Show Less
Restricted access

Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education

Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference


Edited By Peter Smagorinsky, Joseph Tobin and Kyunghwa Lee

Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference challenges assumptions that view people of difference to be "abnormal," that isolate attention to their difference solely in the individual, that treat areas of difference as matters of deficiency, and that separate youth of difference from the mainstream and treat them as pathologized. As outsiders to mainstream special education, the authors of this collection take a more social and cultural perspective that views the surrounding social environment as at least as problematic as any point of difference in any individual. Most of the scholars contributing to this volume work with preservice and inservice teachers and grapple with issues of curriculum and pedagogy. One of the primary audiences we hope to reach with this book is our colleagues and practitioners who have not made special education or disability studies the focus of their careers, but who, like we, are determined to engage with the full range of people who attend schools. Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference can be a valuable text for undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, as it addresses key issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and differentiated approaches to educating the full range of students.

Peter Smagorinsky is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education in The University of Georgia’s College of Education and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. At UGA he is the faculty advisor to the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, edited by doctoral students in his department. His experiences with Asperger’s syndrome, chronic anxiety, and obsessive-compulsiveness have led to explorations of how to develop supportive contexts for neurodiversity, conducted through the lens provided by Vygotsky’s work in defectology.

Joseph Tobin is The Elizabeth Gerrard Hall Professor of Early Childhood Education at The University of Georgia. Trained at the University of Chicago in anthropology and child development, his research centers on comparative studies of preschools in different cultures. Tobin’s books include Preschool in Three Cultures (1989) and Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited (2009) and (with Akiko Hayashi) Teaching Embodied: Japanese Preschool Teaching as Cultural Practice (2015). He recently led a research project on "Deaf Kindergarten’s in Three Countries: France, Japan, and the United States."

Kyunghwa Lee is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at The University of Georgia. A former kindergarten teacher from South Korea, Lee examines various sociocultural constraints, including taken-for-granted beliefs and practices that support and hinder teaching and learning in early schooling. Her recent research has focused on investigating early childhood teachers' beliefs about typical and atypical child development in general and their perspectives on and practices for young children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in particular.