Rethinking Disability and Inclusive Education: A Teacher Study Group

Main Article Content

Priya Lalvani


disability studies in education, teacher education, ableism


This qualitative study explored the outcomes of five teachers’ engagement in a study group, the content of which was based in the radical/critical tradition of counter-narratives and social change, and which explicitly aimed to explore institutionalized ableism and the role of educators in the systematic segregation of students with disabilities in schools.  The findings indicate that teachers experienced significant and meaningful shifts in their thinking about the constructed meanings of disability in society, the nature of disability oppression, and the implications of inclusive education in democratic societies.  

Abstract 1481 | PDF Downloads 382 Word Downloads 129 Text Downloads 172


Ainscow, M., Booth, T., & Dyson, A. (2006). Improving schools, developing inclusion. London: Routledge.

Ayers, W. (1988). Young children and the problem of the color line. Democracy and Education, 3(1), 20-26.

Baglieri, S., & Shapiro, A. (2012). Disability studies and the inclusive classroom: Critical practices for creating least restrictive attitudes. New York: Routledge.

Baker. B. (2002). The hunt for disability: The new eugenics and the normalization of school children. Teacher’s College Record, 104(4), 663-703.

Ballard, K. (2003). The analysis of context: Some thoughts on teacher education, culture, colonization and inequality. In T. Booth, K. Nes, & M. Stromstad (Eds.), Developing inclusive teacher education (pp. 59–77). London: Routledge Falmer.

Bernstein, B. (1996). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: Theory, research, critique. London: Taylor & Francis.

Brew-Parrish, V. (1997, March/April). The wrong message. Ragged Edge Online. Retrieved from

Bogdan, R. & Biklen, S. (2007). Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education (5th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Buysse, V., Davis Goldman, B., & Skinner, M. L. (2002). Setting effects on friendship formation among young children with and without disabilities. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 503-517.

Byrom, B. (2004). A pupil and a patient. In S. Danforth & S. Taff (Eds.). Crucial readings in special education (pp. 25-37). New Jersey: Pearson.

Campbell, F. K. (2009). Contours of ableism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cole, M., Waldron, N., & Majd, M. (2004). Academic progress of students across inclusive and traditional settings. Mental Retardation, 42(2), 136–44.

Connor, D. & Bejoian, L. (2007). Cripping School Curricula: 20 ways to re-teach disability. Review of Disability Studies, 3(3), 3-13.

Connor, D., & Ferry, B. (2007). The conflict within: Resistance to inclusion and other paradoxes in special education. Disability and Society, 22(1), 63–77.

Downing, J.E., Spencer, S. & Cavallaro, C. (2004). The development of an inclusive charter elementary school: Lessons learned. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(1), 11–24.

Fisher, M., & Meyer, L. (2002). Development and social competence after two years for students enrolled in inclusive and self-contained educational programs. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 27(3), 165–74.

Freeman, F., &Akin, M. (2000). Academic and social attainments of children with mental retardation in general education and special education settings. Remedial and Special Education, 21(1), 3–18.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Herder & Herder.

Gabel, S. & Connor, D. (2009). Theorizing disability: Implications and applications for social justice education. In Ayers, W., Stovall, D. & Quinn, T. (Eds.) Handbook of Social Justice in Education (pp. 377-299). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Giroux, H. A. (2011). On critical pedagogy. New York: Continuum.

Giroux, H. A., & McLaren, P. (1986). Teacher education and the politics of engagement: The case for democratic schooling. Harvard Educational Review, 56(3), 213-238.

Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Press.

Goodley, D. (2013). Dis/entangling critical disability studies. Disability & Society, 28(5), 631-644.

Gordon, B., & Rosenblum, K. E. (2001). Bringing disability into the sociological frame: A comparison of disability with race, sex, and sexual orientation statuses. Disability & Society, 16(1), 5-19.

Guilherme, M. (2006). Is there a role for critical pedagogy in language/culture studies? An interview with Henry A. Giroux. Language and Intercultural Communication, 6(2), 163-175.

Guralnick, M. J., Neville, B., Hammond, M. A., & Connor, R. T. (2007). The friendships of young children with developmental delays: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28, 64-79.

Hale, C. (2013). Educating teachers to fulfill the promise of special education law. PowerPlay: A Journal of Educational Justice, 5(1).

Hahn, H. (1997). Advertising the acceptably employable image. In L. Davis (Ed.), The disability studies reader (pp. 172-186). New York: Routledge.

Hehir, T. (2005). New directions in special education: Eliminating ableism in policy and practice. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.

IDEA, (2004). Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved May 1, 2013, from

Kudlick, C. J. (2003). Disability history: Why we need another ‘Other.’ The American Historical Review, (3), 763-793.

Lalvani, P. (2013). Privilege, compromise, or social justice: Teachers’ conceptualizations of inclusive education. Disability & Society, 28(1), 14-27.

Lalvani, P. & Broderick, A. (2013). Institutionalized ableism and the misguided “Disability Awareness Day:” Transformative pedagogies for teacher education. Equity and Excellence in Education, 46(4), 468-483.

Linton, S. (1998). Claiming disability: Knowledge and identity. New York: NYU Press.

Nieto, S. (2013). Language, literacy, and culture: Aha! Moments in personal and sociopolitical understanding. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 9(1), 8-20.

Nieto, S., & Bode, P. (2011). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education. New York: Longman.

Odom, S. L. (2002). Widening the circle: Including children with disabilities in preschool programs. New York: Teachers College Press.

Ong-Dean, C. (2009). Distinguishing disability: Parents, privilege, and special education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rea, P.J., Mclaughlin, V.L., & Walther-Thomas, C. (2002). Outcomes for students with learning disabilities in inclusive and pullout programs. Exceptional Children, 68(2), 203–22.

Shapiro, J. P. (1993). No pity: people with disabilities forging a new civil rights movement. New York: Times Books.

Slee, R. (2001). Social justice and the changing directions in educational research: The case of inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 5(2/3), 167–78.

Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.

Tomlinson, S. (1982). A sociology of special education. Routledge.

The Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network. Retrieved 31, January 2014.

U.S. Department of Education. 2009. Twenty-eighth annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Valle, J., & Connor, D. (2010). Rethinking disability: A disability studies approach to inclusive practices (a practical guide). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ware, L. (2003) Understanding disability and transforming schools. In Booth, T., Nes, K. & Strømstad, M. (Eds.) Developing Inclusive Teacher Education. (pp. 147-166). New York: Routledge Falmer.

Winter, E. & O’Raw, P. (2010). Literature review of the principles and practices relating to inclusive education for children with special needs. National Council for Special Education.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.