ERIC Number: ED379855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Inclusion and the Deaf: Toward an Analysis of "Epistemic Violence."
The move toward inclusive education potentially threatens the very heart of the Deaf cultural community, and may be an example of "epistemic violence" where the dominant ideology of equality of access to educational resources actually serves to reproduce structured inequalities. Deaf education has been moving away from a view of deafness as a disability and deaf individuals as deficient, toward a view of the Deaf as a sociocultural minority group characterized by a distinctive language, cultural behaviors and artifacts, and a network of formal and informal organizations. In constructing the Deaf worldview, American Sign Language (ASL) serves as linguistic mediator and as an identifying facet of cultural identity. Adoption of the sociocultural model of deafness as the foundation for the education of deaf children would result in instruction taking place through ASL, a goal for all students of functional bilingualism in ASL and English, Deaf students studying together in a setting similar to residential schools, use of Deaf teachers, and control of education in the hands of the local Deaf community. Inclusion efforts entail the implicit rejection of the epistemological (as well as cultural and linguistic) world of the Deaf. The "most enabling environment" is proposed as the appropriate educational placement for Deaf students. (Contains 39 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: American Sign Language, Biculturalism, Cultural Background, Cultural Influences, Cultural Maintenance, Cultural Traits, Deafness, Educational Practices, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Epistemology, Inclusive Schools, Minority Groups, Sociocultural Patterns, Student Placement, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Studies Association (Chapel Hill, NC, November 10-13, 1994).