Who Benefits From Special Education?: Remediating (Fixing) Other People's Children addresses the negative consequences of labeling and separating education for students with "disabilities," the cultural biases inherent in the way that we view children's learning difficulties, the social construction of disability, the commercialization of special education, and related issues.
The theme that unifies the chapters is that tension exists between professional ideology and practice, and the wishes and expectations of the recipients of professional practice--children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and their families. These voices have rarely taken center stage in formulating important decisions about the quality and characteristics of appropriate practice. The dominant view in the field of special education has been that disability is a problem in certain children, rather than an artifact that results from the general structure of schooling; it does not take into consideration the voices of people with disabilities, their families, or their teachers. Offering an alternative perspective, this book deconstructs mainstream special education ideologies and highlights the personal perspectives of students, families, and front-line professionals such as teachers and mental health personnel. It is particularly relevant for special education/disabilities studies graduate students and faculty and for readers in general education, curriculum studies, instruction theory, and critical theory.
"…an interesting book that critically examines value sets that impact all students. The book could be a useful addition to teacher training programs, particularly in certificate areas other than special education. The book may also be useful to researchers by posing possible research questions."
"…a provocative text that raises (whether explicitly or implicitly) significant issues that are relevant not only to burgeoning field of disability studies in education, but to the broader, complex, civic project of public schooling in diverse democratic societies. The text is primarily aimed at a scholarly audience, both graduate students and faculty, with particular interest in issues related to disability…although the text should prove to be quite relevant to wider audiences, including scholars of curriculum theory, critical theorists, and educators generally."
Contents: Preface. S. Danforth, S. Taff, P.M. Ferguson, Place, Profession, and Program in the History of Special Education Curriculum. J. Allan, Failing to Make Progress?: The Aporias of Responsible Inclusion. E. Brantlinger, The Big Glossies: How Textbooks Structure (Special) Education. N. Erevellas, A. Kanga, R. Middleton, How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Race, Disability, and Exclusion in Educational Policy. A. de Waal-Lucas, Multicultural Education: Not Needed in the Suburbs! S. Harvey-Koelpin, The Impact of Reform on Students With Disabilities. E. Stoughton, Marcus and Harriet: Living on the Edge in School and Society. G. Lewis-Robertson, No Place Like Home. E. Brantlinger, Winners Need Losers: The Basis for School Competition and Hierarchies. E. Brantlinger, Conclusion: Whose Labels? Whose Norms? Whose Needs? Whose Benefits?
In this age of multimedia information overload, scholars and students may not be able to keep up with the proliferation of different topical, trendy book series in the field of curriculum theory. It will be a relief to know that one publisher offers a balanced, solid, forward-looking series devoted to significant and enduring scholarship, as opposed to a narrow range of topics or a single approach or point of view. This series is conceived as the series busy scholars and students can trust and depend on to deliver important scholarship in the various "discourses" that comprise the increasingly complex field of curriculum theory.
The range of the series is both broad (all of curriculum theory) and limited (only important, lasting scholarship) – including but not confined to historical, philosophical, critical, multicultural, feminist, comparative, international, aesthetic, and spiritual topics and approaches. Books in this series are intended for scholars and for students at the doctoral and, in some cases, master's levels.
Persons interested in submitting book proposals or in serving as reviewers for this series are invited to contact
Professor William F. Pinar
Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia
Faculty of Education
Department of Curriculum Studies
2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4