Separate but equal?: Debunking the “General Education”/ “Special Education” Dialectic . Hank Bersani COE Brownbag Seminar Oct 16, 2008 In Greek philosophy dialectic διαλεκτική is controversy
COE Brownbag Seminar
Oct 16, 2008
is by denying some presupposition of both the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (synthesis)
the participants share at least some meanings and principles of valid inference, even if they do not agree.
The purpose of this paper is to challenge the idea that special ed and general ed (or teacher ed) are really 2 entities.
-- Rudyard Kipling, "We and They"
Argues that we have a social need for deviance, that by saying who is NOT is, we define who we are.
(general) Education is defined by who it does not include: special education, and special education is defined by who it does not include (general) education
There can be no special education without separation from general education and there can be no general education without the exclusion of special education.
There would just be education.
What is the origin of that phrase?
Brown vs The Board of Education in Topeka Kansas 1954
Separate but equal
Implied inferiority and perpetuated a inferior/superior status among people
"stamp the colored race with a badge of inferiority" and that any such suggestion is "solely because the colored race chooses to place that construction on it."
Educators claim to embrace “public education”, and “diversity”. The rhetoric gives the impression that all children are welcomed in our schools and in our classrooms
Schools continue segregation based on ability.
we continue to be comfortably segregated on the basis of ability/disability.
On the basis of ability
Is it inherently unequal, and that it is so institutionalized that we do not recognize it?
Can we recognize institutional ablism
when we teach it?
As many as 2 million students excluded from public schools on the basis of “handicap”
Many students continue to spend most of their day segregated based on ability
and in fact is reified to be desirable
Now “all” often means “except disabled”
Review your texts (including texts focusing on “diversity”) and look for key words
but not ability integration
But not ability equality
but not IDEA
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Ablism)
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Ableism is a term used to describe discrimination against people with disabilities in favour of people who are not disabled.
Advocates of the term argue that ableism is, like racism, and sexism, a system by which main-stream society denigrates and devalues those with disabilities, while privileging those without disabilities. Morality, worth and intelligence are equated to being ablebodied or ableminded, while disability is conflated with immorality, stupidity, and worthlessness.
An ableist society treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of ‘normal living’. This results in public and private places & services, education and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, excluding those with various disabilities.
The mere presumption that everyone is non-disabled is effectively discriminatory in itself, creating environments which are hostile to the disabled.
In an inclusive society, on the other hand, all products and services are fully accessible and usable for as much people as possible. An ableist society tends to isolation, where an inclusive society tends to integration or inclusion.
In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted into law civil penalties for failing to make a public place accessible to individuals with certain impaired abilities and/or using standard assistive technologies, such as wheelchairs. In the UK, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 attempt the
Audism is a term used to describe discrimination or stereotypes against deaf or hard of hearing people, for example by assuming that the cultural ways of hearing people are preferable or superior to those of deaf or signing culture, or that deaf people are somehow less capable than hearing people.
Audists can either be hearing or deaf. Audism occurs when a deaf person is judged as incapable of a given behavior, occupation, etc. simply because he or she cannot hear. Audism is often coupled with a "hearing" superiority: an attitude of thinking one person is superior to another person because he or she can hear better than him or her. Audism takes another form concerning interactions between the deaf: deaf people who will not use sign language and who will not identify with the Deaf community may consider themselves to be "better" than others who use sign language and are part of Deaf culture.
While opponents of audism seek to educate the public that Deaf people can do anything but hear, they recognize there are limitations in certain situations — service in the army, employment as a commercial pilot, or telemarketing, perhaps. However, aside from a few, select examples, audism's opponents argue that the Deaf are capable of excelling in a myriad of settings and deserve equal opportunity.
Audism (from Latin audire, to hear, and -ism, a system of practice, behavior, belief, or attitude) has been variously defined as:
The belief that life without hearing is futile and miserable, that hearing loss is a tragedy and "the scourge of mankind," and that deaf people should struggle to be as much like hearing people as possible. Deaf activists Heidi Reed and Hartmut Teuber at D.E.A.F. Inc., a community service and advocacy organization in Boston, consider audism to be "a special case of ableism." Audists, hearing or deaf, shun Deaf culture and the use of sign language, and have what Reed and Teuber describe as "an obsession with the use of residual hearing, speech, and lip reading by deaf people." (Pelka 1997: 33)
The notion that one is superior based on one's ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. (Tom Humphrey 1977, quoted in Zak 1996)
An attitude based on pathological thinking which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear; like racism or sexism, audism judges, labels, and limits individuals on the basis of whether a person hears and speaks. (Humphrey and Alcorn 1995: 85)
The corporate institution for dealing with deaf people--dealing with them by making statements about them, authorizing views of them, describing them, teaching about them, governing where they go to school and, in some cases, where they live; in short, audism is the hearing way of dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over the deaf community. It includes such professional people as administrators of schools for deaf children and of training programs for deaf adults, interpreters, and some audiologists, speech therapists, otologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, librarians, researchers, social workers, and hearing aid specialists. (Lane 1992: 43)
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What is our shared vision of a modern democratic, non-discriminatory, diverse, accepting, public school?
Children with disabilities are quietly served in special classes for special students homogenously grouped in special ways with teachers who are specially trained with separate licenses to help them with their special needs.
Just as colored students were taught by colored-teachers teachers who were not licensed to teach (white) education
Its a vicious cycle
Promulgates separate standards for special and general education
fund and formulate special classes
offer specialized (segregated)
offer separate, unequal training programs, in segregated administrative “silos” called “departments” or “divisions”
accredits universities offering ability segregated licensing programs
(while claiming to carry the standard of diversity and heterogeneity).
certify “Teacher Education” programs that do not require a SINGLE credit hour of special education content
Special Education programs can meet CEC/TSPC/NACTE standards without offering a single hour of general education content
and make a few substitutions
"stamp the disabled with a badge of inferiority" and that any such suggestion is "solely because the disabled choose to place that construction on it."
In Special Ed. or in General Ed.
An article from NEA Today
A special ed instructor is on every teaching team at (name that institution) College of Education
Has developed an innovative program to prepare student teachers for classrooms in which inclusion and special education students are an integral part of the landscape.
If students never see examples in practice, how can we expect them, as teachers to teach in an inclusive setting?
Western Oregon University