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Both Sides of the Table

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


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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Both sides of the table: autoethnographies of educators learning and teaching with/in [dis]ability / edited by Phil Smith. pages cm. — (Disability studies in education; vol. 12) Includes bibliographical references. 1. People with disabilities—Education—United States—Research. 2. Disability studies—United States. 3. Education—United States— Biographical methods. 4. Ethnology—United States—Biographical methods. I. Smith, Phil, editor of compilation. LC4031.B68 371.9—dc23 2013013005 ISBN 978-1-4331-1452-6 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-1451-9 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1152-5 (e-book) ISSN 1548-7210

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

Cover art by Ruth Salles Cover design by Phil Smith

© 2013 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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