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ERIC Number: EJ927403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
School Picture Day and Self-Concept: A Smile Is Worth the Trouble
Pfeiffer, Margaret A.; Pfeiffer, Karl T.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v43 n3 p50-54 Jan-Feb 2011
School picture day--it's an almost universal experience of waiting in line with a new comb, perching nervously on a stool, smiling under the bright lights, and then moving quickly out into the hall. For the past 8 years the authors have been increasingly aware of a picture day bias in the pictures taken of their oldest son. It appears to them that bias contributes to the process of seeing a child with disabilities in a particularly unflattering light. This stigma may be perpetuated with school photographs. These photographs become permanent records of the student and class identities. This image is how other people see their child, at least people who haven't gotten to know him. Disability as stigma, explains the looks of disgust or pity they get at the store, the first unveiled looks of shock at a family reunion, the glances of discomfort and fear at church. These looks from strangers are based on a prejudice that only getting to know the person can disarm. Teachers may facilitate school photographs in ways that maintain the stigma or mitigate it. A smile is worth the trouble.
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A