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Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education

Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference


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 Eleven: The Emotional Work of Inclusion: Living within Difference at L’Ecole Gulliver (Gail Boldt / Joseph Michael Valente)


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The Emotional Work of Inclusion

Living within Difference at L’Ecole Gulliver


An Introduction to A.P.A.T.E. and the Landscape of Special Education in France

Although laws and policies supporting inclusive education have been implemented and revised worldwide across the past four decades, the accomplishment of inclusion has been partial at best. A multitude of research studies have demonstrated many challenges to inclusion, from funding of inclusion programs and curriculum development, to preparation of teachers able to work successfully in inclusive classrooms, to meeting legal requirements for accommodations and meaningful participation of students and their families, to shifting attitudes from integration (mainstreaming) to inclusive classroom practices, and more (e.g., Armstrong, Armstrong, & Barton, 2016; Artiles, Kozleski, & Waitoller, 2011; Haug, 2016; Kanter, Damiani, & Ferri, 2014; Valente & Danforth, 2016; Watermeyer, McKenzie, & Swartz, 2018). In this chapter, we draw on our research at L’Ecole Gulliver, one of four preschools overseen by the community-based organization A.P.A.T.E. (Association Pour l’Accueil de Tous le Enfants [Association for the Reception of All Children]) in Paris, France, to call attention to a challenging facet of inclusion that is rarely commented upon: the emotional struggles, resistances, difficulties, and aggressions that arise when working across differences that are marked as “disability.” ← 192 | 193 →

A.P.A.T.E is nationally recognized by the French government and news media as a model program for its pioneering approach to...

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