Monthly Archives: November 2018

“We need visual thinkers”

Dr. Temple Grandin wasted no time in getting to the point on Thursday, speaking at the University of Idaho in Moscow.


Following her introduction, Grandin walked to the stage, pulled the microphone from its stand– “So I can move around a little bit”– and said, “A lot of things to talk about.”

There was indeed, all centered around a general topic of “Educating Different Kinds of Minds.”

Grandin is acknowledged as pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals, and writes and speaks on both autism and animal behavior. Grandin has received numerous awards recognizing her work, and her early life with autism was the focus of a well-received 2010 HBO film starring Claire Danes.

She spoke to an overflow crowd at the U of I on November 15, 2018.


“One of the things that we really need to get to thinking about is what would happen to a lot of famous innovators today, in today’s educational system?’ she asked the crowd.

“I worry about them getting screened out,” she said. “I was not a good student until I got a science teacher who got me turned around and got me interested in studying. When school became a pathway to a career, I was motivated to study.

“A lot of great innovators,” Grandin said, “had an unconventional career path. How about Jane Goodall? She did her famous work with a two year secretarial degree, basically a community college degree. Would you be able to do that today? Probably not.

“I’m really concerned that a lot of really smart people out there are getting shunted aside.,” she said.

Grandin said “We’re going to need people who can fix things,” and she urged students to “Develop good writing skills.” She returned again and again to the theme that “What we need are visual thinkers.”

Grandin’s presentation included slides that said “When I learned how my visual thinking was different from verbal thinking, it gave me insight into how different people’s brains approach problem solving” and “Educators must not screen out students with unique skills.”

“The world,” Temple Grandin said, “needs all kinds of minds.”

Grandin warned that overspecialization may hinder creative problem solving; she said a top researcher reports that highly specialized graduate students lack creativity.

She told the audience: “Learning how to work” is important.

“I want to see a lot of kids that are different, kind of like me, be successful,” she said. “There’s a tendency to overcoddle these kids. We’ve got to get them out doing things.”

Grandin speaks often on the lecture circuit; she was in Clarkston earlier this year and at will speak at the Schuler Performing Arts Center at North Idaho College on November 16. She speaks all over the world on topics including education, autism, and cattle handling

Dr. Grandin works as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

Posted November 16, 2018.


Idaho’s Ballot Questions

The fate of two statewide ballot questions is being decided by Idaho voters as part of the Idaho General Election on November 6, 2018.


Proposition 1

Proposition 1 is “an initiative authorizing historical horse racing at certain locations where live or simulcast horse racing occurs and allocating revenue therefrom.”

Those in favor of Proposition 1 say it will restore live horse racing, create jobs, and help fund public schools.

Here is a web site in support of Proposition 1:

Those opposed to Proposition 1 say the move will legalize slot machines in Idaho, and say only a small percentage of funds would go to public schools.

Here is a web site in opposition to Proposition 1:

A ‘yes’ vote would approve the proposed law to allow historical horse racing in Idaho, while a ‘no’ vote makes no change to Idaho’s current law.

Proposition 2

Proposition 2 in Idaho is “an initiative to provide that the state shall amend its state plan to expand Medicaid eligibility to certain persons.”

Those in favor of Proposition 2 say it will help more than 62,000 Idahoans have healthcare– people who make less than $17,000 a year as an individual, or a family of
three making less than $29,000 a year. Their jobs do not offer healthcare and they make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Here is a website in support of Proposition 2:

Those opposed to Proposition 2 say it would not lower the cost of medical care for the
average resident of the state and would move Idaho toward a federal government-run, taxpayer-funded healthcare system.

Here is a website in opposition to Proposition 2:

A ‘yes’ vote would approve the proposed law to expand Medicaid eligibility in Idaho, while a ‘no’ vote would make no change to Idaho’s current law.

For more information on these ballot questions, see the Idaho Voters Information Pamphlet from the Idaho Secretary of State:

Click to access 2018%20Voters%20Pamphlet.pdf

Posted November 4, 2018.