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Both Sides of the Table

Autoethnographies of Educators Learning and Teaching With/In [Dis]ability

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Edited By Philip Smith

Both Sides of the Table is a set of evocative, heartfelt, personal, and revealing stories, told by educators about how their experiences with disability, personally and in the lives of family members, has affected their understanding of disability. It uses disability studies and critical theory lenses to understand the autoethnographies of teachers and their personal relationships with disability. The book takes a beginning look at the meaning of autoethnography as a method of inquiry, as well as how it has been (and will be) applied to exploring disability and the role of education in creating and sustaining it. The title refers to the context in which educators find themselves in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings for students with disabilities in schools. There, educators often sit on the other side of the table from people with disabilities, their families, and their allies. In these chapters, the authors assume roles that place them, literally, on both sides of IEP tables. They inscribe new meanings – of relationships, of disability, of schools, of what it means to be an educator and a learner. It is a proposal (or perhaps a gentle manifesto) for what research, education, disability, and a utopian revolutionary politics of social transformation could and should look like.

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Acknowledgments ........................................................................................... ix Section 1: Introducing Autoethnography Introduction: What Dis Is, Why Itz Here/Phil Smith ................................. 3 Chapter 1: Why Autoethnography?/Phil Smith ....................................... 15 Section 2: Living With Disability—Stories by Labeled People Chapter 2: Who knew school could be so cruel?: Tales of a Learning Disabled Student at an Institution of Higher Learning/dené granger37 Chapter 3: The Bad Apple/Michael Peacock ......................................... 53 Chapter 4: Autistethnography/Elizabeth Grace ..................................... 89 Chapter 5: This Closet/Phil Smith ......................................................... 103 Section 3: Living Alongside Disability—Stories From Family Members Chapter 6: I Am Not of This World, and Yet I Am in It: A Daughter’s/ Disability-Studies-in-Education Alien’s Log Of a Journey Through Hell/Alicia Broderick ...................................................................... 121 Chapter 7: Listening: A Star Is Born!/Bernadette Macartney ............... 137 Chapter 8: Help Wanted/Casey Harhold ............................................... 155 Chapter 9: Picture This: Snapshots of My (A)typical Family/ David Connor .................................................................................. 167 Chapter 10: An Open Letter to Wyatt/Erin McCloskey ........................ 185 Chapter 11: That’s OK, They Are Beautiful Children/Kathleen Kotel ................................................................................................ 199 Chapter 12: A New Chance to Matter/Liz McCall ................................ 213 Chapter 13: Being an Albee/Lynn Albee ............................................... 231 Section 4: What’s It All Mean? Reading Lives, Creating Futures Chapter 14: What Do These Stories Tell Us About Education and Autoethnography?/Phil Smith ......................................................... 247 Chapter 15: Looking to the Future/Phil Smith ....................................... 263 About the Contributors ................................................................................. 279

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