The true role of a teacher

Christine Philips provides us with an important insight on the significant role teachers often play in the diagnosis of ADHD within elementary school. She argues that pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in maintaining high levels of medicalization for this disorder. Which is fair, considering their business depends on it. Since teachers are spending tremendous amounts of time during a critical period in a child’s development (particularly in the educational realm), it is clear that these companies look at teachers as a powerful marketing force.

What is concerning about this article is the heavy emphasis on the teachers cooperation. It gives us the illusion that these teachers are likely to be persuaded by these major companies. It points out the methods in which these pharmaceutical companies use to employ, such as creating efficient websites to assist teachers in talking with their student’s parents. It does not however emphasize that these teachers are educated professionals with the capacity to make informed decisions without being easily persuaded. I felt that it was an unfair assumption that these companies were creating an environment in which teachers were simply making diagnostic recommendations on the basis of ruthless campaigning. This article does not point out the number of students these teachers are dealing with in relation to the amount they have actually suggested should get tested. Moreover, Phillips also states that, “teachers may have a vested interest in detecting and managing disruptive children” (0433). By suggesting that teachers may simply diagnose a child on the ground of misbehaviour to ADHD, is an insult to their judgement. This is considered a serious disorder, and I am positive that teachers are responsible enough to make their recommendations less superficially. 

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