Friday Five: Five Quotes that Made Me Think
All of my quotes this week are from the books "Because We Can Change the World: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classroom Communities" and "Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms" by Mara Sapon-Shevin. The extra thoughts are mine.
- "Learning to swim in the bathtub will not guarentee you will be able to swim in the ocean." And in my mind I added to this one... and if you have a choice between swimming in the bathtub indpendently or swimming in an ocean with the support of a lifejacket I'm thinking most people would choose to be in the ocean!
- "We need to start to think about ways of teaching and learning that recognize that we all have gifts and that the challenges of good teaching is to make gifts visiable, rather than to sort people in to successful and unsuccessful." Not much more to say on this one except that I love it. It fits so nicely in to the idea of assessment rather than grading.
- "Educators are realizing that we need not dichotomize or choose between teaching skills and teaching students to be caring and responsible human beings. We need not sacrifice reading to teach sharing and abandon math goals in favor of teaching mutual support and help. Rather, the classroom community can be structured so that students learn reading through sharing and work on math goals with teacher and peer support." Just as we know we need to break down and teach skills to our students around "behaviours", we need to start to think in the same manner when it comes to teaching students who to act in an inclusive manner. We need to set the stage and teach the skills to our students that will create inclusive environments. We need to have the conversations that ensure that we are making differences an ordinary part of being.
- "We must continue to ask ourselves why schools are the way they are and weather they have to be that way." What better time to do this then now as there is much of this going on.
- "Articulating our task as full inclusion - changing exsiting classrooms and structures so that all students can be served with a unified system..." I've left off the last because what I feel is important in this quote is that we need to redefine how we are articulating inclusion. It is not about putting children who have traditionally been in segregated classrooms in to the classroom and making modifications so the child will fit but rather about looking at the classroom and making the changes from the bottom up that will ensure that all students can learn in that classroom.