“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. Her goal—breathtaking in its sweep—is to break through the walls of the prison, and to set us all free. 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. A dazzling manifesto and call to arms.”—William Ayers, author of Teaching toward Freedom and To Teach
“Widening the Circle is packed with sharply observed challenges to conventional ways of thinking. It digs beneath classroom strategies to find larger truths about difference, exposing the moral implications of segregation in the process. One by one, Sapon-Shevin skewers the philosophical and practical objections to inclusion. Her book should be read by all educators, not just those in the field of special education.”—Alfie Kohn, author of The Schools Our Children Deserve and What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated?
“I love the spirit that infuses the book and the constant reference to the connection between school values and larger democratic values, as well as its attention to the nitty-gritty of classroom life. A book both practical and thoughtful.”—Deborah Meier, author of The Power of Their Ideas
“With a profound vision and a gift for storytelling, Sapon-Shevin leads educators to think of social justice in terms of classrooms that are truly inclusive, and in the process, challenges and broadens the very ways that we think about inclusion: of whom, in what ways, for what purposes. Essential reading for all educators.”—Kevin K. Kumashiro, Director, Center for Anti-Oppressive Education