Saturday, April 5, 2014

Citizenship in Schools

I first have to start off by saying that this reading was not as difficult to get through as I thought it would be.  I never looked at Down Syndrome the way Kliewer argued or rather realized how the   behavior and ability.  This reminded me of the article we read by Oakes. How tracking students is so controversial and even our own class discussion about being separated by honors classes, EEP credits and college prep classes. Children begin to realize and compare themselves to others. In relation to the ability and behavior, students who are seen as having these behavior and ability problems are separated and not kept within a regular classroom. Biklen states, “success in life requires an ability to form relationships with others who make up the web of community.” The community at school is the entire makeup of al the students. It is all the learners, all the teachers and all the people who make up the community of the school. Though for some, controlling who is met and interacted with is not possible. Sometimes we meet people who are not going to be the best around, but learning to work together and finding ways to work and interact is all apart of being in the democracy of school in a community.
separation of classrooms makes an impact on these students . Many children are put into classrooms where they are not able to interact with other children and never experience being able to work with other children on group projects, at recess or even just having a conversation. Douglas Biklen stated “ society itself is hurt when schools act as cultural sorting machines- locations that justify a competitive ethic that marginalizes certain students or groups of students.” Race, ability, ethnicity, gender are all part of this sorting method of the students in schools. This method later elaborates into sorting of just ability and behavior.
  Within this democracy there will always be judgment and that's something that cannot be avoided.  Judith Snow a self-advocate in the disability rights movement stated, “ how absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don't listen to the voices we have.” Makes a lot of sense and many people do not realize that people with disabilities are able to function just as you or I.  My favorite part of this reading was about Lee, a young boy who has Down Syndrome, and Colleen Madison who’s response to a question truly hit me and made sense.  Madison believed that no child was inherently an intellectual burden to the classroom but that each student brought something unique to the relationships that are formed at school in the community. She was a leader in Lee’s classroom and when she was asked  “ wouldn't anyone who come into the room pick out Lee as the student with a disability” and she responded in such a way that I was like BOOM you GO! The quote is really long but to sum it up she stated that, people who do not know lee, but have that “stereotype and mind set” would pick him out as the child with the disability right away.  People see the mental challenge, the see the Down Syndrome, but they do not see how the child is, they see what they know. Make sense? They do now see how this boy reads, solves problems and works in the class. They brand Lee and in a way, they give him a label. That's not only true with just this case of Lee, but with many students just like Lee.  Quick judgment of any child with Down Syndrome will get you no where because not every child is the same.  Honestly when I read this I was just so in agreement and couldn’t wait to blog this part of the reading.
            There’s a young boy in my swim lesson class who has Down Syndrome and he is a great  
swimmer. He is well behaved and to be honest, the other kids do not think anything less of him. All my students talk and laugh and I know they would agree with me that he is just as capable as they are in swim lessons.

 There is so much of this reading I could blog about and I could go on for days about this reading because I was truly amazed and learned a lot about children with Down Syndrome and the classroom setting. These students should be around other children and not held back from doing the same things. The teacher, Shayne Robbins, was another interesting part of the reading. The way she included Isaac in her classroom and made every opportunity in the classroom for all her students. Examples in this article of teens who have Down Syndrome holding jobs and being apart of their community is something many people need to realize. It's like when we talked about the window of glass. This is like a tap in the glass, these students and even teens or adults with Down Syndrome are capable of preforming tasks, they just need time and patience from those around them. I found this reading that describes various classrooms that have students with Down Syndrome and how the teachers work with the students, and also another link  about Down Syndrome in the classroom and how many students learn and interact in class. 


  1. Jackieeee!!! I liked the story about Lee too! I didn't put that in my blog post (even though it was one of my favorite stories) but I found it very inspiring! I, too, liked how she said that they see Lee but they don't REALLY see Lee. Great blog post this week!!

  2. Great job! I really liked the way you started your blog by talking about the communities of students and how it really affects schools. The separation in schools was huge and something that I thought was interesting while reading the article! A lot of great points and comments on the stories :)

  3. Great post once again Jackie. Loved that you included Lee's Story in your post. It was a great story and it definitely fit well with the rest of your ideas. Overall, great job.

  4. Heyy good post!! I thought of Oakes while reading this article too!! good connection there:)