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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