Sunday, April 12, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Kliewer

I decided that I was going to do a quotes post this week, but then I read Christy's blog post, and I realized that all of the quotes she used were fantastic, so I decided to do an extended comments post instead.

The first quote that Christy chose was "Shayne pointed out the irony experienced when she proposed to the transition committee that Anne's work site be changed to a video store: "They didn't think it was realistic, that she could handle that job. Here they have her educating America's future, but they're scared to let her work at a movie place." (79)  This quote really stood out to me too. As Christy said, everyone should be able to do what they want to do with their career. Since Anne really liked movies, but not so much teaching children, it really wouldn't make sense for her to be working with preschool students. It was amazing that Shayne was able to find her a job that she liked, and also it is wonderful that the people who hired her were so accepting. I'm sure Anne was a great addition to the staff.

Christy also mentioned how messed up it is that they trusted Anne to educate America's future, but not to work in a movie place. This says a lot about the way people view education. Did these people really think that working at a movie place was a harder job than being an educator? I'm sure that Anne could have done either job if she had wanted to, but it is kind of insulting as a future educator to think that someone thought a movie store job would be more difficult than an education job. I agree with Christy that this is very messed up.

The next quote Christy chose was "Shayne did not, however, interpret a child's nonconformity to developmental theory as a manifestation of defect. "So what," she continued, "if you don't fit exactly what you're supposed to? You know, it's not like I fit many people's idea of what a teacher's supposed to be like." (78)  This is such a powerful quote. Christy brings up an awesome point, saying "Who made the rules of how we are 'supposed' to be, anyway? Are we supposed to fit into SCWAAMP?" If everyone fit into SCWAAMP, no one would ever learn from each other. Everyone would be the same and think the same and act the same. No one would ever grow as a person. It is wonderful that there are so many different types of people in the world, and hopefully the idea of SCWAAMP will be erased as time passes. As for Shayne, who isn't how teachers are "supposed" to be, she is helping to change education and schools for the better. When we think of the word segregation we usually apply it to race, but it can also be applied to situations like these. Special needs students should not be segregated from the rest of the students. This will just frustrate them and not allow them to learn from the other students or allow the other students to learn from them.

Christy chose four quotes for her blog, but these two along with this last one stood out to me the most. This next quote is my favorite quote that Christy chose, and probably my favorite quote of the whole article: "That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him. Do you know what I mean? Because Lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted in how he solves problems, cares about others, reads, loves math. So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee. It's not Lee your picking out. It's your stereotype, your mindset. It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee. But if that's how you choose to see him, I don't know that anything I could do, we could do, I don't think there's anything Lee could do to change your mind." This is such a beautiful quote. It is about acceptance, and not judging people or stereotyping them, and how hard it is to prove a stereotype wrong. If someone saw Lee and thought to themself that he must not be very smart since they could tell that he had Down Syndrome, no one would be able to show that person how smart he was. No matter what Lee did, this person would still connect Down syndrome to being unintelligent. This is obviously not true, as Lee is very intelligent in many different ways. Someone who saw him as unintelligent wouldn't actually be seeing him for who he was, they would just be seeing his Down syndrome.

I can also relate directly to Christy's story about being judged as a snob. One of my best friends in middle school told me that she always thought I was snobby in elementary school because I sang a lot of solos in the choir. I loved to sing when I was little (still do!) and my choir teacher liked to choose me for the solo part because she knew I could do it and that I would enjoy doing it. Because of this, I was marked as a snob before I even got into middle school. As Christy said, this is just a minor example, but it shows how often people are judged and stereotyped, and how wrong this is, no matter who the person is or what the stereotype is. Lee deserved to be seen as the smart person who he was and not just as a person with Down syndrome.

Christy's blog had so many great things to work off of, and I agree with everything she said! Thanks Christy and great job!


  1. Thank you Jenna for doing your extended response on my blog! I was so excited to see that you did and loved reading it! =)

  2. I did an extended post for my blog this week too! I think we can both agree that everyone had great ideas!! Great blog.

  3. I love your post! Great pictures and analysis of the quotes. :)

  4. I really enjoyed your extended comments to the quotes that Christy chose, and though it's pretty random I have to say I love your picture of the little girl that is saying, "I am Ada, I have down syndrome, I am not down syndrome, I am Ada". I looked at it and although it isn't a lot of words, it still contained a powerful message and was perfect for this reading.