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[Re]claiming “Inclusive Education” Toward Cohesion in Educational Reform: Disability Studies Unravels the Myth of the Normal Child

by Susan Baglieri, Lynne M. Bejoian, Alicia A. Broderick, David J. Connor & Jan Valle - 2011

Background/Context: This article calls attention to the restrictive notions of inclusive education promulgated within the discourse of special education in the United States and asserts the value of using disability studies in education to support broader conceptualizations of inclusion that potentially incorporate all students.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: By dismantling the myth of the typical/average child, the authors reveal ways in which educational practices actively contribute to creation of “normalcy” and discuss the harmful effects that this can have on all citizens. They illustrate selected practices that help constitute the normative center of schools by using the organizing principle of disability as a heuristic device to enable multiple simultaneous critical standpoints.

Research Design: Analytic essay.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The authors call for the dissolution of the normative center of schools through an interdisciplinary alliance between disability studies and other criticalist fields that share the aim of claiming value in human diversity over standardization.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 113 Number 10, 2011, p. 2122-2154
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16428, Date Accessed: 9/18/2021 10:41:19 AM

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About the Author
  • Susan Baglieri
    Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus
    E-mail Author
    SUSAN BAGLIERI is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus in New York City. Her research interests are teacher education, inclusive education, and disability studies.
  • Lynne Bejoian
    City University of New York
    LYNNE M. BEJOIAN is a committed educator to the full inclusion of and access for all persons with disabilities in all aspects of human endeavors. She is an experienced disability advocate and services professional. Currently, she teaches disability studies in education within the City University of New York. Research areas of interest include women and disability, media representations and disability, inclusive teaching and collaboration, and spirituality and disability.
  • Alicia Broderick
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    ALICIA A. BRODERICK is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her work is grounded in commitments to pursue inclusive schooling from a collaborative stance informed by disability studies in education (DSE) and other criticalist perspectives. Her research and teaching interests include critical explorations of cultural representations of dis/ability (particularly autism), and the role of DSE in pursuing socially just and inclusive schooling.
  • David Connor
    Hunter College
    E-mail Author
    DAVID J. CONNOR is an associate professor in the School of Education at Hunter College, City University of New York. He also teaches a course in disability studies in education for CUNY’s School of Professional Studies and is a faculty member at large of CUNY’s Graduate Center doctoral program in urban education. His research interests include disability, learning disabilities, inclusive education, and general issues of social justice.
  • Jan Valle
    City College of New York
    JAN VALLE is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at the City College of New York. Her research interests include parents and families of children with disabilities, parent and professional collaboration in schools, disability studies in education, and disability and the arts.
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