Sunday, November 20, 2011

talking point #9

     In Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome, Christopher Kliewer argues against segregating students with disabilities.  To many this is unimaginable.  People would argue that with more students in a classroom to distract them, students with Down Syndrome would learn less. Or perhaps they would argue the other way, these students with Down Syndrome may distract the students without disabilities who are just trying to learn.  Or maybe that the normal classes move to fast for those with Down Syndrome. 
     I went to Narragansett High School, and looking back I would call the system "partially intergraded".  There were some classes where students with down syndrome were added in and classes continued as if nothing was out of the normal.  Perhaps because nothing was out of the normal.  Maybe these students had Down Syndrome, but they would sit, and follow instructions.  They would participate in group work, do their homework assignments, take quizzes, answer questions and even make jokes.  They were students too.
     Perhaps these students had certain weaknesses.  But who doesn't struggle at some things and excell at others?  One particular student in my classes might not have been able to write things in a manner that was legible to anyone besides himself, but he could name dates, events and figures from history with great accuracy. 
     There were some classes in my high school that were completely segregated for only students with learning disabilities.  I often had to walk through one of such classes in order to sign out with my supervisor for my school to career program.  These students seemed more likely to be off topic and distracted in these small classes, than they would be in intergraded classrooms.
     All in all, there are going to be distractions everywhere, and there are pro's and con's to everything.  So why not work towards making these students feel less alienated, and more like students.


  1. I can connect to you because at my school, the classes had students with disabilities as well as students without. Almost all my classes, I had the same students and it didn't slow down the class or anything and everyone was okay with it. Everyone would try and make them feel comfortable in the classroom. :)

  2. I did not have that in my school and I wish I did because it is not right to have students separated. It's also nice that Courtney, your class made the students feels welcome.

  3. everyones different some kids have different strengths and weakeness in learning good point vinchenzo

  4. never got the experience of having kids in my class with disabilities