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 Melissa Shortridge Week 6COLLAPSE

My own attitude has changed from lack of understanding to enlightenment over the years. In elementary school I never experienced students with disabilities in my classrooms, growing up. But as the years went on and legislation changed students with disabilities started trickling into general education classrooms. They were always ignored by other students and often times had an aide to assist them with assignments.  As an adult my heart has opened up to accept all types of people. In the Pennhurst documentary, it was reiterated, they are just people (Baldini, 1968). Which is my outlook on how to treat everyone. Every single person is a human being, treat them the way you wish to be treated. Everyone no matter their race, disability or socio-economic status deserves to be treated humanely. 

 As an educator I have worked with several different types of students. Students from low socio-economic areas, behavioral issues, vision impairments, hearing impairments, with autism, hyper activity and down syndrome, and with all of these students I have given them my best effort to show them that they are students first. Slavin and Schunk (2017) said it best, “Each student has many characteristics, and the disability is only one of them. To define the child in terms of the disability does him or her an injustice” (p. 235). It is our role as an educator to incorporate different learning styles to give each student, regardless of disabilities, the education that they deserve.

 Welcoming students with disabilities into my classroom will be an important aspect in my role as an educator. Allowing each student to feel love and acceptance by peers is important for any students success. Van Brummelen (2009) states, “ It is important to appreciate students with special needs for who they are. Always look beyond their disabilities and teach them as whole persons” (p. 208). Being an advocate for my students with learning disabilities will garner them respect and dignity that they need to be self sufficient.  In the Pennhurst documentary, the children did not have complete proper advocacy from the people that worked with them. They were simply shuffled along and not given the proper education and care that they needed to be self-sufficient (Baldini, 1968).  “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4, New International Version). It is our Godly duty to defend individuals who can not defend themselves. In His eyes we are all created equal and in that we all deserve equal treatment and opportunities.


Baldini, B. (1968). Suffer the Little Children: Pennhurst Pennsylvania State Home for Disabled Children [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/YG33HvIKOgQ  

Slavin, R.E., & Schunk D.H. (2017). Learning Theories: EDUC 500 (1st ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Van Brummelen, H. (2009). Walking with God in the classroom: Christian approaches to learning and teaching (3rd ed.) Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design.