Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talking Points #9

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
By: Christopher Kliewer

Quote #1: "Society itself is hurt when schools act as cultural sorting machines - locations that 'justify a competitive ethic that marginalizes certain students or groups of students... [that] legitimizes discrimination and devaluation on the basis of the dominant society's preferences in matters of ability, gender, ethnicity, and race... and [that] endorse an elaborate process of sorting by perceived ability and behavior'..."

Schools just like the United States of America should be melting pots of all different children... including teachers.  but it is hard to fit into a society that your discriminated against...

Quote #2: "It's not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here - kids, teachers, parents, whoever - it's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is.  Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail."

I choose this quote because it kind of popped out at me.  Volunteering in the VIPS program I have experienced a whole different world of schooling... And honestly I feel as if some of the students are set up to fail.  The classroom that I am in is the lowest 2nd class and over half the class has behavior issues.  Now I understand that behavioral issues are not necessarily learning disabilities but what the school is saying is here take all these kids that struggle and just teach them whatever you can... If it sticks, it sticks... If not they may make it to middle school.  But these kids are intelligent! They just need to be pushed enough to realize their own potential... Even the genius kids didn't realize they were a genius on their own.  As much as we want to get rid of labeling I don't foresee that in our near future and its a shame.  

Quote #3: "Along with recognizing an individual's ability to think, Bogdan and Taylor (1989) suggest that respect and citizenship require a realization of the person's individuality. This is as true as in school relationships as it is in our wider community relationships.

"I don't tend to see Down syndrome as something. 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 all alike."  

Everyone is unique in their own special way and uniqueness should be embraced especially in the classroom.  You will never have two kids that are alike. Schools need to intermingle all children on race, ethnicity, and/or disabilities.  This is an opportunity for students to embrace their individuality and learn from others that are too learning about themselves.

Conclusion: Overall I really enjoyed this article and feel really strongly about what Kliewer was trying to portray.  Just because you have a disability it doesn't make you a bad person nor should it make you a social outcast. Everyone should be given the same opportunities regardless.... Yes I understand special privileges... but they should only be given to those who are in desperate need.  No one is perfect regardless what they think of themselves and disabilities should be a topic that it easily discussed in class.

1 comment:

  1. I love quote number 2! I think all kids have it in them to be the best that they can be!