Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Christopher Kliewer


I really enjoyed reading
Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome. This article made me question if the Special Education classes really benefit the students. Kliewer raises awareness of the effect that students receive, if they are segregated into classrooms for students who are labeled as, "disabled or uneducable." Kliewer provides many testimonies of students who benefited from INTEGRATED SCHOOLS. Schools where they were not labeled as different but rather provided education plans that would help them improve their motor skills, language skills, etc. 

Throughout this article I could see many connections with other articles we have read in class.
"To value another is to recognize diversity as the norm. It establishes the equal worth of all schoolchildren, a sense that we all benefit from each other, and the fundamental right of every student to belong." 
When I read this it made me automatically think of Collier. Although Collier discusses honoring the students first language skills. I feel both authors really want their students to be honored and respected for who they are. For example Shayne Robbins was a great representation of honoring her students diversity because she was able to understand and respect Isaac's way of thinking. Also Collier explained that the students language added to the classroom experience. Which is very similar to what Kliewer believed when he made this statement.

This also reminds me of August's, Safe Spaces. When Shayne Robbins allowed her students to interpret their education as they did, she created a SAFE SPACE for students to learn. And students were allowed to use their intelligence, (musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, etc.) 

When I read this article I also thought about Delpit. When Kliewer said:
"These new relationships serve to reformulate past understanding, which then reconstitutes the web of relationships, leading, again, to new relationships and continued reformulation and recontextualization of understanding. More advanced members of the cultural collective (such as teachers) serve to facilitate these relationships in a direction valued by the community. "
It's as if the teacher's explain and in some situations, tells the students the rules and codes of power. Kliewers explains that the relationships are made in a way that they'll be VALUED BY THE COMMUNITY. Therefore in a way the teacher is teaching the students some codes that are accepted by a wider population.

Also the segregation that existed within some of the classrooms reminded me of the segregation that existed prior to 1954. Although the segregation in this case doesn't deal with race, it does deal with people's disabilities. In the article some students were told they were uneducable. Also  because some students had a disability, such as Becky, students were deprived of their education because of this label that was placed on them. Throughout the article I could see the effect that segregation had on the students. One quote that opened my eyes to this topic was:
"Students with Down syndrome are placed in school structures that supposedly remediate their defects in order that they can eventually join the wider community. But this, of course, leads to perpetual school separation and, ultimately, the need for community placements that mirror the rigidity of segregated special education."
I really enjoyed reading this article because it opened my eyes to the education that some students with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or other disabilities receive. Prior to this article I only thought about segregation existing due to race or SES but I really didn't think about it in this perspective. 

An article that explains the Individual's with Disabilities Act which protects students and families rights. 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked your blog and all the colors you used! I liked your connections too (: