Gordon Fischer Talks About Learning with ADHD
We chatted with Gordon Fischer, a Peace Corps volunteer and teacher, about how he thinks about learning with ADHD, what learning means to him, and why he’s so excited to use Eariously to help his teaching. You can also listen our conversation with Gordon on SoundCloud.
Want to introduce yourself and share what you’re doing with your life lately?
My name is Gordon Fisher. I'm from Maine. I'm went to school in Maine. Basketball Player, artist, teacher, and I'm currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, working at a primary teachers college, where I teach social studies, mostly Ugandan history, and I focus on student-centered learning, which is a lot of drama and debate and discussion and use of primary sources to navigate through the history of Uganda. Early history, the coming of foreigners, colonialism, the Movement for Independence, Pan Africanism. And I'm very passionate about this and we've also built a basketball court. So I work on teaching skills to the students and we're spreading the programming so we can get more community buy in and involvement.
Can you share a bit about how you prefer to learn?
How I prefer to learn? This question, as soon as I read it, I'm thinking, oh boy, cause my mind, it's kind of hard for me to articulate what goes on in there because it's like a combination of my mind, my spirit, my emotions, my memory, my imagination. My motivation to gain more knowledge is driven by the practical use of knowledge in my daily life. And I'm reading a lot. I'm always reading multiple books. I like watching movies. I learned through studying the history of the movie. I'm putting that together with what I'm reading, with what I'm listening to. I learned through songs, I learn through discussion. So there's like self-learning, what you put into yourself and then there's learning through socialization, which I think both are aspects of learning. There's learning through media, there's learning through the written word, through drama, through participating in activities, like the creation of a mural or the put the performance of a play or a poem. There are so many ways to learn and then to reflect on what you've learned. And for me with ADHD, I think I seek that multimedia approach to learning pretty much always. And there's no one way that I say I learned this way. It's always a combination of many things.
Do you have any strategies that you’ve found to be especially helpful when it comes to learning new things?
Strategies for me? Just constantly looking at multiple sources on the same topic and synthesizing. Synthesizing knowledge through reading articles, reading textbook, reading an essay, listening to a speech, watching a movie, listening to a song, talking with people, putting all that together. That's what really helps me learn and feel like, okay, my knowledge has advanced in this situation. Pick the topic, and I can't just read one source of that. I need to read 55 sources about it, and then keep going and then talk about it and write about it. Using all ways of processing information, that’s how I really learn something.
What do you wish others knew about ADHD?
I wish others knew that I get kind of these waves of focus where my mind is on many different things. But, then boom, I've suddenly picked up my project and I love projects. That's me. I think people should know that everyone with ADHD has a different way they understand it, and different mind, and different things that they thrive on, and different things that stimulate them in ways they learn. So for me though, I love projects and I think ADHD helps me bring everything that I want from all that I've learned and thought about into each project.
What are your favorite things to learn about and why?
Favorite things to learn about? Wow. I mean, history of all types, US history, European history, African history, Asian history, South American history, world history in general,, philosophy, politics, science, astronomy, sociology, anthropology, political theory, revolutionary theory, economics. Basically just people in our world and where we're going, the inequalities and the injustices. Wow people have fought against those injustices and fight the structures and the systems of oppression and, how we can move forward collectively to create a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world, living safely with each other, respectfully, with each other and caring for our environment. These are the types of things they're trying to learn about. Trying to be responsible with my learning so I can use it as a teacher, teach the youth and the next generation. We gotta take care of ourselves and our planet.
Why are you excited to use Eariously?
Eariously can help anyone learn about the news and one of the things I'm gonna look forward to is, for example, like while I'm cooking, you can also be learning While you're commuting, you can be learning. Those are the two times I really think I'll be able to use Eariously, and always be able to stay current because current events as a teacher especially, I need to be updated at all times. So I'm learning about the history of the world. It can't exist by itself as to coincide with learning about what's happening today on daily basis and the history gives you context for that. So, very excited to begin using your Eariously.