Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kliewer, Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Quotes

This weeks reading by Kliewer, was really interesting. In class we have been talking a lot lately how race, and social class segregate students, but I feel as though it is worse with students with disabilities! 

Here are some quotes from the reading that stuck out to me:

"I started to notice that I didn't like the classes I was taking called special education.! had togo through special ed. almostall mylife. I wanted to take 
other classes that interested me. I had never felt so mad, 1 wanted to cry"
(Peterson, 1994, p. 6)
This quote made me think about practicum for SPED 300 I am working with a student who has a learning disability and is pulled out of the classroom and goes to a resource class class, Everytime he is pulled out he says to the people at his table, "time to go to my class for stupid people" these students catch on to the segregation, which they don't like. This kid doesn't like going to the resource classroom, he doesn't like missing part of his class he has told that to me. When I read the quote above and think about the little boy I think back to Johnson's article and realize it could tie in with disabilities and being able to see difference in these children and what they need to offer. They shouldn't be defined by their disability!
"Shaye Robbins devoted so much energy to creating a classroom community where all were 
afforded citizenship. "Don't think," she told me, "that those special needs 
kids drain anything. That class would not be half what it is if anyone of 
those kids got segregated. We're all together in there."(87)
I really liked how Shaye didn't look at her students and saw downsyndrome, August's article talks about how the classroom should be a safe space for students and that is how Shayes students felt. Shaye expressed in the article the importance of belonging to a community, she didn't look at the negatives like one of the girls from August's article who got marked down on her Spanish test for instance non of these students where she was marked down for using "Ama" instead of "Amo"
Shaye went above and beyond to seeing her students succeed with helping her teaching aid with down syndrome find a job of what she like to do!

I would put Shaye in the category of a good teacher, She reached  created curriculum using the popular story "Where the Wild Things Are" because of  which I connected it to the Penguin book that August wrote about in her article.

"Vvgotsky found that the culture of segregation surro"Iunding people with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities"(83)  
This quote shows the article went into positive stories about how students who were included were able to not let their disability define them. It showed the difference it made when the students were included in the classrooms. I loved reading the stories for instance: 

 "When she enrolled in a regular public high school as a freshman,Christine's Individual Education Plan was passed on from her segregated school; it suggested that she had extremely poor motor control, low-level cognitive skills, low-level communication skills, a lack of adaptive skills,
 and aggressive "acting-out" behaviors. In the general curriculum of the regular high school, however, these images of defect were dramatically
 transformed (Harris, 1994)"

"By the end of John's first year in Mendocino, he was holding down two part time jobs; taking weekly voice, art, and gutair lessons, attending aerobics classes five mornings a week; occasionally reading stories to kids at the local preschoool;helping his mother teach a class on self-esteem to a group of troubled adolescents; making daily "rounds" in the community and going out to dance or listen to music at least five nights a week. He had numerous friends and acquaintances, and he was daily becoming more verbal and more assertive"   (p.108)

Before these students did feel segregated which reflected on their personality's it was amazing to see how much they had improved by getting involved!!
Here is a video, A different kind of Brilliant that focuses on the strengths of students with down syndrome, which isn't often looked at.


  1. I really liked how you could compare this weeks reading with your SPED 300 class! it sounds like you have a really good understanding of the reading and its relevance in the classroom and its connections to Safe Spaces

  2. I also enjoyed how you related the article to your personal experiences in your SPED 300 class along with the quotes that you picked out. Good job!

  3. Really enjoyed reading your blog post! good job!