learning it means they can’t be taught, no one will even try.
In the last century it was common knowledge that man couldn’t fly. Then when airplanes became a part of everyday life, most people didn’t think it was possible to put a man on the moon. If you take the attitude that anything is possible, you’ll find that a lot of things that were previously thought impossible actually do become possible.