Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" by Kliewer

Starting the reading this week was pretty difficult. I really wasn't feeling like doing it. But I pushed through and actually found myself enjoying it once I got past the introduction part and onto some of the real stories from people.

After reading I noticed that there was some quotes that particularly stood out to me as being a major part of the authors main argument. So my post this week is going to be a "quotes/argument" piece.

So for my first quote I picked this short sentence from the beginning of the reading, "We have got to learn to get along as individuals and as citizens" (74).  Can I just say AMEN !! Simply put, the problem isn't that people have Down Syndrome or other disabilities/differences, the problem is the way people act towards these individuals. I've never really understood why people find it necessary to insult others who are different from them. Why do we have to challenge everyone who doesn't fit into the norm.
I think this is exactly the argument that Kliewer is making at this point in the reading. We as people need to learn to accept that people have differences and that those differences are something that needs to be embraced and accepted in a positive manner.

The next quote that I thought supported Kliewer's argument of acceptance is, "To eliminate a single person through any form of banishment, no matter how benevolent the logic, reduces the web and makes the community a less democratic and less rich place" (95-100).  With this quote Kliewer seems to be saying that not accepting people doesn't just affect that person. It affects the whole community. For example, when I was in high school my school had a group of students with varying disabilities. Although they were sectioned off into their own group they traveled to different classes just like every other high school student. Within that group of students there was one boy with Down Syndrome, we'll call him Tom. Every day that they would go to art class my class would also be in the art room. My art teacher was always playing music, which Tom absolutely loved ! Dancing before settling down to do his artwork became a habitual routine for Tom. His face would light up and he'd be smiling ear to ear as he danced around the room with the other students joining in. The joy that Tom brought to that room was incredible, it was impossible not smile and dance along with him.
Had my school not integrated students with disabilities into the classes with other kids I would not have this wonderful memory and Tom would not have gotten dance around the classroom with his peers like any regular kid could. Even though it was a kind of long story, I think it connects perfectly to the argument that Kliewer is making with that quote.

The final quote that I chose ties back into integrating special needs individuals into classrooms with other students. On page 95 Kliewer says "Educating all children together reconfigures the representation of Down Syndrome from burden toward citizenship" (95).
This this quote goes hand in hand with the above quote and story that I just told. By having children with special needs in classrooms with their peers it eliminates the stigma that those children are different, which is what I think Kliewer is trying to say with this quote.

So there you have it, my "quotes/connections" post ! Also I remembered seeing this short video a while back on Facebook. It's a very heartwarming video about people with Down Syndrome and I think Kliewer would love it!


  1. Heyy Jennn. Loved the video and the photos you included this week. You also go a great job finding photos that fit perfectly with our topic as well as your overall opinions. I absolutely loved the quotes you included in your post. They were some of the ones that stood out to me while I was reading. Overall great post again

  2. Great post this week Jen. I really liked the Quotes that you used. They connected very well to the topic and argument and I think they stated your honest opinion. Great job!

  3. hey i really loved your post this week so i did an extended comments on your post, hope you like it!

  4. I really always enjoy reading your post! this weeks reading was a lot harder than I thought it would be.. but good job:)

  5. I like how all the quotes you chose to write about fit the singular theme of acceptance. Acceptance really is the only viable route to equity, so it's great that you pulled out the quotes that you did. Nice job!