Radical Inclusive Education
Disability, teaching and struggles for liberation
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Many people who work in education start out with enthusiastic ideals about education as a positive force that can spur change in the life of the learner and in society at large, yet find themselves frustrated with a bureaucratic system that often alienates and excludes many of its students. This is particularly true for students identified as having "special educational needs" (SEN) or disability, a label often used to justify the ways in which students are failed by a system that focuses on narrow definitions of knowledge, seeks to normalise and control behaviour, and values economic productivity over other forms of human activity.
Radical Inclusive Education explores how current educational practices, such as standardised tests and league tables, exclude and fail many disabled students, and naturalise educational inequalities around gender, class, ethnicity and ability. Informed by the social model of disability, the book argues that educational theories and practices that are geared towards social justice and inclusion need to recognise and value the diversity of human embodiments, needs and capacities, and foster pedagogical practices that support relations of interdependency.
The book draws on work in disability studies, critical psychology and critical pedagogy, and also real life examples from interviews with activists in the disabled people’s movement, and from research in a school, to offer examples of what radical inclusive education – that is sensitive to the needs of all students – might look like in practice. As such, it will be of great interest to practitioners and students in the field of education, particularly for those interested in SEN and disability, sociology of education, critical pedagogy, informal education and social movement learning.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Setting the scene: Politicising education and disability and exploring the need for radical inclusive pedagogy Introduction 1. Understanding disability as a political phenomenon and stressing the need for a dis-ability perspective 2. Reading schools through a dis-ability perspective: Arguing for the need to develop radical inclusive pedagogy 3. The Disabled People’s Movement as a site of radical inclusive pedagogy: exploring critical pedagogy and new social movements Part 2 – envisaging radical inclusive pedagogy: knowledge, relationships and power 4. Rethinking knowledge for radical inclusive pedagogy: supporting access and conscientization 5. Relations of belonging: identity, difference and the ethics of care 6. Changing power relations in education: developing relational autonomy and valuing resistance
Anat Greenstein is a lecturer in Learning Disability Studies at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
This book is an invitation to question current educational practices but to do so from the unique space of an affirmative assurance that disability matters. From the foundational assurance that disability is essential to our being-in-the-world, Anat Greenstein raises the question -- What does inclusion mean? Readers are invited, again and again, to imagine an education that proceeds with an affirmation of difference and its belonging. Without recipes for special practices, Radical Inclusive Education invites a major rethinking of what education is for as a way to awaken our desire to re-imagine the meaning of education itself. Radical Inclusive Education is essential reading for cultivating a commitment to education as learning how to be together alongside life affirming ways of understanding this. - Tanya Titchkosky, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Canada