Citizenship in the literate community: An ethnography of children with down syndrome and the written word
In school, children with Down syndrome have historically been separated from literacy opportunities and expectations. In this ethnography, the school literacy experiences of 10 students with Down syndrome were examined over a 2-year period. Two broad definitions of literacy were uncovered. The first regarded reading as conformity to a hierarchy of psychologically-deduced sub-skills. Children with Down syndrome had difficulty conforming and were separated from Citizenship in the classrooms' literate communities. The second definition regarded literacy as the construction of shared meaning in specific contexts. In these classrooms, students with Down syndrome were valued as symbolic beings and engaged literacy as a communication tool. The implications for reconceptualizing Down syndrome are discussed. © 1998 The Council for Exceptional Children.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Kliewer, Christopher, "Citizenship in the literate community: An ethnography of children with down syndrome and the written word" (1998). Faculty Publications. 3951.