NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED520459
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 385
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5486-9
Possibilities for Engagement: Exploring the Participation of Students Labeled as Learning Disabled in Classroom Discourses
Wong, Jean Yi Chin
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study examines the participation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with labels of Learning Disability (LD) in their English, Math, and Social Studies classes. The conceptualization of LD as a biological pathology in the dominant special education discourse has contributed to normative perceptions and reductionistic curriculum and pedagogy. To disrupt the notion that LD is an individual characteristic, the unit of analysis for this inquiry is the classroom discourse, focusing on the contextual factors that contribute to students' learning. The study draws on the theoretical framework of Disability Studies in Education to understand students' positionings in various classroom conditions. The ethnographic inquiry utilizes a critical, interpretivist framework to explore the discourses produced in the classrooms. The study was conducted at a low-income, public school with a class of 8th graders in their collaborative team teaching (CTT) classes, English, Math, and Social Studies. Ethnographic tools of inquiry, such as observations, interviews with teachers and students, and documents of students and teachers' work were collected to understand the contexts of engagement and disengagement. The findings reveal that students' academic performances vary widely in different participatory structures. Such examples counter the dominant conceptualization of LD as a static, innate attribute, and instead, illustrate the mutually constitutive relations between instructional contexts and students' enactment of their "disabilities." In exploring the CTT partnerships, the general education teachers' appropriation of the dominant special education both enriched and limited their responsiveness to disabled students. Examination of teachers' perceptions of students' backgrounds indicate that while the teachers, in general, acknowledge the rich experiences of students' cultural, linguistic, and social class backgrounds, they hold less nuanced interpretations of students' abilities, drawing upon normative and hierarchical conceptualizations. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A