"acceptance is the aim when children with Down syndrome join their non-disabled peers in classrooms, and many schools and individual teachers have entered into this effort" (74)
In "Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" by Christopher Kliewer, he argues that although students with disabilities learn differently, specifically Down syndrome, they should not be segregated from a normal integrated classroom. Segregating children who have Down syndrome or any disability takes away from the learning environment. Kliewer believes students would experience a richer learning environment if all classrooms include students with differently learning abilities. All children need to be valued because everyone has something to offer, with or without a disability.
I had the chance to work in a self-contained classroom for my service learning project at Asa Messer. A self-contained classroom has a fewer number of students which enhance my support for students than a typical class would. This classroom contained students with all types of learning abilities. My integration classroom had a child with Down syndrome, ESL students, Autism, low levels of attention span, and some children have no disability. This classroom is mixed with kindergarten, first, and second graders. I believe this classroom is a classroom that Kliewer would say is supporting all children's participation. At one of my service learning sessions, I was able to attend gym and art class. In these elective classes, my classroom was integrated with different classes which I believe is an awesome opportunity to not just get away from their class but to also interact with different children.
In many schools, students who have disabilities are placed in a segregated classroom, are lacking educational opportunities that other students are receiving. This is not fair. I see why isolating and segregating children to give them more attention can be beneficial; however this limits their social growth. Asa Messer does a nice job combining children in classrooms to be able to contribute in the same opportunities. Kliewer says that including students who have disabilities can make a difference in recognizing each individual's value and developing an appreciation for one another.