Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Five: Five Quotes About Including Students With Significant Disabilities

"To make sense of having students with significant learning differences as members of the inclusive classroom, we must carefully rethink our assumptions about intelligence, ability and aptitude.  It is not uncommon to hear someone say, "What is a student with an IQ of 45 going to get out of a biology class?"  We must question what it means to have an IQ of 45, and we must evaluate the testing that yielded that score.  And we must wonder: What if we're wrong about this student's capabilities?  Which would be the worse mistake: to have had high expectations and exposed the student to much more than he could actually understand, or to have falsely diminished expectations and deprived the students of learning opportunities?"  

- Widening the Circle
by Mara Sapon-Shevin


"There are at least five reasons why we believe that the least dangerous assumption is to presume competence.
  1. Human intelligence is a multifaceted construct rather than a unidimensional characteristic and measuring it with a test is invalid and leads to mistaken conclusions about a person's capacity to learn.
  2. Assessments of students' IQ scores are seriously flawed when those students have complex communication needs and movement challenges.
  3. Research shows that a growing number of children and adults labeled with an IDD show they are more capable when they have a means to communicate and are provided with high-quality instruction.
  4. To presume incompetence could result in harm to our students if we are wrong.
  5. Even if we are wrong about students' capacities to learn general education curriculum content, the consequences to the student of that incorrect presumption are not as dangerous as the alternative.
Those of us involved in the educational lives of students - parents, teachers, psychologists, SLPs, policy makers and researchers - must decide what our least dangerous assumption will be and whether we can live with the possibility of being wrong."

- The Beyond Access Model
by Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Michael McSheehan and Rae M. Sonnermeier


"Furthermore, we do not know what students are capable of learning and what information they can glean from having access to the core curriculum.  Inclusion in general education classrooms ensures access to the core curriculum far more effectively than special education classrooms.

Special educators, no matter how highly motivated or skills, cannot provide the necessary learning opportunities in self-contained classrooms."

Including Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities in Typical Classrooms
by June E. Downing


"Overall, there is evidence that students with significant disabilities can learn to read.... The purpose of this book is to summarize what research exists on teaching academics to this population and to identify innovations in research and practice about how to go beyond teaching functional academics such sight words for daily living and money for purchasing."

Teaching Language Arts, Math and Science to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilties
by Diane M. Browder and Fred Spooner

"Some teachers indicated that skill development was only one potential benefit of general class placement. They spoke about other aspects of the child's school experience that enhanced the quality of the student's life. The general education placement provided the students with opportunities, enjoyment, and challenges.

Even if she is plateauing, she's still being challenged. There are new things that people try to make her do or get her to do even if she is just doing all she's ever done before; it may be more than laying around on the floor.

Sometimes during music class when they would be singing, Susie would almost laugh because she was hearing the song; and even though she wasn't singing, she was enjoying it, being part of it by just being there.
I think that just opens up so many doors and avenues and there are role models there; and there are just so many other things available to them that wouldn't be available if they were in a room with children who were very similar to themselves.

He taught them [people at school] that he can learn.

"I've counted Jon": Transformational Experiences of Teachers Educating Students with Disabilities
by Michael F. Giangreco, Ruth Dennis, Chigee Cloninger, SusanEdelman, Richard Schattman

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post, these are great quotes. Many students with complex needs are underestimated!