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Narratives of Inclusive Teaching

Stories of <i>Becoming</i> in the Field


Srikala Naraian and Sarah L. Schlessinger

Teachers are increasingly challenged by dilemmas of practice as they negotiate their commitments to equity for students from historically marginalized communities, including students with disabilities, against the demands of their school settings. This book seeks to understand the ways in which teachers’ engagements with their schooling contexts evoke varied forms of inclusive practice. It narrates the experiences of seven novice teachers who entered the field deeply committed to inclusive practice. It documents their conflicts, joys and struggles within the collectivities in which they were embedded. In doing thus, the book discloses the many unpredictable trajectories of practice that encompass the complex work of teaching for inclusion.

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Chapter Six Searching for an Activist-Educator Self: Towards a DisCrit Classroom Ecology with Adam Kuranishi


Chapter 6

Searching for an Activist- Educator Self: Towards a DisCrit Classroom Ecology

With Adam Kuranishi

“I think public education is a progressive movement, but I think given the complexities of society, ableism and racism or sexism or homophobia … [they]force us to constantly revisit what kind of progress we think we’re making.”

Adam was undeniably an activist. Yes, he was studying to be an inclusive educator, but he was pursuing this path as an activist; an activist committed to making societal change for people and communities that had been marginalized and oppressed. Informed by critical, anti-racist, anti-oppressive theoretical frames, Adam, a young male teacher of color, drew deeply on his own experiences to critique the ways that race and socioeconomics worked to inequitably structure society. He saw schools as a path to effect change in such inequity. Adam enrolled in his master’s program in secondary inclusive education with a belief that, through classroom teaching and learning, teachers could provide marginalized youth with access to tools of power; tools that they could use to change the world around them. He had been given these tools through his education by his mentors and he wanted to continue to build that movement.

Adam was never shy to share his thoughts or conflicting perspectives with his classmates. He saw his role in this group, and perhaps in the world, to push the thinking of others, and he took that role seriously. In class,...

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