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Worldview of One Black Family in a Middle School Inclusion Program: An Ethnographic Study


by Jianzhong Xu — 2006

A growing number of schools have implemented inclusion programs for students with disabilities. Yet, there is hardly any acknowledgment of the presence of minorities in the inclusion implementation literature. This article uses ethnographic data to examine the experiences of one Black family in an urban middle school inclusion program. The study revealed that the school and the family held quite different worldviews regarding (a) academics versus social growth, (b) physical safety versus psychological safety, and (c) roles of the family, the child, and the school. In addition, the study revealed that the family's reactions were influenced by the inclusion program directly and by the school's desire to create an overall inclusive environment and that these parental reactions were further shaped by cultural lens and the power differential that existed between the family and the school. This article points to the critical importance of expanding the circle of current discourse on the realization of inclusion to include culturally diverse families, particularly because the data suggest that the longstanding power differential between the school and these families may intensify in inclusive settings.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 7, 2006, p. 1496-1530
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12564, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 9:56:44 AM

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About the Author
  • Jianzhong Xu
    Mississippi State University
    E-mail Author
    JIANZHONG XU is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Mississippi State University. His research interests focus on teaching and learning in the school and home setting, in home–school relationships, and in partnerships with culturally diverse families. Recent publications include “Family Help and Homework Management in Urban and Rural Secondary Schools” in Teachers College Record and “Homework as the Job of Childhood” in Theory Into Practice (with Lyn Corno).
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