This article examines the implementation of a provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that relates to student discipline.
This qualitative interview study explored how nine African American students in secondary-level special education placements perceived their school experiences and the benefits, challenges, and detriments associated with their placements and accompanying disability labels. Two themes emerged from data analysis: (1) “students’ journeys from general education to special education had three predictable milestones” and (2) “special education was a dead end.”
This qualitative case study examines the use of All Learners Learning Every Day instructional routines related to small group discussions and self-regulated learning with English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities in a high-stakes testing environment.
Using data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, this study examines whether teachers disproportionally perceive minority students as having a disability even after accounting for student background, teacher traits, and school characteristics.
This article presents a longitudinal study of an urban charter middle school to examine the impact testing pressures can have on the education of students with disabilities and English language learners, and how this may lead to a narrowing of the content they are taught.
This article provides a general overview of educational policy and practice as it relates to special education student populations.
This article critically examines the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind. Authors demonstrate how and why these policies have failed to adequately ensure that students of color with disabilities receive the educational opportunities the policies were intended to provide.
The purpose of this article is to discuss student learning objectives as components of high-stakes teacher evaluation systems, within the context of learners with special needs.
This paper critically examines a resultant phenomenon of the Standards-Based Reform movement: the emergence of self-contained Prioritized Curriculum classes, designed to provide students with disabilities access to standards-based general education curriculum in segregated classes.
Connecticut experienced two major changes in testing policy for children with disabilities that played a major role in conclusions about educational progress in the state. The responses to these changes in testing policy make Connecticut an illuminating case regarding the problem of high-stakes testing and changes in policies for students with disabilities in a state characterized by deep racial and economic inequity.
This article reports on a project to better understand how educators grapple with externally imposed pressures as they work to change the organizational structure of their schools to implement greater inclusion of their students served by special education.
This article draws from the lessons learned from the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal that occurred from 2009–2011, with particular attention paid to the unintended consequences of high-stakes accountability practices, especially for students with disabilities.
To disrupt the stubborn linkage between place and disability, this paper takes up spatial theory to stimulate new understandings of inclusion. Drawing on teacher interview data from ethnographically-oriented studies conducted between 2005 and 2014 in U.S. public schools, it proposes an alternate conceptualization of student learning difference to enable new relations between teacher identity and place, making inclusion a spatially fluid project.
This article examines special education in one Canadian urban public school system, the Toronto system, from 1945 to the present. Prepared with a wide audience of historians and education researchers, policymakers, administrators, teachers, and others in mind, the article explains the many different change factors – as well as the significant continuity – that have been present in the historical development of special education policies.
This paper reviews data from multiple sites to disclose teachers’ practices at the confluence of multiple discourses that collectively construct inclusion in uncertain terms. It suggests that teacher agency for inclusion is situated within the contradictions of everyday schooling practice and offers a framing of inclusion that is grounded in such conditions.
In this qualitative case study, we examined the writing opportunities provided to students in four eighth-grade English classrooms at a full inclusion middle school.
This article provides an analysis of movies at the intersection of race, gender, and dis/ability with particular attention to how Black, dis/abled males are represented through master narratives about Black males that interpenetrate with dis/ability tropes. At the focus of this analysis are movies such as Unbreakable, Source Code, Avatar, and Hancock. The framework of critical race studies in education (CRSE), critical race theory in particular (CRT), with critical dis/ability studies (CDS) helps to flesh out how commonly recycled tropes are used to construct intersectional narrative threats about black males around the themes of dysfunction, marginalization, and miscegenation. These narratives are discussed through the added metaphors of space and race, and presence in absence. Implications for the education of Black males and special education are discussed and recommendations for educators and educational researchers are provided.
Introduction to the Special Issue
A commentary on the Special Issue.
This article introduces the special issue, Disability Studies in Education.
Baglieri, Bejoian, Broderick, Connor, and Valle assert that imagining schools as places where children can find belonging and community conjures values and ideas with which few would argue, wherein democracy is posed as the political ideal of our culture. Within the context of this broad cultural and political discourse on schooling, the authors argue that the [re]claiming of inclusive education provides a heuristic concept and political agenda around which many strands of critical educational reform can cohere. At the center of this critique is the myth of the normal child—an idea of interest to scholars in the fields of disability studies in education, and disability studies more broadly, and an idea the authors seek to explore with critical scholars engaged in allied work seeking to contest, resist, and mitigate educational inequities. The authors contend that the commonality among a wide variety of ideologies of difference is rife with underexplored promise for allied work in inclusive education reform.
Erevelles draws simultaneously on the theoretical tools of both disability studies and queer theory, exploring ways in which both heterosexist and ableist ideologies operate (often overlapping and intersecting) as discourses of exclusion in schools. She argues that the regressive rhetoric of inclusion currently in vogue does little to critique how “Other” students, not just students with recognizable disabilities, are excluded by the normative discourses of schooling. Furthermore, Erevelles argues that for inclusive education to reclaim its transformative imperative, it would have to reimagine its original intent of (re)claiming disability by producing a refreshing new script that explores the radical possibilities of “coming out crip.”
Zion and Blanchett assert that the inclusive education movement in America has never had the potential to be truly inclusive, given the movement’s lack of attention to the intersection of ability/disability with issues of race, class, and privilege. Examining the overrepresentation of students of color in special education (segregated placements, in particular) within the historical context of public schooling in America, the authors contend that social justice, critical race theory, and interest convergence are powerful tools with which to [re]conceptualize a truly inclusive education movement in America.
Leonardo and Broderick elect, as a scholar of whiteness studies and a scholar of disability studies, respectively, to construct a piece that aims to critique “smartness” as an ideological system, with very real and differential materialist impact on students’ lives by operating as cultural “property” in schools. They engage in this critique simultaneously and collaboratively from the perspectives of critical race theory and from a disability studies in education perspective, critically exploring and asserting throughout the theoretical limitations and shortfalls inherent in exploring the issue from either perspective alone.
Ahram, Fergus, and Noguera explore how the social construct of the “normal child” is racialized through the special education processes of referral and classification, and subsequently produces disproportional representation of minority students in special education. Their analysis suggests a convergence of two distinctly problematic processes: (1) the development of racialized assumptions of cultural deficit on the part of education professionals that result in erroneous conceptualizations of disability and (2) the subsequent labeling of students in special education through a pseudoscientific placement process.
Ferri asserts that contemporary disability life writing can unravel the myth of normalcy that undergirds many of the exclusionary practices in education. Autobiography requires a particular set of critical reading practices to fully illuminate myriad ways these texts can serve as important and politically grounded counternarratives to the dominant discourse.
Having brought together scholars to consider inclusive education within both their own and others’ disciplines, research perspectives, and agendas, the authors reflect on what these contributions say—individually and collectively—about inclusive education. Furthermore, they critically consider what all of this says to and means for educational scholarship, schooling, and society at large. In this final piece to the special issue, the authors foreground ways that interdisciplinary conversations among critical scholars can serve as powerful arenas in which to forge alliance-building across disciplines.
This study used virtual reality technology to simulate a variety of reading disorders and examined their impact on the degree of teacher awareness on the cognitive experiences dyslexic pupils encounter while trying to read. It compared the effectiveness of VR to better enhance the awareness of the teachers with the effectiveness of watching a film, and found VR to be more effective.
This paper is an attempt to reconsider issues of sameness, difference, equality, and democracy in present public school systems. It focuses on the question of (dis)ability and the implications of rethinking (dis)ability as an ontological issue before its inscription as an educational one concerning the politics of inclusion.