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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 17: “I don’t have a special world for her to live in. She has to adapt to this one.” On Becoming a Renaissance Middle Schooler


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“I don’t have a special world for her to live in. She has to adapt to this one.” On Becoming a Renaissance Middle Schooler


Introducing Kim: A Renaissance Middle Schooler

Kimberly Harrison1 is a middle-class, African American eighth grader living in a small, affluent, suburban community in the northeastern United States. Like many other middle-class middle schoolers in the United States, she leads a full, busy, interesting, and highly scheduled life. In addition to her demanding academic curriculum, she routinely engages in many extracurricular activities as well, both school- and community-based. She identifies not only as a student who works hard and does well academically but also as a musician (she sings and plays the cello), an actor and dancer (she is an actress in school and community theater, and is both a jazz and tap dancer), and as an athlete (she plays the team sports of soccer, field hockey, and basketball, and she is also an accomplished gymnast and horseback rider who competes and wins awards at very high levels in the equestrian sport of dressage). She is also an avid, experienced, and seasoned traveler, both domestically and internationally, where she occasionally has opportunity to use the French she is acquiring (through her middle school classes and a private tutor) as a second language (her first language is English). She is actively involved in the production of her middle school yearbook,...

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