I am teaching year 9. They have just done their SATs and are all a bit loopy but I over heared one of the boys calling someone a 'Sapz' (sorry!). I sent him out of the class room and told him just what I thought of him. I made sure that he realised that I don't accept any form of prejudice in my classroom, and that what he had said was deeply offensive and in the same catagory as racism/sexism etc
Now the question. I have planned some lessons looking at the use use of ICT in helping people with disabilities, I had planned on using visual and hearing problems, the kids could research it and report back. Should I set him the specific task of reasrching issues involved with CP to hammer home my message? Or should I set it for the whole class?
Don't single him out..suspect he was not fully aware of the deeply offensive connotations.
When I was in school (early/mid 80s) it wasn't deemed that offensive to say 'spaz' or 'mong' (although never by me) so just explain that times move on.
Talk even about Spastics Socielty changing their name to Scope and why.
He wouldn't have been doing anything different, just researching a different disability, but I will go with the whole class. Or possibly devide them into three groups, CP, visual, auditory and then they can all report back.
I didn't want to humiliate him. Knock him into next week for a few seconds but I resisted the temtation.
I think it would be nice to have a bit of variety as visual and auditory are two of the defaults most people think of when they think of disability, so something a bit different/unusual would be good. Would you also talk about learning disability related to whichever topics you choose? Maybe that's getting a bit ambitious. Either way, its a good opportunity to challenge their preconceptions if not prejudices.
Hmb, good for you for trying to tackle this. It's a topic v close to my heart.
Moondog I disagree with you, spaz has always been offensive, as was mong. The spastic society was forced to change it's name to Scope because it was being used in such a derogatory way. There is no excuse for people not knowing that these phrases are extremely offensive and always have been, kids or not. I tackle anyone i hear who says this word, and make sure it's never said in my presence again.
Tear a strip off him, and set it for the whole class, then i will bring in my ds, and they can tell me what they find so funny about cerebral palsy.
The project has to link advances in technology, particularly ICT to assistance given to people with disabilities to help them to be fully integrated into society, the point being that with the correct facilities there need be few limitations on people. A nice positive project.
The guidance we have sugests visual/auditory, but after today I thought that they need to do CP, and the SCOPE site has masses of stuff that they can research.
I know why Scope changed its name lou33,hence my suggestion the example was used.
I have always found these terms offensives,however I am saying that some people thought differently years ago. Still offensive but people were not so enlightened.
Here in Turkey,people talk about people with learning disabilites as 'cretins' and 'morons' () as they used to in Britain.
Living in Russia, (seemingly)charming and educated people told the most offensive racist jokes imaginable and used the Russian equivalent of 'nigger'.
The ideal would indeed be to bring someone with CP into the classroom. Saw an intersting documentary about stuttering last week (think it had been on BBC about a year ago?) called 'Lost for Words'. The salt was invited in by the teacher as one boy was being badly bullied and it was discussed frankly in the classroom with the boy present. Seemed to work very well. He certainly stated that he was a lot happier afterwards.