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ERIC Number: ED563749
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-7433-7
Enacting Inclusivity in an Exclusionary Climate: What Motivates Teachers to Work against Dominant Special Education and Accountability Discourses
Schlessinger, Sarah Leah
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Research has shown that inclusive practices have positive outcomes for students with and without IEPs. These practices and the inclusive stance that they require to be effectively implemented are in direct conflict with the dominant discourses of special education and audit culture. Thus, despite the research demonstrating positive outcomes of inclusive practices, teachers do not broadly implement these practices and often opt for exclusionary pedagogical practices instead. In seeking to work against these dominant and exclusionary discourses this study attempts to understand those teachers that do enact inclusive practices despite the exclusionary educational climate for this work. To this end, this qualitative study focuses on five such K-12 public educators working in New York City and participating in professional development for inclusive education. Using data from various sources (informal observations, informal interviews, participant created digital documents, and an interpretive activity interview) the study demonstrates that participants commonly enact curricular content and instructional changes that are contingently responsive to student interest and student need in order to promote inclusivity. Findings also suggest that participants relied on their membership in third space intellectual communities facilitated through professional development and their capacity orientations toward their students in order to remain motivated and agentive in enacting inclusive practices. From these findings a variety of participant approaches to navigating audit culture and special education discourses emerge. Participants employed acts of deliberate transgression, collective autonomy, and inclusive praxis in order to work in and against these discourses. Understanding these acts and other approaches employed by participants has significant implications for designing pre-service teacher education and in-service professional development opportunities that facilitate the spread of inclusive practices. [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 Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York