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Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education

Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference

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Edited By Peter Smagorinsky, Joseph Tobin and Kyunghwa Lee

Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference challenges assumptions that view people of difference to be "abnormal," that isolate attention to their difference solely in the individual, that treat areas of difference as matters of deficiency, and that separate youth of difference from the mainstream and treat them as pathologized. As outsiders to mainstream special education, the authors of this collection take a more social and cultural perspective that views the surrounding social environment as at least as problematic as any point of difference in any individual. Most of the scholars contributing to this volume work with preservice and inservice teachers and grapple with issues of curriculum and pedagogy. One of the primary audiences we hope to reach with this book is our colleagues and practitioners who have not made special education or disability studies the focus of their careers, but who, like we, are determined to engage with the full range of people who attend schools. Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference can be a valuable text for undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, as it addresses key issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and differentiated approaches to educating the full range of students.

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Contributor Biographies

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Gina Marie Applebee earned her BS in Geology from the College of Charleston, and MS in Marine Geophysics at the University of Missouri. After losing her retinal vision, Gina worked on implementing Inclusive Design for Learning at Missouri, where she helped raise access awareness and earned an Educational Specialist degree in Science Education. Gina developed non-optic sight, or pan-sensory synesthesia (PSS), that provides her with visualization based on other senses. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology through the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Christopher Bass is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has more than a decade’s experience teaching English Language Arts and executive functioning skills in both Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago suburbs. His research interests include Disability Studies, Literacy Studies, and English Education.

Usree Bhattacharya is Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia. Her research is inspired by questions of diversity, equity, and access in multilingual educational contexts, especially as they pertain to the circulation of English as a “global” language. Her work illuminates the role of discourses, ideologies, and everyday practices in the production and reproduction of hierarchical relations within educational systems. She has recently published in the Journal of the Sociology of Language and Language Policy. ← 211 | 212 →

Gail Boldt is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State University. She is...

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