Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kliewer - Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome [Reflection]

While reading Kliewer's piece, a few thoughts came into my mind. It was kind of a hard piece for me to get through at first, but a few quotes caught my interest.

…society itself is hurt when schools act as cultural sorting machines-locations that "justify a competitive ethic that margmalizes certain students or groups of students ... [that]legitimize 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" (p. 183).

I have to agree with this. Schools today that "degrade" or do not value students who are of a different race, ability, gender, etc can really affect society and their success in the "real world", once they graduate from school. People with different abilities than others are sometimes placed in self-contained classes where they are separated from mainstreamed classes. This can cause them to fall behind their peers and they may not be able to gain the same set of skills as their mainstreamed peers.

Another quote that I connected to was:

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 found this to be a somewhat powerful quote. I love how this educator makes it a point to make sure that all her students are included and involved, and not secluded. Her goal is to make sure that all her children will go on to be as successful in the big world as possible.

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