The article Citizenship in Schools: Conceptualizing Down syndrome by Christopher Kliewer was really interesting, particularly because the issue of excluding individuals with disabilities is so prominent in our current society. Kliewer touched on the subject of respect and citizenship which require a realization of a person’s individuality. School citizenship requires students to not be categorized and separated based on their presumed “defect”. Personally I agree with Kliewer and the idea that when students are categorized and removed from the classroom it impacts the student’s ability to for community relationships and individuality. If a student is constantly removed from a classroom to work with an individual or a small group, the students are unable to work with other students then that small group. Children need to be exposed to a multitude off different individuals. Exposure to a wide range of perspectives or personalities can help improve the student’s ability to get along with further community members.
Teachers can help create a society which is worthy, lovely and harmonious for all students. Separating and making students feel like they are different than the other community members in the school isn’isn't helping create a welcoming, supportive community. In my Service Learning there have been times where students who struggle with reading or another subject are taken out of the room to work in small groups or one-on-one. These children never seem to look forward to this time and when they see the individual who they need to leave the room with, there is typically a negative response, such as, eyes rolling, saying “I don’t want to leave”, or hiding somewhere in the classroom. These students seem not to gain as much from the time they spent out of the classrooms working one-on-one. Some of the adults who come to work one-on-one with the students stay with the students in the classroom while the other kids are all at different learning centers. Personally I have noticed that the students who get to work one-on-one in the classroom with their teacher tend to be more excited and not tread the time spent. I think when a child gets to work one-on-one with an adult, but they are able to stay in the same classroom with the rest of their peers they feel more included. Separating a student from their peers can make them feel like there is something wrong with them or it implements that their disability makes them different from the other students. Teachers need to embrace the individuality of students with disabilities.
Personally I feel like separating children with disabilities from their peers is a form of racism, how do you feel?