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A Narrative Inquiry of Other in Special Education: Tensions of Subject Matter Knowledge in Relation to Teacher Knowledge

Crossroads of the Classroom

ISBN: 978-1-78635-797-7, eISBN: 978-1-78635-796-0

Publication date: 25 April 2017

Abstract

Within this chapter, I use my early experiences as a special education teacher to story and restory how Othering shapes the lives of special education teachers and their students. The disability-as-deficit model labels those students who receive special education services as less than, as outside the norm, as Other. The stories of my early teaching career offer insight into this Othering and link special education subject matter knowledge with my identity as a sibling of an individual with Down syndrome that fuels my teacher knowledge. Clandinin and Connelly’s three-dimensional narrative inquiry space provides a framework to examine the back-and-forth intersections of sibling and special educator knowledge. An autoethnographic exploration results in a critically reflexive narrative that exposes overlapping pieces of Othered identities, and explains how my teacher knowledge situates me differently than my special educator colleagues. The three-dimensional narrative inquiry space also provides the necessary tension between subject matter knowledge and teacher knowledge to create a dialogue of Othering between special education teacher and student. This dialogue pushes the idea of Least Restrictive Environments within social-personal space, and can lead to multiple Othered voices speaking as powerful bridges to span the divide between general and special education, the norm and the Other.

Keywords

Citation

Franklin, L. (2017), "A Narrative Inquiry of Other in Special Education: Tensions of Subject Matter Knowledge in Relation to Teacher Knowledge", Crossroads of the Classroom (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 28), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-368720160000028016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited