Making Scholarship Matter
Edited By Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes
Chapter One: Crisscrossing From Classrooms to Cartoons: Social Science Satire
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Crisscrossing from Classrooms to Cartoons
Social Science Satire
MICHAEL F. GIANGRECO
Within my chosen field—special education—I am known to a substantial set of individuals (many of whom become flustered at the mere prospect of attempting to correctly spell or pronounce my last name) simply as the cartoon guy. I have accepted and even come to embrace this somewhat anonymous moniker, recognizing that my influence on public discourse is now inextricably linked to my work creating a collection of satirical cartoons that lampoon the absurdities and realities of special education (Giangreco, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007). Despite a traditional academic scholarship record that includes a line of empirical research about inclusive education for students with disabilities and nearly 200 publications (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters) dating back to 1982, it has been the translation of research findings and related issues about special education into cartoons that has struck a chord in the field among professionals from a variety of education and allied health disciplines, families who have children with disabilities, and policymakers.
Cartoons can serve as an effective, albeit unconventional, vehicle to extend the reach of conventionally published research findings to a broader audience in ways people seem to enjoy and remember. In this chapter I describe (a) the early experiences that positioned me to satirize my own field, (b) the reasons I extended my work from...
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