Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms by Mara Sapon-Shevin

Widening the Circle is an ambitious, impassioned argument for inclusive schools powered by a vision that goes far beyond the mutilated version of ‘mainstreaming’ common in American schools today. To Sapon-Shevin the current state of affairs is a caricature of inclusive education, reductive and impoverished, a place where every student is defined by a putative deficit, imprisoned in a label. She shows us that huge questions of democracy and freedom can be discovered in a simple game of musical chairs, that our deepest values are enacted in our everyday classroom practice. Her goal–breathtaking in its sweep–is to break through the walls of the prison, and to set us all free. A dazzling manifesto and call to arms.

17 Responses to Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms by Mara Sapon-Shevin

  1. Jack Janski says:

    What the fuck are you talking about???????!!!!!!!!!!!!! More elitist gibberish from the unrepentant domestic terrorist – Billy Ayers.

  2. P. McCarthy says:

    Oh my! We have long heard how our educational systems have been screwed up and socially engineered to death by the NEA to produce an “idiot nation”.

    Finally, in reading Professor Ayers’ website, I am looking into the belly of the beast of educational sophistry that pollutes the NEA and public school administrators everywhere. You egg head cretens are the root of our public school failures. GET BACK TO READING, WRITING, ARITHMETIC AND PHONICS PLEASE!

    No wonder folks who call themselves “progressive” also carry the highest rates of depression.

  3. J A DeLater says:

    On your recommendation I sampled Mara Sapon-Shevin’s work on her website. Not much other than the usual pie-in-the-sky bromides from yet another multiculturalism/diversity/social justice nanny who flatters herself by torching straw caricatures of testing, grouping by ability levels, promoting individual development of pupils, etc. and by replacing them with fetishes of sharing communities, co-operative learning, anti-racism/anti-homophobia/social justice preaching, etc. All in all, her work seems one more business-as-usual formula for sustaining the current dystopian regimes plaguing public education. But then I suppose those regimes, with their subject child mascots, also sustain the men and women of Marx and Dewey in sway-dough academic colleges of education who’ve helped bring down American public education to third-world levels.

  4. Stormgaard says:

    Like you communists haven’t fucked up public education enough already!


  5. jojo says:

    Bill – I’d like to thank you for keeping up the good work. The more you regurgitate
    “comment”, the more you stab your liberal political pals!!

    You are truly a legend in your own mind.

    BTW – Bernie get any strange phone calls lately?

  6. Bob from Boston says:

    “Widening the Circle” is a great book full of innovative ideas.
    I wonder how many of the nit-wits posting here have actually taken the time to read it? That is presuming they know HOW to read.

  7. sherry o'brien says:

    Bill you are a good person. As is your wife. Have you committed any crimes recently?

  8. steve says:

    Here’s my idea of a game for children. You place 100 pennies on a table. You tell the children that they will play the “game of life”. The first group gets to go out to the playground and play. The second group gets to go to the playground and clean up for 30 minutes, and then they get to play. The last group gets to clean the class room the entire time – no play. Then all of the kids sit around the table. The pennies are divided evenly amoung the children. That is the democrat idea for American. The “least” feed off of the productive.

    The last part of the game is that you allow the children to vote of rules that would ensure the first group never has to work.

  9. Ash says:

    Mr. Ayers,

    If you read the statements posted on your blog that are only meant to cause you emotional harm, please note that for every one of them there are at least ten people who acknowledge and cherish your intentions. Blessed be.

  10. Tiberius says:

    Again it all comes down to what is BEST for the STUDENTS, and not what is best for the politician or radical. I am a strong believer in inclusion, but only to an extent. For example students with disabilities are alway welcome in my class. Special education students learn more in general education classroom than anywhere else. They learn social issues that are needed to successfully get through life.

    As for the huge terminology well that is to is not important to me. I could care less if a teacher knows difficult terminology, all that matters is if the teacher can successfully teach students. Also enough of this communist garbage ok. We are all intellectuals so name calling in not required. We life in a free country and we must respect each others opinions. That however, does not mean we have to agree with them.

    Teacher have it tough. I have had to modify my lessons more than once a day. I doesnt matter what you call it, as long as the students are learning and getting something out of the lesson then all is well. Remember you are there for the students not the other way around.

    Also the call to arms is a little off the wall. I remember a similar thing that happened back in 1917 in Russia. I also recall reading that a lot of innocent people were killed for another manifesto. If something doesnt go your way or is not fully working you just dont grab your G-98 and storm the government offices. You simply express your opinion and you get actual data to support your ideas.

    Just my thoughts.

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