"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" by Christopher Kliewer
I had a really tough time with this reading at first – I think I read the first few pages three times before I went on. I knew that people with disabilities struggled but to what extent, I never thought about.
“How absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don’t listen to the voices we have.”
This quote makes a great point. If people want answers all they have to do is as - rather than assume that people with disabilities couldn’t possible function in the classroom we should be asking them how, as teachers, we can make their classroom experience a better one.
“For instance, recognizing Isaac's love of reading and his capacity to decipher printed language, an important bridge to the community, required that Shayne see past Isaac's low scores on cognitive developmental checklists, which included numerous references to literacy skills.”
I only hope that when I become a teacher I can have the kind of success that Shayne does. If every teacher out there put forth more effort to see past what they think is a burden, the results would make an incredible difference. It’s sad, but I never realized how hard they make if for student with disabilities to be successful.
“If you look at those three kids running around the room, they're incredibly different from each other. They're different in terms of what their bodies are like, how they best communicate, what they're like socially, their interests. And with those three kids in the room it would be hard to say, "This is how you should teach kids with Down syndrome." They are not at all alike.”
I really liked this quote and it doesn’t only pertain to student with disabilities. In our society it’s very common for people to judge a book by its cover, but what we should be working towards is teaching our kids universal acceptance. Not only are our children earning an education, they are learning the skills to be social, competent and accepting members of society.
I thought this was an interesting video - I kept asking myself HOW could I create an inclusive classroom but where on earth would I start?!