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ERIC Number: ED560838
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-5
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Erasing Queer Subjects, Constructing Disabled Subjects: Towards a Queering of Mathematics Disabilities
Sheldon, James
Online Submission, Paper presented at the DC Queer Studies Symposium (College Park, MD, Apr 5, 2013)
This paper explores how the ideology of compulsory able-bodiness functions in special education. The apparatus of special education, this paper contends, applies a bureaucratic gaze to students from historically oppressed groups (e.g. students of color and working class students) and, finding them deficient, interpellates them as disabled. They are compelled by the logic of rehabilitation to submit to interventions designed to make them non-disabled, denied any ability to articulate their own needs and goals, and are denied any kind of collective identity or ability to articulate a confrontational position. Once trapped in this logic of rehabilitation, the paper observes, students "with mathematics disabilities" are denied the opportunity to engage in mathematical problem solving and conversation and instead are relegated to performing rote operations, the very thing that they struggle with. These rote operations are not really prerequisite skills for problem solving, but are often seen as such by special educators. When the students are allowed to participate in problem solving, the paper argues, they are basically given the methods and answers and don't get to apply their own creativity and reasoning. This paper offers an alternative queer reading of mathematics disability, one that accounts for radical difference. It concludes by offering a vision of a mathematics that takes all students' ideas seriously and of a special education apparatus that accounts for and celebrates radical difference.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A