Monday, April 12, 2010

Talking Point 9

"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"
By Christopher Kliewer

1. " 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."
-This quote was by a teacher (named Shayne) and i agree with what she is saying. I think she means that students do not come to school to be labeled, they come to learn. If students are labeled something, it is more of a distraction and the label, if it is a "bad" label, then it is pretty much setting up the student to fail; just because of a name that is given to them.

2. "Acknowledging students with down syndrome as thoughtful, creative, and interested learners with personal identities that distinguish them from all other people suggests an individual value that enhances any context containing the child."
- I think that the adjectives used to describe children with down syndrome are positive and also encouraging. Down syndrome learners should not be looked at as less able; treat these students the same so that way they can feel valued like the other students in class do too.

3. "To eliminate a single person through any form of banishment, no matter how benevolent the logic, reduces the web and makes the community a less democratic and less rich place.
-This quote is pretty self-explanatory but i really liked it. Eliminating and discriminating against anyone is wrong, and i think the result of the elimination does cause the community and also the classroom to be less of a place in general.

I thought that this article was a little long and had some boring parts to it. On the other hand, some of the stories in the piece were so interesting to read and i really enjoyed them. I found all of the stories about each of the children very amazing. i have never really met anyone with down syndrome, so my own thoughts were that, when it comes to schooling, students with down syndrome were either home schooled or put in a separate classroom with other disabled students. I was totally wrong. It was definitely interesting to read about these students that were put in classrooms with learners without a disability. I really never even knew that classrooms did such a thing. one example of a story that i found so amazing was about a girl named Christine. she had gone through segregated schooling until age 14. when she entered a public high school, the isolation was over and she was put in a "normal" class. although Christine started out with low level cognitive skills, low levels of communication, and over all, all other low-leveled skills, she had a total 360 as her high school career progressed. christines skills approved in all areas, which i found so astonishing. as i was reading this article i felt so happy for all of her accomplishments. this reading was definitely an eye-opener. I think that now-after reading this, it is just as important to not have children with disabilities isolated when it comes to their education. this message is just another example showing that isolation isnt right...not only when it comes to cultures and languages; but when it comes to students with disabilities as well.