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Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education

Critical Questions, New Imaginaries and Social Activism: A Reader


Edited By Marianne N. Bloch, Beth Blue Swadener and Gaile S. Cannella

Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Care and Education is a foundational text, which presents contemporary theories and debates about early education and child care in many nations. The authors selected are leading contributors in discussions about critical early childhood studies over the past twenty years; the editors are long-time scholars in the reconceptualizing early childhood movement. Audiences include students in graduate courses focused on early childhood and primary education, critical cultural studies of childhood, critical curriculum studies and critical theories that have been contested and debated and drawn from over the course of two decades.
The book is filled with recent scholarship by leading authors in the reconceptualization and rethinking of childhood studies and early childhood fields, who discuss foundational debates, new imaginaries in theory and practice and activist scholarship. A must-read for graduate students and professionals interested in beginning or continuing critical interrogations of current early childhood policy and reforms globally.
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Chapter Seventeen: Bring Back the Asylum: Reimagining Inclusion in the Presence of Others



Bring Back the Asylum: Reimagining Inclusion in the Presence of Others

Gail Boldt and Joseph Michael Valente

How to educate children with disabilities has been debated against the backdrop of larger cultural understandings of inclusion and exclusion. Garland-Thomson (2001) argues that disability can be understood as the marker of differences from bodily or behavioral cultural norms and expectations. Although differences in the traits, experiences, and desires of people who may share a particular marker can be vast, this diverse set of people is typically identified as a group based on the perceived “abnormality.” Disability is not the impairment or difference that is marked however, but is rather located in oppressive and exclusionary beliefs and practices of cultures (Reid & Knight, 2006; Stiker, 1999). Historically, abledness in gendered, raced, classed, modified, and otherwise marked bodies has produced powerful justifications for inequalities (Baynton, 2001; Campbell, 2009; Garland-Thomson, 1996, 2001; McRuer & Bérubé, 2006; Snyder & Mitchell, 2006; Stiker, 1999, 2007). The traits of an inclusive society can be evidenced by how “people ‘live everyday life as an everyday thing, with and in the presence of special, specific human beings who are our disabled equals’” (Masschelein & Verstraete, 2012 citing Stiker 1997, p. 11, emphasis added).

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