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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator


Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Chapter 11: A Journey into Inclusive Education


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A Journey into Inclusive Education


The Medical Journey

As a mother of three, I have experienced the moment when someone asks you if you want to have a boy or a girl. Naturally, the standard answer always came, “I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy.” Well certainly, who would ever say they “want” a disabled child? I am certain that if I were to be able to have a child again, I would certainly not suddenly say I would want a child with a disability, but my perspective and view on people with disabilities have ultimately changed beyond my wildest assumptions now that I have Gabby. But being a mom to a child with disabilities not only altered my views of parenting but even more so my ideas as an educator, and the discovery of my hopes and dreams for my disabled daughter’s education.

I began my journey in teaching before I had children. I was fortunate to attend a university where the ideas of constructivism and collaborative ways of teaching and learning were espoused, but to be honest, these theories and ideas did not match the way I had grown up to know and understand teaching. When I began my first year of teaching in a middle school, I felt my theories and philosophies contradicted those of the school and other teachers, so I began to resort to...

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