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ERIC Number: ED528473
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 181
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-7732-0
Vulnerable to Exclusion: A Disability Studies Perspective on Practices in an Inclusive School
Mintz, Emily Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley with San Francisco State University
Since passage of federal legislation in 1975, students with disabilities have had the right to receive educational supports and services in general education classrooms. This practice is known as inclusive education. Most research about inclusive education has focused on the development and implementation of effective classroom practices. This study employs a disability studies perspective and ethnographic methods to examine school-level social processes and the meanings that teachers attach to inclusive education in a public elementary school by answering the following research questions: (a) how do teachers articulate their conception of and commitments to inclusive education? (b) what conceptions of inclusion are evident in teachers' practices and interactions on the school site? and (c) what practices and interactions characterize teachers' responses to the addition of a segregated, special education classroom? The one-year case study focused on an urban elementary school that was portrayed publicly as inclusive even though the district had recently required it to establish a segregated classroom for students with mild-to-moderate disabilities. The recent mandate made the school a fruitful site for case study research into the meanings and practices of inclusion. Data collection methods included multiple interviews with study participants, observational field research collected over the course of one school year, and the review of documents and material artifacts. Analysis yielded three main findings. First, most teachers held relatively elastic views of inclusive education, enabling them to accept the segregated classroom within their conception of an inclusive school. Second, observations and interviews showed the early and sustained segregation of the SDC; this segregation was accomplished through the social organization of space, a range of accepted practices, and discourse routines, all of which differentiated students in the segregated classroom as "other." Finally, the absence of any school-level mechanisms for examining practices on the site obscured contrasting views of inclusion and reinforced the marginalized status of some students with disabilities. This study demonstrates the utility of a disability studies perspective as a means to reveal and understand dominant discourses of disability and normality in schools and to identify the structural mechanisms and social processes through which these constructs are reified. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A