Including Samuel Discussion Questions - WQED
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Including Samuel Discussion Questions - WQED

BEFORE YOU WATCHDISCUSSION QUESTIONSBefore you show Including Samuel to your students or colleagues, think aboutthese questions, discuss with one other person, or discuss in a group.!"What do you predict this film willbe about?!"What does the term “disability” meanto you?!"Do you or a family member have adisability? How has it affectedyour life?!"Do you know what the term“inclusive education” means?!"Do you think that children withsignificant disabilities should go to regularschools and be full-time members ofregular education classrooms?!"What is your experience regarding theplace that people with disabilities have atyour work, your school, in your town orcity, in your place of worship?!"How are people with disabilitiestypically portrayed in the media – onTV, in movies, in the newspaper? Giveexamples of this.!"Do you think people with disabilitiesare a burden to society?!"What do people with disabilitiescontribute to society?Axis Dance Company features dancers with and without disabilities.!"Do you think society has anobligation to provide people withdisabilities different or more protectionand services than it does for peoplewithout disabilities?4

INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONall children will be educated full-time in age-appropriate general education classroomsin their neighborhood schools with support provided to enable students, teachers andthe entire school community to succeed.In schools throughout the country,inclusive education is becominga reality. Students, families,teachers, administrators, policymakers and community members arerecognizing the benefits to all whenevery student is valued as a learnerand is welcomed as a member ofgeneral education classrooms andschool communities.This movement formally beganin the United States in 1975 whenthe Education for All HandicappedChildren’s Act guaranteed universalaccess to free, appropriate public educationfor students with disabilities.In 1997, this act was reauthorizedas the Individuals with DisabilitiesEducation Act (IDEA). IDEA requiresthat to the maximum extent possiblestudents with disabilities are educatedin general education classrooms andare making progress within the generaleducation curriculum based onlearning objectives that are the samefor all students.For 30 years, researchers havebeen studying the impact of inclusiveeducation on student performance,professional achievement, and socialsuccess. Students with disabilities,educated in general education classrooms,are more likely than theirpeers who are educated in separateclassrooms to:!"acquire reading and math skills!"graduate from high school!"go on to post-secondaryeducation!"have better communication skills!"obtain meaningful employment,!"have friends and meaningfulsocial relationships!"be welcomed and contributingmembers of their communities.5

GENERAL DISCUSSIONQUESTIONS! How did the filmmake you feel?! What was the filmmakertrying to communicate?! Which person’s storymade the greatest impact onyou? Why?! How does the portrayalof the people with disabilitiesin this film coincide withthe way you thought aboutdisability before watchingthe film? Did watchingthe film change yourimpressions?! Norman Kunc says thatpeople with disabilities are“a normal part of humandiversity.” That is verydifferent from viewingpeople with disabilities asdeviant or broken – needingto be cured or fixed. Whatdo you think about Kunc’sviewpoint that “disabilityis natural?”! What similarities did yousee in the people in the filmand those in your own life?! Do you think inclusion isworking well in your school,community or workplace?If not, what could make itwork better?! Do you see disabilityas a part of diversity, likeethnicity, gender or sexualorientation?! Is inclusion a “right” ora “privilege”?! Do you think that allteachers and schools shouldbe required to includechildren with disabilities?! Some inclusion expertssay that many schools fallshort in their efforts to fullyinclude kids with disabilitiesin typical classes. Why mightthis be?! Do you see specificqualities within BarbaraO’Brien’s classroom(Samuel’s class) or HaggertySchool (Nathaniel’s school)that allow inclusionto succeed? What arethe general qualities orphilosophies within aschool that can helpinclusion succeed?!"Did you seetechnological devices inthe film that you foundinteresting or surprising?! Now that you havewatched the film, do youthink you’ll do anythingdifferently in your home,work, or community life as aresult? What and why?18

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