Sunday, April 17, 2011

Down and Out

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Christopher Kliewer

When I first saw "Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome", the first thing that popped in my mind was the title of this post.  It's actually a song by the rock band Tantric.  I think some of the lyrics could be applied.
There is actually a line in the reading that made me think of Delpit.  Did anyone else see it? Pg 72, "silenced: Dialogue".  Well, "disabled" people are kept away from the culture of power.  "dialogue of citizenship" is another one on page 73 that reads like Delpit.  And as Dr. Bogad mentioned, would we see these connections to Delpit as often or would we see connections to others we have read if she emphasized another person we have read instead?

Respect. Humility. Creative listening.  These three things are key to defining everyone around us as "precious and irreplaceable".  Respect is going downhill.  If you've had the misfortune of listening to teenagers, you've probably seen how they don't care about anyone other than themselves.

Shayne presents a model of teaching that we will hopefully all follow one day.  She manages to incorporate all the students unique skills and joys into the classroom and manages to measure their progress not against each other and the 'standards' but by their own individual progress.  And above all, she teaches us that you have to listen, like when she found Anne a job at the video rental store because that was something she loved.  If we as teachers can make the 'normally functioning' students work with those who might be considered disabled, they would see their strengths and that they should be recognized as being important and having their own ideas and abilities.  Also, when working later in life, no one would feel like people were 'dumb' or unable to do something because everyone knows they are all valuable members of the community.

There need to be more performance evaluations other than just the traditional worksheet and exams.  This helps not only those who might be 'disabled' but also those who get test anxiety.
It's interesting, because I'm writing this as I read, and I just came across the section that talks about including more than the logical mathematical thinking and linguistic capabilities.  Naturally, I agree.  Spatial-representation intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthetic knowledge, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence are all highly important in life and also in education when measuring performance.  This is the idea of multiple intelligences, something you might have learned about if you took a psychology class.

All being said, this article reminds me of the tracking article, in how we need to completely redo the educational system and reform how teachers teach.

Yet again, it seems we come to the inevitable question of: how can we fix this? Is it possible in the next few years or is this something that will change so slowly, it will only be our great-grandchildren who see our dream come true?

More Facebook Pages that apply to us:
"i don't care if you're black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor.
If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you. Simple as that.
- Eminem"

^ I have to agree. That's basically my policy.

1 comment:

  1. I think a reason why we don’t have classrooms that cater to everyone’s needs is because our society is so high paced and demanding. There’s so much to learn and not enough time to learn it in. it’s a giant rat race of whose country is better. The little guy is taken so much out of the equation.