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ERIC Number: EJ773861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0022-8958
Responding to the Needs of the Adopted Child
Gajda, Rebecca
Kappa Delta Pi Record, v40 n4 p160-164 Sum 2004
In today's societal landscape, "adoption," the legal process by which a child becomes a full and permanent member of a new family, is becoming commonplace. Even though most people have had a personal experience with adoption in some capacity, those most closely associated with adoption (birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents) continue to be confronted by negative stereotypes and the hurtful words and actions of others in and out of the classroom. Despite their best intentions, educators are not immune to the societal stereotypes that shroud adoption, and new teachers in particular may not recognize or have the skills to be able to address the unique perspectives, experiences, and needs that adoptees bring to the classroom. Through the author's own experiences as a parent of two children through adoption, a former public school teacher, and a university professor of education, she has found that meeting the needs of school children that were adopted is complex. This article discusses four domains that she believes teachers should consider taking action in to address issues of adoption and family status effectively in their classrooms. First, teachers must educate themselves about the institution of adoption and its societal context. Second, teachers need to revisit their own stereotypes about the characteristics and tendencies they may attribute to children and adolescents who were adopted. Third, teachers must reexamine their use of language when talking to or about children who were adopted. Last, teachers must construct classroom environments that cultivate a sense of belonging and utilize intentional curricular activities that will not unwittingly undermine the validity and sanctity of adoption and the life experiences of adoptees.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A