Serres, D. Think Everything’s “Normal?” Then It’s Time To Reconsider And Promote A New Narrative Of Disability.
I feel that before I start my annotated bibliography, I should share that my brother has autism. This made these parts of these articles difficult to read.
I wasn’t aware but was unsurprised upon reading statistics that those who are of African descent are much more likely to be classified as intellectually disabled, and less unlikely to be considered “gifted”. I also didn’t know misdiagnoses which are related to race and economic income can account for part of the rise in diagnoses.
I thought that the section on how disability is an identity was very meaningful, and never an idea I’ve seen expressed in written words, possibly because I don’t read literature like this in my free time. I think treating a disabled person as if they are “normal” is problematic in the same way the “colourblind” approach to race is. Ignoring factors important to a person’s identity isn’t respectful, and neither is treating their differences as burdens. I found myself in agreement with the sentiment of “treating society, not the individual”, and but I also understand that this isn’t easy. I thought the section which discussed media representation of disability to be very important, I never realized the tropes of villains and heroes and their use of disability.
I couldn’t agree more with the concept of giving schools enough funds to be able to teach multiple abilities instead of the labelling and requiring “special education”. This is something my mother fought for when my brother was in elementary school, and after other parents protested because they thought their children would be deprived when taught alongside a person who was disabled, he would go into a special education program. This was a tough read.
Hourigan, R. M. (2009). The invisible student: Understanding social identity construction within performing ensembles. Music Educators Journal, 34-38.
I thought it was very interesting that the author chose to introduce us to “Jason”. I feel like the author shouldn’t have had to make us empathize with a real student for us to take the subject matter to heart, but perhaps I’m overthinking it and the author simply wanted to make concepts of the “invisible student” more tangible. I think that the author simply wanted to share their experience or inspiration which helped colour this article, but I hope that it wasn’t because they felt like they had to justify the importance of their words.
I found the section on creating a social identity and induction to be very interesting, I ignorantly had no idea that cliques were of concern to teachers, but it seems common sense when I reflect on it. I think the banishing of “kids will be kids” attitudes towards social dynamics in a classroom is so important, and getting to know individual kids and taking appropriate action if you should be concerned for a student. It was upsetting to read that Jason would be bullied by peers, and the toll his mental well-being would take from his lack of success at creating positive social connections. (It was lovely to read at the end though that band gave him joy.)
“Music Brings Joy” is a really important part of this article to me. My brother had a positive experience in high school being involved in percussion ensembles, and I think other kids should have this kind of opportunity. I think that the focus on noticing the “invisible student” and working to help create an environment in which they are cared for in a way that will nurture them best is a beautiful concept. I really enjoyed this article.