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View Full Version : knitting during lectures..rude or acceptable?


Cristy
02-02-2006, 07:42 PM
I often knit in public...doctor's offices, the park, the coffee shop, etc...today, I attended a conference for work. Today was the pre-conference actually and it was really geared towards parents of children with autism (and I'm a service provider). The entire 8 hours was lecture style and I am quite the auditory learner--so I broke out my knitting and got a lot done. I didn't get funny looks or anything (other folks were doing paperwork, etc.) but on my way home, I was wondering if I offended anyone--I wouldn't want to seem rude or uninterested. I was nodding in agreement and verbally participating when appropriate so I think it was obvious that I was doing more than just occupying a chair. Anyway--I was wondering what you guys think--was it inappropriate for me to knit? There were probably 150 in the room--we were in a large lecture hall/conference room. I don't think I'd do it in a small lecture where I might distract the speaker--in this lecture--I doubt as if the speaker even noticed I was there.

Gimme some input folks...

kayeknit
02-02-2006, 07:45 PM
I definitely do not think it was wrong. Certainly you can knit and listen to someone speaking at the same time. (And I'm sure doing paperwork takes no less concentration.) So I wouldn't worry a bit about it. :D

Ingrid
02-02-2006, 07:47 PM
Whenever there are meetings either small ones at school, or large district meetings, I always knit. There are usually several other knitters in the larger groups, too. I pay better attention when I knit. The part of my mind that would normally be thinking about what I'm going to do after school, or what I'm going to make for dinner, etc, etc, is occupied by the knitting so I can give full attention to the speaker.

One speaker was talking about different learning styles, and mentioned the knitters in the audience in a positive way--that we keep from fidgeting by keeping out hands busy, just like the people who doodle on the handouts.

I make a point never to bring a pattern that I have to stick closely to--like a color or cable chart. None of the people I work with have made comments other than in a light, teasing way. When they care to listen, I explain how it makes me a better listener.

tab
02-02-2006, 07:59 PM
If I want to knit during my university classes, I'll sit near the back and do my thing. I don't personally think it's rude so long as you make sure you're paying attention visibly. I know I can be watching my knitting and still pay attention at the same time, but I feel rude if I do that. I can knit simple patterns without looking at them, so those are what I bring to school. Since you were actually participating in the discussion, I don't think anyone would have seen you as rude or inattentive.

brendajos
02-02-2006, 08:18 PM
are you kidding? i kick myself everytime i decide to not bring stuff with me. i am inclined to believe that the people doing paperwork were more likely to not be paying attention than you were. knit away! :thumbsup:

AidanM
02-02-2006, 08:23 PM
My anatomy teacher is particularly impressed that I have never taken a single page of notes and that I knit and crochet in class - Yet I pass all of the tests with usually no more than one or two wrong.

I don't think it's being rude unless they ask you not to.

Cristy
02-02-2006, 08:28 PM
Thanks guys--I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong and the pattern was one that wasn't complicated. I also noticed that I seemed to be paying better attention. I just wanted some input--my ideas aren't always kosher w/ the general public...
I (of course, given my profession) subscribe to the idea that people learn in VERY different ways and that the traditional view of "attending to a task" isn't very reliable (meaning that I believe you don't have to be looking at someone to be listening or paying attention). I am a fiddler (not the kind that has an instrument but the kind that plays with things) so knitting is a great way for me to be occupied and quiet at the same time!

I got a lot done--I was very excited! :)

sogrammatical
02-02-2006, 08:29 PM
I knit in class from time to time (it really helps me keep awake and pay attention), but unlike Aiden here, I've got to take notes too, so I only bring something that doesn't take much attention to a pattern so I can keep putting it down to pick up my pencil.

I always feel a little bad about it though.

Cristy
02-02-2006, 08:52 PM
I'm not a note-taker either so I understand Aidan...

sogrammatical--it looks like you shouldn't feel bad...the consensus is that it's okay! :)

hedgehog
02-02-2006, 09:28 PM
*sigh* ok.. i know this is going to make me unpopular BUT.... :(

I'm a university professor and if i saw someone knitting in my class i would ask them to put it away or leave with no second thoughts. Maybe i'm old-school, but i think that when you're in class your role for that time increment is to be that of a student - paying attention, respecting the time i put into my lectures and the time i take to present them. Teaching isn't a lark - it's incredibly time consuming. I take my role as educator seriously, i would hope my students would too.

Now i know that some of you have said that it helps you pay better attention, and i don't dispute that, but i think it comes down to a respect thing. I wouldn't like it. And if i DID have a student who wasn't taking notes or was knitting and then came to ask me a question i had already covered, i'd assume it wasn't because they didn't understand the material, but that it was because they weren't paying close enough attention.

So yeah - i would hate it. School is for school, home or leisure time is for knitting (and my lectures aren't leisure!). :) Sometimes life is regimented and it's not a bad thing. I don't knit while i lecture (or listen to music, or send text messages, or surf the internet or do any of those other things my students love to do even if i wanted to!), so i'd find it disrespectful if others did. I'm pretty sure a lot of my colleagues feel the same.

just my $0.02 from my side of the fence..
-hh

feministmama
02-02-2006, 10:46 PM
So I'm a grad student in Education. Specifically adult education. We are examining all the different ways that adults can be learners. But this idea of respect hasn't come up yet. We talk about ethics but mostly from the teacher to student perspective. I'm interested in this idea of "paying attention." I'd love to write a paper on it actually. Are there parallels to "paying attention" in class to "paying attention" in the world i.e. voting, consuming, etc. Are there different ways to "pay attention?" What are the connections between "paying attention" and learning? So do youever have students with disabilities in your class? How do you know if they are "paying attention" or not? See if I can make these connections maybe I can make an argument about informed citzens. Ya know when you are an informed citizens then you will know how to vote, consume, etc. I think looking into the parrallels of respect and learning is an interesting question . Complex problems need complex solutions. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.




Now i know that some of you have said that it helps you pay better attention, and i don't dispute that, but i think it comes down to a respect thing. I wouldn't like it. And if i DID have a student who wasn't taking notes or was knitting and then came to ask me a question i had already covered, i'd assume it wasn't because they didn't understand the material, but that it was because they weren't paying close enough attention.


-hh

feministmama
02-02-2006, 10:47 PM
Omigoddess I totally highjacked your thread. :shock: Sorry. For the record I'm a knitter in class. I've actually recruited folks into the knitting fold from them watching me and they say knitting helps them think better too.

Pensguys
02-03-2006, 12:05 AM
I knit during my Weight Watchers meetings....I've often wanted to take my knitting into places like church or my son's piano recital...but I haven't.

During my WW meetings, I knit and then I'll look up or contribute to the conversation or I'll put it down to clap for someone....so I AM paying attention....

P

brendajos
02-03-2006, 12:07 AM
uuuuuuuh yeah, no matter how hard it is to keep myself from doing it, i can NOT allow myself to knit in church...lol

Pensguys
02-03-2006, 12:09 AM
My sock class instructor told me that she was knitting in church a few weeks ago! She had it in her purse and did it in her purse! :rofling: Her husband was saying in a VERY hushed voice "PUT THAT AWAY!!!"

Ingrid
02-03-2006, 12:11 AM
But what if you were knitting a prayer shawl, would that be ok? :thinking: :D

I love that--hiding it in her purse!! :roflhard:

Pensguys
02-03-2006, 12:14 AM
But what if you were knitting a prayer shawl, would that be ok? :thinking: :D

I love that--hiding it in her purse!! :roflhard:

:rofling: :rofling:

She was knitting socks so it was easy to keep in her purse. Hmm....prayer shawl...maybe! :roflhard: *I* couldn't get away with it though since I'm sitting up on the platform in the orchestra.

Ingrid
02-03-2006, 12:20 AM
:roflhard: I can just hear it now. Time for the final hymn and you're whispering, "Wait!! I have to finish this row!!"

Pensguys
02-03-2006, 12:22 AM
Yep! That would be me! :roflhard:

dustinac
02-03-2006, 09:41 AM
:rofling: I couldn't knit in church either I'd hear my grandfather's voice... he is very strict... no matter what the dress code is I cannot enter a Church in shorts,capris, or pants cause I hear his voice... :shock:


I don't have any lectures to attend being a SAHM but I do KIP when I can like dr visits things like that... I think in a big group it would be ok maybe in a smaller group or class you could ask the person giving the lecture first... that way you would know how they felt about it... :D

knitncook
02-03-2006, 09:43 AM
My best friend (and fellow knitter) is a religion major at the uni. She has knit through several classes and with many different instructors. She says that she can concentrate better when she is knitting and for basically the same reasons as others have mentioned. Her mind doesn't wander to other things and she feels she comprehends the lectures so much better when she is knitting. She did have one professor comment to her after class once about "If you feel you need to knit, maybe you shouldn't be in my class." She explained to him how she concentrates better when she is knitting and proved it by discussing the finer points of his lecture with him (in depth.) He said that if he found that her knitting was becoming a distraction to the rest of the class (all 6 students who have all had classes together over the past 3 years!) or if her grades slipped he would ask her not to knit in class. She agreed and it was never an issue after that point.

I know from knitting while watching television that I have a better ability to repeat dialogue that my dh has missed (he's DEAF and won't get a hearing aid - no issues). I knit everywhere, including at our homeschool resource days and the moms (who don't knit) find it so amazing that I can carry on long conversations while still knitting.

CarmenIbanez
02-03-2006, 12:24 PM
Here is my two cents. My sister knits in class. Of course, she can knit without looking, so that makes it easier for her. I have to look at what I am doing, even with simple patterns.

However, I am a teacher and to a certain point, I agree with Hedgehog. Firstly, I believe that one of the things we have lost in society is the idea that certain places require a certain standard of behavior. That is not to say that knitting is bad behavior per se, but I have noticed that overall, there seem to be no boundaries as to what people will do in public. Children today have no concept that different situations call for different behaviors, and it scares the heck out of me.

Secondly, I never thought knitting would bother me during one of my own lectures, but what if a student said that something else helped them concentrate more, like playing a game on a laptop? It always becomes a "where do you draw the line" issue with people.

That being said, I knit before work, on my break and during my lunch. I have thus far resisted the urge to knit during my classes, even if my students are otherwise occupied! :-)

Holly
02-03-2006, 01:09 PM
:thinking: This is a very interesting topic! I'm always concerned if my KIP, or even knitting at a family party (for example) is considered rude. I think it is a matter of non-knitters not understanding that you are not doing something that is incompatable with listening and/or carrying on a conversation. I think I would be worried about offending the teacher by knitting in class -- unless the class was very large, and my knitting would not be obvious to the teacher.

Julie
02-03-2006, 01:12 PM
I might knit in a large class, maybe a small one -- only after ok-ing it with the instructor though -- but I could never, ever knit in church. I can't even articulate why, but every fiber of my being just screams, NO, that's not appropriate. :roflhard:

Pensguys
02-03-2006, 03:52 PM
but I could never, ever knit in church. I can't even articulate why, but every fiber of my being just screams, NO, that's not appropriate. :roflhard:

I know, Julie....I feel the SAME way! I couldn't BELIEVE when my instructor told me she was doing that!!!

Cristy
02-03-2006, 06:50 PM
Yippie--I finally posted a thread that got some attention! :)

Okay--let me clarify a few things...I am a teacher of sorts--I was once a classroom teacher and I hold a graduate degree as well--I'm currently the autism specialist for a school district. I teach adult classes (to teachers mostly) on autism and I still teach students from time to time in a tutoring type setting. I have had to learn--b/c of the population that I work with--that different people learn in different ways and sometimes those ways are unconventional or may appear to parallel uninterest. I am not trying to say that I learn by knitting--but I am stating that there is a whole body of research that supports the idea that some people must be actively doing something in order for the executive functions of their brain to work properly and for them to efficiently process information. Children with autism are often a good example of this (and children with ADHD) as many of them are "fiddlers" and/or require movement on a regular basis. I don't have a problem with other people doing things in my classes so long as they are contributing--even if I am knitting I contribute by speaking up/out when appropriate or by nodding or taking a break now and then to jot down essential information.
I respect the thoughts of those who think that it's rude--that's why I posed the question. I do understand that there is a line--I believe the line is drawn at the point that someone's "activity" starts to disturb others. I tend to sit near the back of the lecture hall if I decide to knit--I don't think that I'm a distraction. As I said before--I tend to do it only in large groups, not in small group settings.
I'm really glad everyone weighed in on this--I was really curious to see what everyone would say. I don't knit in church and could never in my church b/c we stand up and sit down and stand back up so many times! My husband doodles during church and I personally don't see how it's any different but I do take church very seriously and I am usually in some form of prayer during the majority of the service which requires my full attention.

Thanks again for all of the comments! :) I'm so excited that people were so interested in this thread!

Sara
02-04-2006, 12:37 AM
I don't knit during the lectures, but I LIVE for days with videos! The last one I saw had alpacas! And if there is an interruption, I will break out the needles. It's pretty lonely being nearly twice the age of my classmates, so it's nice to have something to fill the time with.

scowling
02-04-2006, 11:26 PM
I believe the line is drawn at the point that someone's "activity" starts to disturb others.


I am a pre med/genetics major and I am partially deaf. I have to concentrate REALLY hard to hear what the teacher is saying.

My bad luck, I'm also really easily distracted and fidgety. When I'm not jotting down notes I'm scribbling all over my paper and tapping my feet.

The upside? I knit in class. I HAVE to have something to do with my hands, as I don't take constant notes. I go really crazy if I forget my knitting.

My genetics teacher teased me the first few weeks of class about knitting, but when I made an A+ in her class, she said it seemed like I had really been able to make the most of how I learn.

If a prof asked me to stop knitting I would have to ask them who I was hurting, and who would be hurt if I stopped knitting. Me, namely. If they asked me to leave I'd drop the course.

I understand that people feel disrespected, but when it's a matter of how I learn best, and something that isn't bothering anyone, I'm going to have to go with what works for me.

Cristy
02-04-2006, 11:39 PM
It doesn't sound like you disturb anyone and hats off to you for sticking up for your own needs as a learner! ;)

Jeep_Girl
02-05-2006, 12:06 AM
Add me to the list of "don't hate me posters"... but I agree with HH, I don't think that knitting in class or lectures is appropriate. And like Carmen said - where does a teacher draw the line? Just because you have a really smart student who can do more than one thing at the same time doesn't mean you should let them. Then when the student who isn't as smart or who can not learn at the same speed starts doing something during class - the instructor can not tell that person they can't do it. I really think that is somewhat rude & it can be a distraction.

I am a knitter and I love doing it and I want to do it all the time, but when I go to work - I'll only knit during lunch and even then - I'm afraid of what someone will think if they walk past and see me at my desk knitting (not everyone takes lunch at the same time).

Knitting in public - on the bus, in waiting rooms, etc - no problem. I'm just one of those people that believe if you are attending something like a class, lecture, business meeting - you should attend it for that purpose and leave the needles at home.

I'm actually apalled that someone would knit in church. Of all places - that is just so wrong on so many levels. If you find the need to knit in a place of worship - then you aren't there to worship and that person should have stayed home.

kitkat
02-05-2006, 12:14 AM
I had Saturday Tax Season Kick Off Training today (their caps, not mine)....I was DYING to knit, and even took it in with me...but just couldnt do it, I knew it would not be appreciated, even though we weren't writing anything down!

jessi_9783
02-05-2006, 06:39 AM
I'm not in class this semester because of my broken pelvis but when I was I knit in class all of the time. I'm a General Studies/Network Administration/Web Development major. Most of my classes are taught by the same teacher and I've been taking classes from him for 3 years now. He doesn't care about me knitting in his classes on lecture days because he knows I'm paying attention and I'm always answering questions when he asks. Plus, I make good grades so he isn't worried about me. I understand why some of you feel it's inappropriate to knit in class/lectures/meetings. However, I feel like college is elective. It's not like a job where I'm being payed to do something else. I'm paying to be in that class. If I want to knit in it that's exactly what I'm going to do. Knitting also helps me concentrate especially when I'm tired.

As a disability advocate, I agree with Cristy. People don't learn in the same ways and teachers need to learn to adapt. Most teachers realize that and they are willing to work with you. Kudos to those teachers! :cheering: However, there is always that handful of teachers who think they don't have to change for anyone. Scowling, I wish the people I advocate for would think like you do and start advocating for themselves. :thumbsup:

scowling
02-05-2006, 01:23 PM
Thanks. I wouldn't ever want to be rude about it, and I'd like to respect what a prof thinks is polite, but when it comes to my education that I'm going into debt for, I've got to do what's best for me.

I have had someone tell me that the metal interchangable needles I was using were clicking together and distracting her, so I didn't knit that project anymore in that class. If what I'm knitting is making any sort of noise like that I always ask the people around me if it bothers them.

knitncook
02-05-2006, 03:31 PM
As a disability advocate, I agree with Cristy. People don't learn in the same ways and teachers need to learn to adapt. Most teachers realize that and they are willing to work with you. Kudos to those teachers! :cheering: However, there is always that handful of teachers who think they don't have to change for anyone. Scowling, I wish the people I advocate for would think like you do and start advocating for themselves. :thumbsup:

This is precisely why I know my son will never survive regular school. He is "high functioning autistic" and truly needs to be engaged differently than other kids. He can't stand to have his shoes on if he is just sitting (can't tell you the number of hours we have spent putting his shoes back on when we sat down for just ONE minute - thank goodness he now almost exclusively wears Crocs!) He has recently taken up knitting (he's 7.5yo) and loves the repitition of the movement. I can totally see him when/if he goes to college sitting in the back of the class knitting away, but taking in everything that is going on!

Cristy
02-05-2006, 05:01 PM
Michelle--you and I should talk sometime..he most certainly can make it in normal education!

I've often thought of teaching some of my HFA/AS kids to knit...I've often thought that they'd benefit from the movement and that perhaps the end result would promote self-esteem; it'd at least be a good tool for teaching how to measure success!

CarmenIbanez
02-05-2006, 06:05 PM
As a disability advocate, I agree with Cristy. People don't learn in the same ways and teachers need to learn to adapt. Most teachers realize that and they are willing to work with you. Kudos to those
teachers! :cheering: However, there is always that handful of teachers who think they don't have to change for anyone. Scowling, I wish the people I advocate for would think like you do and start advocating for themselves. :thumbsup: [/color]

Count me among the teachers that think it is very important to do as much as you can for individual needs, but you just can't accomodate everyone all the time. My son is also high functioning autistic and when a teacher suggested to me that she wanted to assign another student to be in charge of keeping him on task, I went ballistic. It is my job as a parent to help him be successful in school. When his needs infringe on the learning process for other students, that is my problem and not the teachers. It is only fair to advocate on behalf of him up until the point that his needs become more important than other students needs. I don't think that is right at all.

Angelia
02-05-2006, 07:05 PM
I teach at a university, and I find it very offensive and disrespectful when students do other activities in my class. I really wouldn't want someone knitting in my class, and I wouldn't dare do it in a lecture I was attending. Plus, such an activity distracts ME, and might be distracting to the students nearby. The knitter's sitting in the back might help, but my classrooms are so small that I'm rarely more than 15 feet away from the people in the back row, and students are packed together rather closely.

I agree with HH: my class is NOT leisure time! :twisted: And when students who are doing other activities come to me after class to ask questions, I also assume they haven't been paying attention, largely because I've not seen evidence that they have been.

Just my 2 cents! :D

(Good thread, Cristy!)

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 07:28 PM
I haven't responded much to this thread because none of it really applies to me in any way, but I've read the entire thing and I have to say I can see both points of view. However....

I know from personal experience that I can't read, or do anything that requires concentration while the TV is on or music is playing, but I CAN knit and pay attention as long as the pattern is simple.

IMHO allowing a student to knit on a trial basis would make the most sense. If the teacher or other students find it too distracting after a week (or whatever) then don't allow it anymore. Frankly I think most of the students would ignore it after awhile unless the needles were noisy.

Personally I would feel a closer connection to a teacher who at least gave the idea some thought rather than one who just says no. Just my opinion though and I guess you're all going to have to agree to disagree.

AidanM
02-05-2006, 07:37 PM
I am in high school, and am currently taking several difficult courses like Anatomy/Physiology and A.P. World History. I crochet and knit in class all the time. At first my teachers were concerned, but I assured them that I would be alright. I proved it by getting extraordinarily high scores on my tests, and by writing articulate essays. Since then none of them have expressed any concern, and one of them has even included this in a letter of recommendation for me!

I think that teachers have their own rules, but that sometimes the purpose of these rules is negated. For instance, my teachers thought that crocheting in class would make me do poorly. When it proved to be just the opposite, they relented.

I think that teachers should also not look for "respect" by the way that people pay attention. There are other forms of respect besides sitting quietly and making eye contact. There is the respect of two lively minds engaging in intellectual discourse and learning from one another. There is the respect of the grateful student. There is the respect of those who without you would have not otherwise learned.

I think that this idea that "respect" is only demonstrated in one way is not only old-fashioned, but to be frank I find it rather disrespectful to those who may not show their regard in the fashion to which you may be accustomed.

But this is, of course, all my opinion and you may disagree as violently and vehemently as you wish.

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 07:49 PM
Great post, Aidan! Something you said made me think of something else.... How often do you see students in lectures looking like zombies, daydreaming or practically falling asleep... Seems knitting would keep some of these students more awake and aware if they were allowed, too. Just a thought.

Maybe the teachers here could watch their students for symtoms of zombie-ism and maybe even ask what they think about this if they aren't afraid of opening a can of worms. So to speak. :roflhard:

scowling
02-05-2006, 08:21 PM
I might add that I can't really imagine knitting in a discussion section where the entire point of the class is to discuss the subject. I do it strictly in lectures where I need to focus my energy into absorbing the material. I've never had any problem sticking one hand up to ask a question or get clarification.

I really agree with the statements about different types of respect. I believe it's important to be respectful of what the prof finds acceptable - to a point.

And if a prof ever told me my knitting was distracting to them I'd certainly quit. Though they'd then have to put up with my furious scribbling and doodling and fidgeting. Which I've been told is pretty annoying. ;)

Angelia
02-05-2006, 11:32 PM
My classes are discussion oriented (Socratic method), so someone engaged in another activity is clearly not participating, though I do acknowledge and respect those who prefer to stay quiet and listen rather than talk. I just wonder how much students listen if they're doing something else. Studies have consistently proven that multi-tasking is not effective; everything gets done halfway. That evidence has been borne out in my classrooms year after year: very few students who engage in other activities in class actually perform well. If you are able to knit or crochet in class and are still able to learn to the best of your ability, then more power to you; you are among the very small minority who can successfully multi-task.

AidanM
02-05-2006, 11:42 PM
I should have mentioned this in my last post, and I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't. But here you go:

In my high school we do not use the Socratic method (Oh that we did, oh happy day!) but we do, sometimes, have times where we question the teachers about specifics or certain points - Particularly in my history class. During discussions, I usually slow down or put my project down so as to devote my entire attention to the matter at hand.

When it gets back to lecture, though, I'll let my hands do whatever they want and make sure that I look up as often as possible to keep myself out of that "trance" that some of us probably know so well from long hours of handiwork.[/b]

Angelia
02-05-2006, 11:45 PM
Ew, all lecture, Aidan? Blech! *comfort*

And I know that trance too well...I missed some of the Superbowl b/c of that trance...

AidanM
02-06-2006, 01:34 AM
We get talked at a lot in most of my classes. English is lecture-style. Have you ever had to listen to La Morte Darthur repeated back to you in plain English by your teacher? Hand me a sharp needle, please. Math is much the same, as is Anatomy. But Anatomy is interesting because our teacher uses lots of stories and examples to explain things - And he gets us involved. Doing "call back" types of things to learn the names of bones or muscles.
Him: Zygomatic bone! *points to it*
Us: Zygomatic bone!
Him: *points*
Us: Zygomatic bone!

Yeah, it's weird the different methods my teachers use. You can tell what I do best with by my grades, it's kind of funny.

Angelia
02-06-2006, 08:14 AM
Certain classes almost require lecture; I guess it's pretty hard to "discuss" the zygomatic bone! But Morte Darthur should be discussed--it has such great stories!--not read back at you. No wonder so many students hate English by the time they get to college; they've been bored to death by it in high school. :evil:

CateKnits
02-06-2006, 08:42 AM
My son is also high functioning autistic and when a teacher suggested to me that she wanted to assign another student to be in charge of keeping him on task, I went ballistic. It is my job as a parent to help him be successful in school. When his needs infringe on the learning process for other students, that is my problem and not the teachers. It is only fair to advocate on behalf of him up until the point that his needs become more important than other students needs. I don't think that is right at all.
My best friend when I was in middle school had Asperger's Syndrome. In seventh grade, they decided to take her out of her classes and put her in mine. I was not aware of this until one day, halfway the year when she exploded at me during lunch. I don't even remember what we fought about. I ended up in the office, having a chat with the counselor about how she was "different." I remember being really upset that they had put all this pressure on me to help her in class without even asking me if I was okay with it. Yes, she was my friend, but that's TOTALLY unfair.

Anyway...I've knit in lecture before, but would never during a discussion-oriented or seminar class. I watched another girl knit through lecture for four weeks before I would do it, though. I wanted to see how people reacted to her, because I'm totally chicken. I don't know if it helps me learn or just helps me not fidget. During workflow lecture, I have to admit that I'll do it just so I'm moving so I can stay awake. :oops:

Angelia
02-06-2006, 08:59 AM
I had a student last year with Asperger's. He also had Turrets. I had to completely re-do the structure of my class to accomodate his needs, and he repeatedly disrupted class with strange noises and flailing of arms. He never had an outburst in my class, but he did have to leave one or two times when he became upset. He was really sweet, and very intelligent, but I did not appreciate being forced to change the way I teach (I mean completely) in order to make him comfortable. Very few of the other students in class were comfortable with him; he sat on the front row and was a distraction. I saw it in their faces every single class meeting. It just seems to me that there's a limit to what we should be required to do to accomodate students.

This term I have student with sleep apnea who falls alseep and snores (loudly) in my class. (He snores so loudly that I actually have to raise my voice to be heard.) He is morbidly obese and has breathing problems on top of this sleep disorder. He has apologized repeatedly, and I recognize he cannot help himself, but why should the other students and I have to put up with that? The law says I have no choice. Again, another distraction in class about which I can do NOTHING. And really, how much is he gaining by being in class? Very little since he misses 80% of it.

earthchick
02-06-2006, 09:52 AM
What an interesting thread!

As a pastor, I must say I appreciate that so many of you would never knit in church! :happydance: I have knit at church meetings before (depending on the type of meeting and whether or not I was leading it) but obviously I don't knit during church worship. ;) And I do think I would be both distracted and offended if I saw someone else doing so.

Reading this thread, I'm starting to wonder if I've ever offended anyone when I've knit during a conference or discussion group. I can easily listen while knitting, but once it's my turn to talk I have to put the knitting down. I wonder if others think that means I'm paying attention when I'm doing the talking but not when anyone else is. :thinking:

llaffing
02-06-2006, 01:34 PM
Afternoon all ~

I want to start w/ just saying that I so appreciate an Open, Honest, and Equalitarian conversation here as I :XX: !!!

Whoa ... so many thoughts float here ... hard to know quite where to land ... must say ... when I get at a stand still and need to sort things out ... I make my hands busy ... doing dishes, working in the garden, knit, or if I'm really lucky, knit when I drive (lonngg straight stretches like 3 hours from Minneapolis to Duluth) with one way traffic for two lanes each way separated by woodlands... yeh, I knit and drive with my knee on the wheel and my eyes on the road ... simple 'feel-knit' stuff...

Ha ... combine that with some good music, traveling 70 miles an hours, just seems to set my 'thinking' in the correct perspectives
... won't even dare to say 'right' in here ... cuz I'm sure NOT that... !

I used to knit and drive that route all the time ... actually, knitting kept me awake ... without it, I almost fell asleep a couple of times and we're talking 'day time'.

:XX:

... Funny story as to why I quit (besides I don't travel that way anymore). My daughter and I were going into Canada for a week or so with her best friend for the first time. They were both about 8 years old. I never knit and drove anywhere but on that trip into Canada 3,4,5,6 times a year. So my daughter just took this trip to mean that Mama would knit part of the way.

Well this particular time, her little friend, seeing me do this for the first time, just FREAKED out in the back seat and honestly, went bolistic on me. My sweet baby girl was totally confused as to why her Mama couldn't drive with her knee and knit with her fingers ... but this little friend in the back seat convinced me that I needed to stop knitting or ... drop her off at the side of the road in the middle of no-where.

Well you can guess what I did - ha - picked her up on the way back home a week later ... yeh rite !

feministmama
02-06-2006, 04:38 PM
It just seems to me that there's a limit to what we should be required to do to accomodate students.



And what is that limit? Should these students be separated into another class by themselves? Why is tolerance such a hard thing? Not trying to provoke but seriously wanting to engage in some critical thinking about this.

CarmenIbanez
02-06-2006, 05:16 PM
And what is that limit? Should these students be separated into another class by themselves? Why is tolerance such a hard thing? Not trying to provoke but seriously wanting to engage in some critical thinking about this.

This has been a constant topic of debate in my house since our son started school in a special day class and was moved to regular classes against our wishes. He is still in regular classes, but now at a small private school. There is a big difference between tolerance and accomodating students that make the learning environment hostile to the rest of the class. It is such a huge gray area. One parents idea of tolerance for their child is a strange, uncomfortable and scary classroom for other children. I can tell you that I have met many parents who simply could not be objective about their children's behavior and affect on the class room.

In a lot of ways, I decided to become a teacher so that I could work in an environment where my son could fit in and feel normal. The public schools have no desire to really help students, not because they don't want to, but because the system has become clogged with students who shouldn't be in special education. Special ed can be a wonderful nurturing supportive environment for kids like mine. It doesn't have to be something where the worst behaved kids are dumped because no one wants to deal with them. Our son had a wonderful experience in special ed and I am so glad that he received that foundation for learning when it was so important for him. Some parents are so focused on how the world will see their child that they fight for full inclusion, not realizing what their children could get out of being in a special class for a few years in early childhood. I believe it is exactly this "separate" education my son received that allowed him to be a happy, healthy "normal" middle schooler. (If you can classify any middle schooler as normal, LOL)

mintdee
02-06-2006, 05:37 PM
I have to agree that while there should be extra accomedations for children within the classroom there is a limit when it starts being a big interruption for the rest of the class. I think that there is such a large push to make sure that everyone should be treated equally (which is great and valid please do not misunderstand me) that even students who would thrive in a special class are being pushed into mainstream with the expectation that the teacher and all the students will make adjustments for that child no matter how extreme. I think that rather than automatically looking at how that student can be included in the main class room they should look at what needs to be done for that student to have the best learning environment possible. It is not always realistic for the student to be in the "main" classroom.

Just my 2 cents.

If I had my druthers I would Knit everywhere :roflhard:

CarmenIbanez
02-06-2006, 05:38 PM
If I had my druthers I would Knit everywhere :roflhard:

And that, truly, is what's really important!!!!

:happydance: :rofling: :happydance:

AidanM
02-06-2006, 08:48 PM
If I had my druthers I would Knit everywhere :roflhard:
Here here! :D

feministmama
02-06-2006, 09:52 PM
If I had my druthers I would Knit everywhere :roflhard:

I think it would make the world a better place :heart:

knitncook
02-07-2006, 09:34 AM
Michelle--you and I should talk sometime..he most certainly can make it in normal education!

I've often thought of teaching some of my HFA/AS kids to knit...I've often thought that they'd benefit from the movement and that perhaps the end result would promote self-esteem; it'd at least be a good tool for teaching how to measure success!

I can just see success being measured in length of scarves :D

We did try public school for our son one year. It was an absolute disaster. We were promised all kinds of things that never happened. Because my son tends to withdraw when he is in overwhelming situations, he was considered "well-behaved" and basically ignored. He would literally sit for hours at his desk or at the computer which the teacher "awarded him" for his "good behaviour." He would arrive home and literally explode from holding everything in for 7 hours each day. He learned nothing because of his enviroment. I found myself teaching him everything he should have learned in school. Mid year he decided he didn't want to go back, but I wasn't in a position to be able to homeschool him yet. The only thing that kept him going to school was the promise that he could eat the cafeteria food! Fortunately, the next year I was able to resume homeschooling and we have LOVED it! I love watching him blossom and shine! Yesterday was a prime example of why I love homeschooling him. We went to the National Naval Aviation Museum and he was surrounded by airplanes and boats and static displays of all sorts. He loved reading all the information and being able to touch different things. It's the kind of thing he can't do in a traditional school setting.

Unfortunately, where we live, the school system is overburdened with children with unique needs. The resources are spread so thinly that most of the kids are negatively impacted by their experience in schools. I'm not blaming the teachers for this, but the administration and school districts for failing to properly fund and hire! I can't tell you the number of people who have pulled their exceptional children out of school because of frustration with the public schools. I'm talking about those with special needs like my son as well as those children who are above the median who are bored and unchallenged!

knitncook
02-07-2006, 11:32 AM
Studies have consistently proven that multi-tasking is not effective; everything gets done halfway. That evidence has been borne out in my classrooms year after year: very few students who engage in other activities in class actually perform well.

I highlighted what I felt to be a significant thing in these studies. For the average learner multi-tasking is not effective. However, for a small group of people it is advantageous. I'm also one of those people who could (and does) easily participate in discussion even when I am knitting, I do it all the time. I think that is one of the problems with wanting everyone to learn in the same way. Some people just can't! I know people who literally feel like they are suffocating if they can't do something active with their hands at all times. These are the doodlers, pencil tappers, paper folders, knuckle crackers, and, yes, knitters. Our hands have gray matter in them. It's a small amount, but the only part of our body other than our brain where gray matter exists. Anyone who has learned to do something manually well such as play an instrument, type, knit, write, twirl a baton can do these things with little brain thought. It's believed that the gray matter in our hands learns the patterns of these actions and can learn to do them without taxing our actual brain, freeing it to do other things.

Just some thoughts.

CarmenIbanez
02-07-2006, 12:01 PM
Okay, warm and fuzzy moment time! I just wanted to say how happy finding this website has made me. Not only are we all gorgeous, fabulous knitters, but apparently we are also warm, thoughtful, intelligent people who have great conversations. *Sigh* Who can improve on the perfect website? :happydance:

knitncook
02-07-2006, 12:10 PM
Okay, warm and fuzzy moment time! I just wanted to say how happy finding this website has made me. Not only are we all gorgeous, fabulous knitters, but apparently we are also warm, thoughtful, intelligent people who have great conversations. *Sigh* Who can improve on the perfect website? :happydance:

Free chocolate? :roflhard:

Cristy
02-07-2006, 12:23 PM
knitncook--I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience but am glad that you've found something effective. All kids diserve an appropriate education and it is possible to do it but it is essential that the staff is adequately trained. Unfortunately, some teachers/schools are ineffective b/c their administration doesn't advocate for enough training for their faculty and staff.

I agree about this website being fabulous--I am a little amused that my post--which I thought would get a few looks and maybe a response or two has caused such a stir! I'm so glad everyone weighed in with their opinions--as I stated in an earlier post--even if it doesn't mirror my own, I'm glad to be made aware of the feelings of others! :)

Angelia
02-07-2006, 12:38 PM
Michelle: I'm always suspicious of "studies," but when I see the results borne out in my classrooms every semester for 10 years, then the findings of the studies have meaning to me. Of course I recognize that knitting and doodling are certainly different from, say, text-messaging or studying for another class! And I am certainly not saying that ALL who multi-task suffer; that is simply a faulty generalization.

Ooh, and as for "grey matter in hands" (what a neat way of saying that!): One of my best students a few semesters ago is an artist, and he amazed me: he always participated in class and had really thoughtful and insightful comments about whatever we were reading, yet his entire time in class was spent drawing his classmates (and me!). AND, English is not his first language; he is Italian. I asked him once how he managed to do that, and he just shrugged, "I don't know, I just can."

knitncook
02-07-2006, 03:12 PM
knitncook--I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience but am glad that you've found something effective. All kids diserve an appropriate education and it is possible to do it but it is essential that the staff is adequately trained. Unfortunately, some teachers/schools are ineffective b/c their administration doesn't advocate for enough training for their faculty and staff.

Oh I agree. My best friend lives an hour away from me (2 counties over) and their schools are so lovely. They recognize children's different needs and work hard to meet those needs. Our county has so many in need that no one group of needs is met effectively. It's sad. I have several friends who are teachers in our school district and it frustrates them to no end that almost all the students are lacking for something (they call our county the "Every Child Left Behind" county - and that's the teachers talking!!!) I always knew I was going to homeschool though. My oldest child went to a total of 2.5 years of school here and there - sporadically as she wanted and I needed. My younger two have each only been in school for one year each. They love the freedom of homeschooling and our days are filled with so many interesting things and activities. I :heart: it! And because of the way we homeschool it has encouraged me to do a lot of exploring, trying, reevaluating and stretching. I forgot how much I really like learning new things!

Cristy
02-07-2006, 04:10 PM
knitncook--you sound like my older sister. She homeschools her two children and loves it! She's in CA...

Angelia
02-07-2006, 05:01 PM
If the dh and I ever have children, we hope to homeschool them. The homeschooled students I've had have been exemplary students and often have much more well-rounded educations than those taught in public schools. I really admire those of you who do it! :heart: And of course part of our teaching would include knitting! ;)

sogrammatical
02-07-2006, 07:48 PM
I've actually had a different experience with homeschooled kids in my college classes. I've found that the ones I know haven't really had enough experience interacting with other students in a classroom setting and have trouble with the difference between positive contribution and negative contribution in discussion sections.

I realize I'm making a gross generalization here - it's probably just the individual people I know. But I don't think I'd homeschool my kids, if I have them. I think it's also important for kids to have experience in a group setting where the attention isn't necessarily on their individual learning needs, especially if they intend on going on to college and getting advanced degrees.

CateKnits
02-07-2006, 07:57 PM
I have to agree with that. The only homeschooled kids I know really don't seem to know the difference between positive and negative contribution. But I'm willing to believe it's just the people I know. I had a friend who was homeschooled when I was in elementary school and I got sick of her always telling me she was so much smarter than I was because she could do a whole day's worth of school in two hours and it took me six. :rollseyes: But, again, that was just one person.

I LOVED public school. I honestly don't feel like my mother would have been qualified to teach me past about the second grade, and I think I would have been resistant to learning from her. I loved everything about public school. I thrive on listening to other people ask questions. If I were the only person in my learning environment, I feel like I would miss a lot that I've learned because other people have thought to ask. Not that I think homeschooling is bad at all in general, but I guess I feel like I need to stick up for public school. It CAN be right for some people.

Angelia
02-07-2006, 07:59 PM
I have known maladjusted homeschoolers (not in my classes), but the ones I know have been homeschooled for the sole purpose of keeping them away from others, which explains their poor social skills. In one family I know, three of the five children stutter and shake when they have to interact with strangers. It's just heartbreaking. There are plenty of homeschoolers who are active outside the home, and most importantly outside a small social circle (extended family and very close friends). I can certainly see why you would have reservations about homeschooling your own, though, if you haven't seen instances where it has been beneficial.

CateKnits
02-07-2006, 08:01 PM
:oops: I shake and stutter when I have to interact with strangers! (not always, though...depends on the situation)

Angelia
02-07-2006, 08:08 PM
:oops: I shake and stutter when I have to interact with strangers! (not always, though...depends on the situation)

No, this is beyond normal anxieties, Cate! (I have those, too!) :D It's like the kids are having the DTs or some kind of mini-seizures. Now granted, there could be something else going on with them. I just wonder, though, since the only people they ever see are their other family members and occasionally the people at their church (they only go about once a month). They're just so isolated.

DotMom61
02-10-2006, 09:54 AM
I have to step in and defend the homeschooling community a bit, since I homeschool both kids, too. I should also mention that I haven't taken the time to read this entire thread; just the last page at this point.

I think that you have to always consider that there will always be those who have been homeschooled effectively, and those who haven't. There are kids who were sent through public school who are inept in a group setting, and there are kids who have been homeschooled who are very adept in a group setting. It all depends on the kid and what they've been exposed to.

Like most homeschoolers I know, we make sure that our children take part in plenty of group activities -- scouts, TaeKwonDo, gymnastics, CCD (Catholic religious ed.), and whatever other opportunities arise.

However, there are unfortunately families who do intentionally shelter their children from "the real world," and I find that to be a disservice to the child, and it can make it difficult for the rest of us who really DO try to do an effective job of truly socializing our children.

I just had a phone call earlier this week from the Child Life Specialist at the hospital where my son was getting his cancer treatment. She had a child from a family who "homeschools" their children. Unfortunately, Grandma was homeschooling the kids from a workbook she bought at Wal-Mart. She was really excited about this workbook because she got it on sale.

Additionally, the whole reason they were homeschooling was because the kids at school would make fun of these kids. This was probably due to the lack of personal hygiene of not only the children but the family in general. The children are about 2 grade-levels behind where they should be. Under these circumstances, no, these children should not be homeschooled. And there should be some type of intervention. {sigh} It's very disheartening to me to hear stories like this, because if this is the only "homeschooling" family a person is exposed to, then this is the impression they will have of homeschoolers.

OK ... off of my soapbox. I guess I just want to make sure that everyone realizes that there are many different styles of homeschooling just as there are many different styles of parenting. And just like you will find successful and unsuccessful students in public and private school settings, so you will find them in a homeschooling setting as well. It's not necessarily the school setting that is the root of their problems.

We have found homeschooling to be a blessing in so many ways, and I believe it is the best way for our specific children to be educated. I also believe that as they move out into the world as adults, they will be more than ready and able to cope and interact with a variety of people.

DotMom61
02-10-2006, 10:22 AM
OK ... I just went back and read the first 1-1/2 pages of this thread, and the original topic is FASCINATING!

Like Hedgie (and someone else I'm at a loss to remember ... sorry!) I do find it disturbing that standards of behavior have been lowered so dramatically since I was a child. I even find it affecting the way my children behave, because like all children, they will often base their behavior based on the way kids around them are behaving -- or at least that's been my experience when they were younger. Now that they are older, they're understanding that they need to be setting a good example for those around them.

Oh, I have so much more to say on this, but I'm having trouble getting it into a form where my point will make sense ... perhaps later.

So, for now and in defense of the Lecture Knitters, I can totally and completely understand a person's need to do this. I've taught my DS -- the fidgeter -- to knit for this very reason. He's good at sitting and listening for a certain amount of time, and sometimes this isn't long enough. So, if he has something like knitting to do while I'm reading to them, he's much more settled. If I let him do Legos or draw, that can help, too, but sometimes his right brain takes over, and he's more involved in the drawing or Legos than what is being read to him. Knitting seems to be that activity that alleviates his need to fidget but that also doesn't take over his complete concentration and prevent him from listening. He's been called a "kinesthetic" learner, and he needs to be doing something active in order for his brain to be able to process what he's hearing.

And knitting in church??? NO Way! But I find it hilarous that the woman was knitting in her purse. I hope she knows that GOD knows she was knitting. :lol:

Pensguys
02-10-2006, 10:34 AM
DotMom, thanks for speaking up about the homeschooling. I don't have such a way with words as you do but you said exactly what I was thinking. I homeschool both of my boys and they are TERRIBLY shy. My younger is worse than my older. No amount of "socializing" will make them speak if they don't want to, especially with my younger. We think he has a social anxiety so we encourage him to speak but you can see how he will BLUSH and get so nervous if an adult (and sometimes child) speaks to him. Anyway, I don't think you can categorize all homeschoolers, just like you can't categorize all public schoolers, or private schoolers.

I LOVE hsing and the relationship it has developed between my boys.

DotMom61
02-10-2006, 12:28 PM
DotMom, thanks for speaking up about the homeschooling. I don't have such a way with words as you do but you said exactly what I was thinking. I homeschool both of my boys and they are TERRIBLY shy. My younger is worse than my older. No amount of "socializing" will make them speak if they don't want to, especially with my younger. We think he has a social anxiety so we encourage him to speak but you can see how he will BLUSH and get so nervous if an adult (and sometimes child) speaks to him. Anyway, I don't think you can categorize all homeschoolers, just like you can't categorize all public schoolers, or private schoolers.

I LOVE hsing and the relationship it has developed between my boys.

And Penny, I have met children like this in a public school setting, too! Genetics ... that's what I blame it on. ;-)

BTW ... and this isn't totally related to what we've been discussing here ... but I found a great book a while back that discusses different personality styles and how they learn and process information. It's called Nurture By Nature (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316845132/sr=8-1/qid=1139588588/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-1256138-0859964?%5Fencoding=UTF8). I don't usually buy into the "place everyone in a box according to certain characteristics" theories, but my husband and I have taken the Myers-Briggs, which this book is based on, and have found it to be remarkably insightful. So, if you have, like me, a child who seems so very different from you, and you are at your wit's end as to how to understand them, this is a fantastic book.

TamaraKnits
02-10-2006, 10:15 PM
This is really an interesting thread. I am a med student and I knit in school and I would never have imagined that someone would find knitting in large lectures disrespectful.

I know I pay attention better when I knit in lectures but I am selective about which ones this applies to. Lectures where we are just given powerpoint presentations that the teacher narrates are prime candidates because we are given printed copies as well. It is easy to just hold my knitting in one hand for a bit to jot down extra notes or put it down during a more complex explanation that isn't simply written on the slides.

I was also a teacher before starting med school and didn't really care what my students did in class as long as they didn't interrupt the class. These were people in their 20s and they could decide for themselves how to spend their class time.

If grown people (college aged +) are getting distracted by knitting then the knitter isn't doing it right or the lecture is so boring that watching knitting is more interesting.

Pensguys
02-11-2006, 12:36 AM
Thanks, DotMom....we think it is part genetics too! LOL I'm shy/quiet in a group or place I don't feel comfortable and my dh is the same way! My dh is just a quiet kind of guy!

I've heard of that book before....I'll check it out.

jessi_9783
02-11-2006, 03:47 AM
This is really an interesting thread. I am a med student and I knit in school and I would never have imagined that someone would find knitting in large lectures disrespectful.

I know I pay attention better when I knit in lectures but I am selective about which ones this applies to. Lectures where we are just given powerpoint presentations that the teacher narrates are prime candidates because we are given printed copies as well. It is easy to just hold my knitting in one hand for a bit to jot down extra notes or put it down during a more complex explanation that isn't simply written on the slides.

I was also a teacher before starting med school and didn't really care what my students did in class as long as they didn't interrupt the class. These were people in their 20s and they could decide for themselves how to spend their class time.

If grown people (college aged +) are getting distracted by knitting then the knitter isn't doing it right or the lecture is so boring that watching knitting is more interesting.

Well said! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

KatyKoolkat
02-11-2006, 04:26 AM
Well, I am going to put my 2 cents in (Canadian, of course) and hope to heck I don't get flamed!!

I do knit in church, but that's because I do listen better when my hands are busy (its the ADD traits). I find I remember the sermon better, and I can explain it and have relevant discussions on the topic. However, I am and will never knit during worship....and my knitting is never disruptive or distracting enough to me or anyone else when I do it (I even went up to the pastor to apologize and ask for permission for next time, and he said he didn't notice, so I assumed it was ok).

So, there are my two cents. I also tend to knit during my tv time too, but that is pretty normal around these parts, I gather.

Katy

DotMom61
02-11-2006, 10:15 AM
Well, I am going to put my 2 cents in (Canadian, of course) and hope to heck I don't get flamed!!

Katy --

You are PERFECTLY entitled to your opinion, and quite frankly, I'm sure that God's not too terribly upset with your knitting in church. ;-) It's what's in your head and your heart that matter, and He knows all about that! Personally, I don't think I could pull it off 'cause I would feel too self conscious, but don't think for a minute that I haven't considered it! :lol: To me, sitting = knitting time!

Secondly, I've yet to see a flame on this entire forum. It just doesn't happen. We're too fabulous of a bunch to allow any of THAT nonsense!!! :mrgreen:

Angelia
02-11-2006, 12:10 PM
Secondly, I've yet to see a flame on this entire forum. It just doesn't happen. We're too fabulous of a bunch to allow any of THAT nonsense!!! :mrgreen:

This forum is wonderful! There have been several threads that have made me think "uh oh!" but everyone has been so respectful. Is it any wonder most of us can't stay away?! :heart:

AidanM
02-11-2006, 01:45 PM
I, personally, feel that knitting makes us all too calm to flame! ;)

Jan in CA
02-11-2006, 02:08 PM
I, personally, feel that knitting makes us all too calm to flame! ;)

I wonder if my blood pressure is lower when I knit. I'll have to have to try taking it today to see. ;)

Cristy
02-11-2006, 02:13 PM
I don't know about blood pressure but I am mentally calmer when I knit. I am know to be a busy body and someone who is constantly thinking and worrying to boot...I guess that's why people are so shocked that I'm knitting...
That being said...I do love that I feel calm and relaxed when I knit...I'm not worrying. And I like it so much it has toned down my constant need to be moving...usually my family gets on to me for cleaning too much..I think I just do it to have something to do. When I knit--I'm doing something that takes care of my nervous energy and I'm producing something beautiful (well, most of the time! LOL!)

I appreciate that everyone has an opinion about this subject...I had no idea it'd be so popular! :) I find this thread very exciting to read and I check regularly to see if anyone has added to it!

quirky
02-13-2006, 07:11 PM
Wow these are really good discussions! I am particularly intruigued by the discussion on learning and knitting.

One of the things I have learned in dealing with the public (25 years customer service) is that everyone communicates in a different way.
Some people are audio oriented as in "listen to this, " "listen to me"
"you arent listening" and some are visually oriented. As in "I see what you mean" "You really dont see what I mean" etc. There are also feeling people "I feel that" "I sense" etc. And about every concievable combination of degrees of sense orientation.

What I have learned over the years is that to be really effective in communicating its important to recognize the other persons "sense orientation" and try to adapt my own style of communication to match theirs. I have even found it helpful to draw diagrams for people who are visually oriented, and to touch feeling oriented people (in a non-perverse way of course) This has helped tremendously in arriving at a solutions that make everyone happy.


It makes perfect sense (no pun intended) to me that if people communicate through their senses and their orientation to a particular sense that people learn that way too. Evidence the number of people who say they could not learn to knit through a book but could with a video.
(written words belong to the realm of verbal, video visual orientation)

And of course scientists have proven that smells can evoke memory to the point that students who study with particular scents nearby have a higher recall rate when that scent is introduced during an exam.

All of this makes me think that knitters who knit during lectures may be on to something. At least for their own style of sensory perception/ integration. The very act of repetion evoked by the knitting may be stimulating some part of the brain the way scents can.

hedgehog
02-13-2006, 10:59 PM
I was also a teacher before starting med school and didn't really care what my students did in class as long as they didn't interrupt the class. These were people in their 20s and they could decide for themselves how to spend their class time.

If grown people (college aged +) are getting distracted by knitting then the knitter isn't doing it right or the lecture is so boring that watching knitting is more interesting.

Yeah, i see what you mean... It's their choice to fail or pass or put as much effort into it as they need. But i still think it's disrespectful and i, as the professor, would ask them to leave.

I think that we, as a society, are so focused on what is important for we, the individual, that we are overlooking what the societal boundaries are. I never cease to be amazed by the rudeness and self-absorption of my students. (these are MY students - i'm not saying it's true for ALL students) They say the most disrespectful things that i would NEVER DREAM of saying to a professor!! NEVER!! It's as if there is no behavior standard. (mind you, i'm actually NOT that much older than them but i, even as an ex-goth/punk, have a hell of a lot more reverence for those who have come before me than they ever would). I'm pretty sure it's a generational thing, and a sense of entitlement and importance that we didn't have as much. But i digress...

As a student, I don't hum along in lectures because it's not appropriate and it's distracting. I don't repeat the words of the lecturer out loud because it's inappropriate and not fair to the other students. Both of those might help in my understanding, but those behaviors do not match the task at hand. It's my personal conviction that school is for being studious and behaving like a student. I assume that's the mutual contract we, as professor and student, have agreed to when the student enrolled. I conduct my role as professor, and the student engages in being a student for those brief moments we are together. I dont' think it's too much to ask for definition and adherance to those boundaries. I realize that everyone has other methods of learning but i assume those are for outside studying - not for in-class behavior. I mean, i had friends who would re-write their notes two and three times outside of class to "get" the material. It might have helped to have done that IN-CLASS, at the moment the material was presented, but that's not the right place or time. It was their personal study habits on their personal time, not the professors'.

I also think that Power Point presentations are dumbing down the student population at large, in theory. I REFUSE to use that medium for my students and there is NO WAY in HELL i would hand out my notes. Study is an active pursuit on behalf of the student. It's not one-sided. However, i notice that when i or my colleagues attempt to lecture using Power Point the students tend to shut down and tune out, knowing that the lecture will be available later. What's the point of enrolling in a class if no one pays attention anymore?? Why not make everything online and not active? I'll just hand the students everything they need to know - it's up to them to "get it".. and we all go down the toilet as a generation of non-interacters.

It really gets under my skin. My students get incredibly pissy when i refuse to give them my notes. I would never have ever thought to demand notes from a professor in my day. NEVER. It was my job to show up, take notes and process the material on my own time in a way that best-suited me. I never expected it to be done for me. But if i can learn high level Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics with no flashy-flashy presentations, so can they. Else we're all in trouble!!

TK, i'm not trying to single you out nor is this a direct rant at you... it's one in general that clings to me as it pertains to my job. My colleagues and i discuss this ad nauseum. There are many articles written in educational journals about the fuzziness of the definition of "student behavior". It's becoming a problem that i'm not sure we'll comprehend until much later. But i'm not the only one who's noticing. Femmy, i hope this gives you something more to ponder.. i've noticed your attempts to discuss but i've been away at a research conference and haven't been back here for a while.

Right.. off me soapbox then...
-hh

knittingmom27
02-13-2006, 11:37 PM
Wow, what a cool thread and discussion. It has so many layers and areas to think about and explore. First of all, I have to look at the issue of knitting in public settings three ways. First and foremost, I look at it as a teacher. If I saw someone knitting, drawing, whatever, I would assume they were not paying attention because they were not looking at me or showing signs of actively engaging in the topic we were going over. This would make me feel disrespected and I would ask them later to perhaps knit during a time of individual work when they wouldn't be disrupting other learners with the noise of the needles or sight of the project. (It's much cooler to watch someone knit than to listen to a lecture) :XX:

That leads me to think next as the wife of someone with ADD. My husband fidgets with his pen or his shoe when he is trying to pay attention. He goes back and forth in his Bible during the sermon looking up all these different verses, and I can't imagine how he can follow the pastor, but he does. He has to do office work with music on. That would drive me nuts, but I know that his brain is wired in such a way that he needs a certain stimulus to enable him to devote attention to what he is listening to. I don't have to understand that to respect it. Before my hubby, I never knew about this type of adult learner.

Lastly, I think of this as a novice knitter. Because I am trying to learn more and make more intricate projects, I want to knit all the time. And yes, I have thought about knitting in church, but would NEVER do it. Church is for worship. Besides, the lady that reads the newspaper behind us is incredibly distracting as it is. :rollseyes: The only public place I knit is in the doctor's office or some type of waiting area. If I am in a place where people are gathered to listen to someone speak about something important to them-- and it must be if they are speaking-- then I won't do anything that would compromise the learning style of those who must have things still so they can focus and pay attention. Some people are easily distracted by others and they need to be respected too.

All in all, to figure out where it is or is not appropriate to knit, I guess you just have to decide how you would feel if you were the one talking or the person sitting next to you. If no one cares that you are knitting, keep rollin'. If they do, then decide the best way to make things pleasant for everyone. :thumbsup: