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ERIC Number: EJ1150676
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3116
Student Engagement and Inclusive Education: Reframing "Student Engagement"
Vallee, Daniel
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v21 n9 p920-937 2017
"Engagement," or "student engagement," is widely used in educational research and public discourse to refer to the problem of public education. The underlying ontological and epistemological assumptions buoying engagement are rarely, if ever, addressed by educational researchers. The "silent omission" (Sidorkin 2014. "On the Theoretical Limits of Education." In "Making a Difference in Theory: The Theory Question in Education and the Education Question in Theory," edited by Julie Allan Gert Biesta and Richard Edwards, 121-137. New York: Routledge) of engagement's metaphysics has implications for inclusive education. This paper finds that despite being employed with good intent, "engagement" operates in a paradigm of normativity. In a gesture of bifocality (Weis and Fine 2012. "Critical Bifocality and Circuits of Privilege: Expanding Critical Ethnographic Theory and Design." "Harvard Educational Review" 82 (2): 173-201), I critique engagement discourse and its historical context to find that it reproduces a longstanding tradition of "psychologising" public problems (Fine and Cross 2015. "Critical Race, Psychology and Social Policy: Refusing Damage, Cataloguing Oppression, and Documenting Desire." In "Contextualizing the Costs of Racism," edited by A. Alvarez and H. Neville. Washington, DC: APA Publications), thereby displacing conversations about what may be the most influential issue of public education: social and economic inequality. A reframing of engagement as ["student/teacher"] "engagement" is proposed. Highlighted in the reframing is the educational relationship and the context in which it is nested. Mitigated is the pathologising and exclusionary effect of engagement discourse which operates within a dialectic of normal/engaged // ab/normal/disengaged.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A