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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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Chapter Seven: Refusing to Become a Drifter: A Preschooler’s Resistance to the Transition to a Special Education Classroom (Kyunghwa Lee / Jaehee Kwon / Jooeun Oh)

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Refusing to Become a Drifter

A Preschooler’s Resistance to the Transition to a Special Education Classroom

KYUNGHWA LEE, JAEHEE KWON, AND JOOEUN OH



Vignette 1

It’s around at 8:40 AM. Children at Young Kids’ Academy,1 a public pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) program in the Southern United States, are having breakfast in their school cafeteria. A special education (SPED) class taught by Claire is the first group to line up at a corner of the cafeteria to go back to their classroom. While the rest of her students are still having breakfast, Heather, the lead teacher of a pre-K class, helps Shantie, a boy from her class, line up with the SPED class. Waiting for the line to move, Shantie leans on Heather and holds her hand tight. The line begins to leave the cafeteria, and Heather walks down the hallway with Shantie.

As they approach the entrance of the SPED class next door to their pre-K class, Shantie says in a complaining tone, “I don’t wanna go in there.” He now tries to shake off Heather’s hand. Still holding Shantie’s hand, Heather tells him, “Hold my hand.” She tries to look into Shantie’s eyes, asking, “Do you want to hold my hand? Or do you want to walk by yourself?” She holds Shantie’s hand tight, and Shantie whines, “I don’t wanna go in there.” Heather responds, “Well, tomorrow we’re gonna go...

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