“I started to notice that I didn’t like the classes I was taking called special education. I had to go through special education almost all of my life. I wanted to take other classes that interest me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry” (Mia Peterson).
“Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rich life. The challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities” (Jason Kingsley).
Freire believes that democracy can only happen when no one’s voice is deterministically silenced. “Dialogue imposes itself as the way by which people achieve significance as human beings” (Freire). He values respect, humility, and creative listening. He also stressed the movement to merge the education of children with or without disabilities.
The acceptance of included children with disabilities with children that do not builds community value in all the children involved. The value of this is high in the fields of literacy development and friendship formation.
My favorite book growing up was “Where the wild things are.” My mother would read me this book all the time and we would talk about how some people are different. The most important thing we would discuss is how we treat others the same and never treat anyone differently even if they don’t look like us. Now I have two children of my own and both of them are familiar with the story. As a parent I teach my children the same things my mother tried to teach me.
I found this article very interesting. It was inspiring to see that although the children in Shayne’s class with severe disabilities lacked in some areas like language, they also exceled in others like listening deeply and taking on different roles. Shayne considered learning also an opportunity for community building.
To value another is to recognize diversity as the norm. It is to regard it as part of the culture we live in and the community that surrounds us our entire life. This reading goes deep into the debate over whether it makes sense to define individuals as intellectual deficient or regards the child’s thoughts to fit within the normal statistic mold. As educators we need to fully understand what it is we are asking of our students. To prepare all students for the future community they will be living in they should have equal opportunity and equity in the classroom to succeed in the world.