Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beware the Baubles

Has anyone else heard of Micheline Mason? I just discovered her (the post below came from this article that she wrote) while doing some research. She lives in London and works toward creating inclusive education.

"Being a disabled child is very different from being a non- disabled child. The world you inhabit is shaped by prejudice, assumptions, false predictions, and fear. Your ability to withstand this is dependent on the people with whom you are connected – how much they can love you and protect you from the value judgements of others."

Beware the Baubles

They stole away our lives
Condemned us to a bean-bag existence
Alone together with our fellow prisoners
Left staring at mobiles, slowly moving round and round,
Just out of reach

Over-controlled teaching
In a hush of false protection
They pared down our experiences
To their diet of force-fed crumbs
Of learning

Not broken–down, but shattered
Stripped of all meaning and context
By their one-step-at-a-time Special Curriculum
Practising for the life
They would never let begin

Now they are trying to sell our lives back
Through their glittering, flashing, bubbling rooms
Mechanical, artificial, expensive,
Another capitalist con
Feeding off our starvation

Beware the baubles, the disco dream
The light of the sun will do, thanks,
The brush of the wind, the wet of the rain,
The sound of children’s laughter
In an ordinary, busy classroom
The touch of a friends hand
Welcoming us back
Into the world

Life is a multi-sensory experience
Full of lights, tastes, smells
Colours, sounds, textures abounding
Emotions, all our birthright
Denied to us by misunderstanding
And fear

Put away your cheque books
Bring us in close to the beating pulse
Of shared messy, risky, noisy days
Where we all have complex needs
We will learn then all that matters
And so will you.

© Micheline Mason 2004


Steve said...

I enjoyed her passion and desire to make things "right" but I don't agree with her on everything. In reality, some kids need a special program and need therapy early on. Finally, every parent needs to know their child. This means, playing with them and spending precious time with them and not letting others dictate their child's needs. I have mostly positive experiences with therapist and teachers. It is the administrators who are more difficult to deal with because they have a budget.

Tom said...

Steve: Still meaning to email you, just getting over the cold/flu thing. I definitely don't agree with everything she writes, but thought I'd throw her thoughts in the kettle and see what kind of soup comes out of it. We haven't met with the challenges of dealing with administrators yet; thanks for the forewarning.