Tag Archives: dis/ability

Repeat performance: Special education, lower attainers, race and class

Sally Tomlinsonpost by SALLY TOMLINSON
Department of Education, University of Oxford

National governments believe that higher levels of education and skills are necessary for successful international economic competition and all young people are expected to invest in their own human capital, learn new skills and compete with each other in stratified education systems and uncertain job markets. As education systems have expanded so too have the ‘industries’ dealing with those who have difficulty in learning to required levels, fail to achieve to constantly raised qualification levels, or acquire one or more of the ever-changing labels bundled into the ‘special education needs/disability’ category. Continue reading Repeat performance: Special education, lower attainers, race and class

Home/School Discontinuity is not Disability

Margaret Eganpost by MARGARET EGAN
Department of Special Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick

From an international perspective, the over-representation of students from minority groups in special education placement is well documented in the research literature (Artiles et al., 2011; Ahram, et al. 2011; Skiba, et al. 2006; Valencia, 2010; Zion and Blanchett, 2011).  My recent research in Ireland builds and expands on such research as it brings the intersectionality between social class and placement in special education centre-stage.  The research highlights empirically, the disproportionality of students from lower socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds in special education programmes. Moreover, empirical data illustrate that ‘students least likely to encounter widely available educational resources at home are also least likely to encounter them in school’ (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p. 22).  These observations of discomfort mirror the seminal work of Illich (1971) that school can be the problem not the solution to in/equity because it creates mechanisms to discriminate against some and to privilege others. Continue reading Home/School Discontinuity is not Disability