Letters to the Editor…

Question of variable abilities

To the Editor:

We read in The Swarthmorean (May 13) that “Special Education” programs deal with “disability,” a “stepwise education” and the “transition to work.”

But would it not be more accurate as well as less shaming to say “variable ability” rather than “disability”; for surely many students’ abilities do not coincide with predetermined standards. And don’t the steps in a stepwise educational program vary enormously depending on the “various” abilities and possible programs? And is work training the primary goal? Doesn’t this depend on the highly variable abilities of the students?

Isn’t the education of an informed responsible citizen in a representative democracy the primary goal of a public education?

John Brodsky
Swarthmore

5-20 gillespie pic

Swarthmore-Rutledge School students visit The Gathering Place.

Young artists teach seniors at TGP

To the Editor:

Last Wednesday, May 11, I was invited to visit The Gathering Place, which is a community organization run by the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association. This year, I brought my 4th grade seminar students for a fun-filled intergenerational exchange.

Our art teacher Bridget Hochstoeger and I collaborated on a math/art lesson that we shared with the seniors. The students recently studied symmetry and more specifically, radial symmetry. They learned about geometry, number of orders, degrees, angles, circumference, etc. We discussed patterns in art, color and balance. We also practiced measurement utilizing our ruler and protractor skills.

Members of the 4th grade classroom are: Emil Hartung, Joseph Lynch, Andrew Deppen, Arnie Berger, Eden Stolar, Caeli Rieger, Audrey Stevens, Evan Yavor, Anna Benner, Dexter Braun, Samantha Edwards, Jillian Surkis, and Amanda Anckaitis.

The students became the teachers and instructed a group of seniors on how to create beautiful radial designs. Following their lesson, they all enjoyed a snack together. It was a wonderful way for our children to learn the value of giving back to their community.

Linda Gillespie
Gifted Education Teacher
Swarthmore-Rutledge School

5-20 Gathering 4th gradersPhoto by Gudrun Weinberg

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