Sunday, April 14, 2013

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down syndrome By Christopher Kliewer

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down syndrome
By Christopher Kliewer

Right when I began to read this reading, I immediately thought of the last reading we did, tracking my Jeanie Oakes. Jeanie would agree that tracking in school doesn’t give all students equal opportunities and in this reading Kliewer is saying by separating students with Down Syndrome- they are not getting to take the same classes as the other students.
I think it was really good to start the story off with Mia Peterson. She says that she noticed that she was different, and she didn’t like the special ed classes that she had to take. She wanted to take other classes that weren’t offered to her. It’s not fair because she is just as smart as other students so she should have access to the same resources other students have.
Douglas Biklen outlined, “Society itself is hurt when schools act as culture sorting machines-locations that justify a competitive ethic that marginalizes certain students or groups of students…[that} legitimize discrimination and devaluation on the basis of the dominant society’s preferences in matters of ability, gender, ethnicity and race..and {that’s} endorse an elaborate process of sorting by perceived ability and behavior.” Basically he is saying that this is no good for everyone, it is really not right that schools do this because it really affects the way the students feel. No matter what category a student falls under, they should not feel like they are dumb or left out.
I really liked when they talked about the student Lee. Saying even though he had Down syndrome and struggled with certain thing, he was still considered a full member of the class.  This is important because teachers and schools need to believe in their student’s abilities.

Points to Share:
I am curious to see how others liked this story. I felt like this was an easier read and I really enjoyed reading this. When I was in high school, I never thought it was a big deal that we were all separated. Tracking was a big thing in my school and because I wasn’t actually the one being separated, I never thought of it. I am so that I am reading stories like this because it opens my eyes to things I ‘ve never known.


  1. I loved your blog this week Alicia! I instantly thought of last week's reading on tracking as well when reading this text. As for your points to share, I loved this reading. I worked a lot with the special ed classrooms at my high school so I enjoyed this piece. I also thought it was a very easy and enjoyable read. I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say in class Tuesday!

  2. I really liked your blog, and the video. I also thought of the reading we did for the class last week. For me I really have mixed feelings about mixing the different levels. I like that you get to work with all types of people. However in high school I was in mostly honor classes so when everyone had the electives together and I usually felt like the class went along too slow, I did not learn anything.

  3. Loved your blog this week! I completely agree with you when you said that you didn't notice it because you were not the one being separated. I think that a lot of people do have trouble understanding because they are just observers in the situation, they themselves are not getting separated. My high school was also tracked.

  4. Hi Alicia, I also really liked the Mia Peterson story. I thought it was an easy read, although I didn't particularly enjoy it, it was a bit repetitive for me. I agree with Nicole, I think that sometimes inclusion can be a little tough for students who are above the normal level. Although, as an idea in general, I agree with it.