Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Getting the best of Education–special ed, gen ed, bilingual ed

We’ve talked about bilingual education and special education in prev classes and I wanted to touch on it a little more. In the special ed classes we were focusing on how the school system is entirely inclusive. We understand that the idea of this process is to give students of a special ed nature to get the most out of their education and be included in the gen ed system. However, it is equally important for the gen ed students to get just as much out of the experience! Involving group activities for all students to work together is an excellent opportunity for gen ed students to get to know someone with a disability. There are many people who fear people or children with disabilities because many people do not know much about disabilities in general. I grew up being pretty close to clueless about people with disabilities. So providing the opportunity to get to know someone with a disability at a young age could be a literacy practice that others don’t have. It can be an eye opening experience. I think the same as special ed and gen ed systems should apply to bilingual education. It is an opportunity for students of any culture to get to know more about another culture. This is definitely a new literacy because the student learning about a new culture will know a new language, certain mannerisms, and cultural information about a different culture than their own. However, I've heard that the point of bilingual education is to generate a mostly English speaking class by high school graduation. If this is the case, then I can see bilingual education hindering a students cultural growth. Thoughts? There are so many opportunities out there to learn new literacy practices! We just need to explore these ideas and encourage not only our students but our colleagues as well to push them to be creative in learning new literacies.

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