Acting Toward Social Change
Edited By David J. Connor, Jan W. Valle and Chris Hale
11. Using Disability Studies in Education to Recognize, Resist, and Reshape Policy and Practices in Aotearoa New Zealand
In this chapter, I begin by describing the wider policy context in which we are working to develop inclusive education in Aotearoa New Zealand—arguably one of the countries with the fewest students (approximately 0.4%) attending separate special education services. We are still some way from achieving the Ministry of Education’s aim of a “world-class inclusive education system” or all schools being inclusive schools by 2014 (Ministry of Education, 2010). Aotearoa New Zealand, like many countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has had a series of governments that draw on neoliberal ideologies to develop policy and practices in education and more widely. At the same time, there is a history of developments and practices that have presented opportunities to advance policies and practices that are more inclusive of all learners. My rationale for presenting this context is twofold. First, I think this shows that work towards inclusive settings and practices can continue even in a less-than-ideal environment. The second aspect is that readers from other countries may recognize similar opportunities in their own contexts, making possible new connections and ways of working. Disability studies in education (DSE) is a valuable framework for both recognizing and resisting exclusion as well as for developing policies and resources that make inclusive practices more likely and more sustainable. ← 197 | 198 →
Connor, Gabel, Gallagher, and Morton (2008) argue, “DSE itself may be seen as a counter-narrative to the prevailing and...
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