Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Kliewer (Reflection)

I am at Rhode Island College to become a Physical Educator. With this comes the responsibility and the privilege of working with children with disabilities such as Down Syndrome. This reading really hit home with me because my classes so far have taught me to educate to the learning abilities of each individual student. This can be very difficult because I will see numerous students a year and only for a short period of time. While trying to improve the physical ability, fitness and knowledge of each student, I need to create a learning environment suitable for everyone at the same time because there will be a mix of different abilities in one class.

We often see videos on Youtube or Facebook that show kids with disabilities being put in a sports game when their team has a huge lead to give them a chance to play. If they have the skills to play, why does it have to be when the team is ahead? When there is no risk of losing or winning if the game is a blowout by the opposing team?

Though these videos are heartwarming and the students are accepted by their peers on and off the field, they are not given the same opportunities as everyone else. These young men were not put on the field or court for a game time decision or as a substitute for an injured player. They got their time because their teams were A LOT!

They are put into classes "designed" for their learning abilities which is great, but it takes them away from the rest of the school population. Kliewer talks about this segregation and how these students are not incorporated into other classrooms with other students throughout their school career. They are denied these privileges of meeting and learning from their nondisabled students and feeling a part of the school community. Students with disabilities can learn a great deal from those without but I believe those without disabilities can learn much more from those who do. This is why I truly believe integrated Physical Education classes, as well as all classes, can benefit all students. To give them opportunities to succeed in society just like everyone else. Hopefully videos like the one below will become normal....


  1. I totally agree with you when you said that we can both learn from each other. Also great blog post.

  2. I loved the videos you posted, especially the one about the waterboy. Very inspiring!

  3. absolutely love the videos you posted, very powerful