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Quality education is a prime pursuit of our society if we desire a better future for our world and planet. The digital era has adjusted our way of learning, creating new challenges for both students and educators.

These challenges emerge from different perspectives, but the main one is the necessity of erasing old models that portray education as a universal event. As experience shows us, education is an individual experience.

But this isn't a new concept. Doctor Jacqueline Cox Taylor is an Australian expert and consultant on Special Education, and she devoted her life to working with neurodiverse children. Jacqueline graduated from Atlantic International University in 2020, where she earned her Doctorate in Special Education, reaching significant milestone that summons her life's work.

A therapeutic eye

According to Doctor Cox Taylor, her research demonstrates that education is an individual process and that only children decide what they want to learn. These conclusions reveal a need to reevaluate how we impart knowledge for all people, neuroatypical or not.

Doctor Jacqueline believes that quality education requires a therapeutic vision. In her experience working with special-needs children, she concludes that a non-judgmental attitude towards what the educator observes is a big part of the process.

In her book Seeing what is, she analyses how the education system impacts children with special needs. She concludes that, especially for neuroatypical children, it is necessary to make an effort and look at every kid for "exactly what is." This means looking at the children for what they do, how they do it, where they come from, what their experiences have been, and so on.

A goal full of merit

One of her conclusions is particularly novel in terms of education, and especially education for neurodiverse children. She expresses that, being an individual experience, we cannot judge the learning process through the existence or absence of the common responses we expect from a child. Just because the child isn't responding how we expect (verbally and non verbally) doesn't mean that they are not relating to the provided knowledge.

Doctor Cox Taylor's work directly supports at least two of the Sustainable Development Goals. By providing Quality Education and approaching each student with a therapeutic eye, we can also aim to achieve Reduced Inequalities. We often relate inequality as a socioeconomic index and, while it is true for many cases, Cox Taylor’s testimony sheds light on other situations where inequality is evident, but many times ignored.

By understanding special children, Doctor Cox Taylor is propelling this considerable shift in how we approach education.

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2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Australia, Education, Children, Diversity, Neurodiversity, Neuroatypical, Quality Education, Inequality

Jacqueline Cox Taylor - Australia Atlantic International University - AIU 2020