Sunday, November 17, 2013

Citizenship In Schools

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Christopher Kliewer
Response to article with use of a hyperlink...
When working in schools, we as teachers are going to come in contact with children of all different learning abilities and disabilities, as well as those who are more advanced than others. When dealing with those who are know to have a "learning disability" it is important not to make the child feel less  intelligent than their peers around them. Some of us know what it feels like to be one of the "special" kids in school who were taken away from the rest of the class to be shown more attention, one on one, by another teacher. By removing a child from their friends to work on a learning disability you are automatically making the child feel "different" which can be recognized by other classmates. This type of attention is known by all to be negative attention because the child who is being separated knows that they are not as up to speed as the rest of the class which makes them feel less intelligent and insecure.
When reading Christopher Kliewer's  article about educating children with down syndrome it was very upsetting to read the stories about how children felt when they were put into "special education" classes. Kliewer talks about throughout his article not only how children with disabilities feel within a school environment, but how as educators we can help them learn. When reading Kliewer I was inspired to learn more about these skills so I furthered my research.
I came across a website within my research of teaching children with disabilities in which I found very helpful. This website can be found on The National Center for Learning Disabilities website and provides helpful tips and advice for teachers who are dealing with students that have a learning disability.  Within this website are tabs that allow you to browse not only by the stage of the disability but the age of the child as well. It includes many commonly asked questions as well as resources such as special schools and programs to help a child with a learning disability. While scrolling through this website I found out that it was not only helpful for teachers but for parents who have a child with a disability as well as for adults who suffer from a disability. It was very interesting exploring and utilizing the resources available to help me teach children with learning disabilities as well as become a better teacher.

By reading this article I was reminded of Geri August's, "Safe Spaces" article and how LGBT children talked about what it was like to be LGBT in a schooling environment. Both articles address a problem of children feeling different and insecure within school because of their own uniqueness and how they are taught that just because they are different they should be treated as well as viewed "abnormal." Both of these articles are very upsetting to me because it is important for a child to feel comfortable in a learning environment because if they do not, no learning can take place. Children should feel safe a free to express their opinions as well as learn not be embarrassed and uncomfortable because of who they are, or what they are.

Questions to ask in class...

It is hard to accommodate as well as make every child feel comfortable in school, what are some ways to teach children that school is a safe space to not only learn but share your thoughts and ideas?


  1. Hey Lauren,
    Great blog post this week, I really enjoyed the hyperlink you decided to do and I also liked how you related this to Geri August's article Safe Spaces. I too was thinking the same thing and made connections in my blog post this week. I agree in that all children should feel comfortable in school and not segregated or "erased" in any way!
    Great Job!

  2. I agree when you talked about how taking a child away is making them feel different. It does make the child feel like they are at a lower learning level and I think teachers need to figure out different ways to deal with this.