Reflection Paper Leonard Bohanon University of Phoenix SPE/514: Survey of Special Populations October 27, 2011 Michele Stevens Reflection Paper For this assignment I was tasked with writing a reflection paper based off of an interview conducted with a family member, friend, or acquaintance who is considered a diverse learner. The body of this work will describe my interviewee’s exceptionality, experience in education, and interaction with peers.
Lastly I will take into consideration how the interviewee’s experience might have been different based on appropriate accommodations. The person I chose to interview is my son, Markese Latrell Bohanon. Markese is in his senior year at Zion Christian Academy and honing in on which institution he will attend as he prepares for the next leg of his educational journey. Markese is gifted and talented according to the views held by former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney Marland and the laws subsequently passed by Congress which incorporated his concepts.
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According to PL 95-561 and its similarly worded mate, PL 100-297: “Gifted and talented means children, and whenever possible, youth who are identified at the preschool, elementary, or secondary level as possessing demonstrated or potential abilities that give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, specific academic or leadership ability, or in the performing or visual arts, and who by reason thereof require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school” (Werts, Culatta, & Tompkins, 2007).
Markese has consistently performed well on standardized tests, continues to seek out opportunities to demonstrate his leadership ability, and recently scored over 1200 on the SAT examination. Markese attended Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS) here on Okinawa from first through third grade and received a solid educational foundation. He reluctantly transferred to Zion Christian Academy at the beginning of his fourth grade year where he continues to attend through this date.
Markese attributes his academic success to the encouragement he receives at home, the dedicated professionals that have instructed him, and the challenging curriculum he has been exposed to since transferring to Zion. Zion employs the A Beka curriculum in their classroom instruction which has proven to be an industry standard within the Christian school and home school communities. According to Markese, he really like the small class sizes which are generally capped at 12 students.
This has allowed him to really get to know his fellow students many of whom he has had the pleasure of growing up with over the past seven years. Markese stated that he really likes the diversity as the student population is made up of American, Japanese, and Amerisian students. They have grown close through their athlete pursuits which have been regulated to track and basketball. Many of them, from a cross-section of the spectrum previously discussed, get together frequently for fun and relaxation.
Markese told me that one of the benefits that he didn’t count on was how peaceful and drama-free their environment is because of their shared values and the way those values are upheld by the school’s administration. At the start of his freshman year Markese lobbied my wife and I to put him back into the DoDDS system, largely because he felt he was missing out on scholarship opportunities by not being able to play basketball in a larger forum.
He continues to thank us to this day for sticking to our guns. When he hears stories about gangs, drugs, sex, and other things his peers are experiencing at some of the other schools on the island, he is grateful and appreciative for his learning environment. Reference Werts, M. G. , Culatta, R. A. , & Tompkins, J. R. (2007). Fundamentals of Special Education, What Every Teacher Needs to Know (3rd ed. ). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.