Friday, April 4, 2014

"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"

When I think of down syndrome, the first thing that comes to my mind is a child with disabilities. A child who is sometimes left out and not able to do the same activities and have the same lifestyle as a normal child. But, as I read Christopher Kliewer’s article about “Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome,” I thought more about when I was in school with special education students.
Before I get into the reading, I have a short experience to share with you about a down syndrome boy from my town.
            -His name is David, but he is known as “Chucky.” You will find Chucky roaming the streets of North Providence, especially Mineral Spring Ave, where most of the excitement is. Chucky is a fire fighter! He is part of the North Providence Fire Department. He is probably one of the most loyal fire fighters because he is always ready to help people and is always to the rescue. He rides his bike down Mineral Spring and makes a siren sound while he rushes to the next incident that he hears over the speaker that is connected to the fire department that carries around with him. The point I am trying to get to is Chucky has down syndrome. But, Chucky does that feel left out. and he is! He might not be able to put a fire out like the rest of the squad, but he is apart of the squad and his dream of being a firefighter came true!
Back to the education part, Chucky was able to become a fire fighter just like the rest of the squad. In school it students with down syndrome should never feel left out. Mia Peterson is a student with down syndrome. Kliewer described Mia’s schools experience as an awful nightmare. She went through a hard time because she just wanted to be placed in regular classes. “I wanted to take other classes, that interested me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry.” Why is it that Mia can’t be placed in a regular classroom and learn like everyone else? It’s not fair to her. Students like Mia should be able to experience school just like every other student.
Kliewer mentioned the word “community” a lot in his article. Community requires to see people differently in their minds and body, but not differently in their ability to contribute to society.
I like the way Kliewer wrote this article. I think it was a little long, but it made me realize how students in special education should be able to sit in a regular classroom and not have the feeling of being left out.

-While reading Christopher Kliewer’s article I heard a lot of Johnsons “We must say the words” echoing. Students like Mia should be able to receive respect from her school and they should allow her to be placed in regular classrooms if she thinks she can handle it. The teachers in schools and administration should have more respect for their students and not allow them to feel left out.

Here is an article about students being placed in a regular classroom. Check it out!! 


  1. such a great post! i loved how you included Chucky as apart of the post! I agree the article was a bit long but also that the students in special education should be incorporated into a regular classroom and not feel left out! great pictures as well!

  2. Nice job Gianna, I did like the story about Chucky. I have my own experiences which I shared too. I felt like this article talked about everything we've been wrestling with in class. And I really liked the link. Thanks!

  3. Hey! I really liked your post! I loved the story you shared about Chucky! He is very inspiring! Nice Job!

  4. Great job! I loved how you put your own personal story into the mix to make everything more realistic. Great job and great points about how students should be integrated in classrooms:)

  5. Hey Gianna, awesome post this week. I loved your personal connection especially since I see Chucky like almost everyday when I drive on Mineral Spring to RIC ! I was excited to see that I knew who you were talking about ! But yeah great post this week girl !

  6. Great post this week. The Chucky story is touching and I was glad to read it. Your post this week is more related to the emotional side, which I think is great. Your personal connection is awesome and I liked reading it. Great job Gianna!

  7. I loved the story about Chucky! You did an amazing job connecting the reading to the real world this week! The link is also really useful. Thanks for sharing! You did a fantastic job this week!