The book begins with theme chapters discussing action research, social justice and partnerships in research.
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Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Review quote 'It provides a multifaceted review of action research by turning it round and scrutinising it, sometimes seeing the same reflections and at other times, presenting new images of them. A book that not only talks about the theory of action research, but also shows the theories in action Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. The age range of participating individuals was between 29 and 63 years of age.
Jennifer and Ashley disclosed having a disability. The years of teaching experience ranged between five and 22 years, with five to 18 years teaching within special education or inclusive education. All individuals were female. When the individuals were asked as to why they were interested in pursuing a doctorate in education that used the framework of Disability Studies, most of the individuals expressed interest in broadening their horizons or furthering their professional development.
Familiarity with the institution was another factor in the decision to attend. In addition, prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, two of the cohort members had a certain degree of familiarity with Disability Studies; for four individuals, the program was their exposure to Disability Studies. One was aware that the program would not result in an advanced special education degree, though the participant was not fully aware of significant nuances of this type of study.
Three individuals believed the program was a doctorate in special education. The remaining two individuals did not respond to this question. All of the names have been changed to ensure anonymity. Data were gathered through semi-structured individual and group interviews with recruited individuals.
A group interview was employed with the cohort who was in their first year of the program, while non-first year doctoral students were interviewed on an individual basis. The researchers used the same protocol for all interviews. Prior to recording, the purpose of the interview was reiterated and confidentiality and expected duration of the interview were addressed.
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Attempts were made to keep the duration of the interview to 60 minutes or less. At the end of the interviews, a discussion was held in order to provide a space for debriefing opportunities. Once all data was collected, the recordings were transcribed by a third party source. The coding process was differentiated by study and initiated by two authors who read through the transcripts in order to centralize the emerging themes broached by participants.
The coding process involved highlighting significant statements and common themes throughout the individuals' experiences Charmaz, ; Glesne, The coding process involved a data driven coding approach rather than a concept driven process. Those codes highlighted themes, patterns, and processes as a means of comparing across individuals and within each individual's experiences Glesne, The coding took place in two stages: open and selective Creswell, Open coding involved line-by-line coding that enabled an inductive approach where categories were determined.
SAGE Reference - Action Research for/as/mindful of Social Justice
Once categories were determined, selective coding located specific statements that correlated with the categories and theoretical framework Charmaz, ; Creswell, Once the two initial coders were in agreement, the codes were presented to the rest of the authors to reach consensus on the established themes. In the process of inferring and analyzing the data, there were five themes that emerged from the individuals' reflection of their exposure to Disability Studies. These themes included: experiences of disequilibrium, shift in perceptions of "disability," questioning current teaching practices, transformation of teaching practices, and new perception of self as a change agent.
As noted earlier, prior to the program, the individuals expressed some familiarity to no familiarity with Disability Studies. As the individuals gained exposure to Disability Studies, various degrees of personal transformation took place as a result of previous notions of disability differing from new notions, which led to a challenging and stressful reexamination of self, practices, and disability. Edith, a special educator, described the process as:. With all the framework around me of who I am and what I do, the gradual kicking away of all of the props that were there and feeling really un-centered and failing.
Intellectual disequilibrium. Just all of my paradigms that I've structured were blown away. It was definitely a learning curve for me. I felt like I was trying to climb this ladder and I just kept falling down, because I felt like I had somewhat of a grasp on understanding disability, but then I realized that I really didn't. What I was exposed to, especially the first semester, it was like new work for me, and I just felt lost a lot of the time and trying to wrap my head around it all was difficult, and then it made me question myself and why do I do things.
Gaining exposure to Disability Studies triggered a sense of awareness of how their approaches and trainings were entrenched in the individualistic medical conceptualization of disability. In addition, their struggle to grasp and digest the framework of Disability Studies generated a sense of tension between this "new" framework, and their "old" framework of disability. Consequently participants experienced a certain degree of internal turmoil or intellectual disequilibrium. Individuals indicated the Disability Studies framework provided them with new and different perceptions of disability.
When we think about what disability means, what is being disabled mean? Is it just impairment? Is it just physical? If it is impairment, is it visible, invisible? Is visible disability considered more disabled than invisible disability?
Other individuals such as Ashley, an adjunct instructor, echoed these sentiments and described a broader understanding of disability. She stated,. Disability Studies has definitely shaped my understanding of disability from the social construction part, which I really didn't know before. It's given me a whole another insight in terms of barriers, biases, and our history of people with disabilities. It [has] really given me that global picture of how disability can be socially constructed or is socially constructed.
There was clearly a shift in the way that these individuals defined disability. In addition, Amber, an early intervention coordinator, questioned by not seeing disability as a difference is problematic in helping those with disabilities as it emphasized the deficit language. This reconstruction seemed to be a very powerful influence in how they perceived their role in education as well as their teaching practices. As the educational professionals began to think differently about disability, they began to question their current teaching practices and how they had been taught to support students with disabilities in schools.
As they gained exposure to the Disability Studies perspective, they recognized how pervasive the deficit-based language was embedded within their training and practices; thus, triggering a sense of disjunction between their training and practices and Disability Studies. For example, Ashley shared:. Disability Studies is under the social model, special education is under the medical model.
In my master's program, I learned all the characteristics of the deficits. I know all of the federal categories, the IEP process, the referral process for kids birth to 3 to 21, and the placements where students can go based on the severity of their people with disability, and it's all deficient based. It's all based on what they can't do that determine their placement. The push for data and the clinic deficit approach… I see it in a lot of my peers. He is low here and he is really low there.
Through the lenses of Disability Studies, the individuals began to not only recognize the deficit based language within their training and practices, but critically questioned the heavy emphasis on deficiency rather than competency. In this space of tension between the language of deficiency and Disability Studies, several individuals commented on struggling with their job requirements as they gained exposure. For example, Edith shared:.
To do the readings and to have the class discussions was really gut wrenching. I went back questioning what I was doing completely. How am I going to keep my job?
How am I going to keep doing this horrible thing that I'm learning about? When I go to work, you can see me a little upset about the things that I am mandated to do because it's my job. I no longer necessarily believe in what I am supposed to be doing, but it is my job, so I do it. Here is a kid I have to assess.
I have to say, 'Okay, this kid has a learning disability. Let's look at the deficit.
Let's develop an IEP. Having a child development background, I like to think I always look at the child first and then the disability. I think, for me, some big moments and how it kind of changed the way I teach or the way I work was when I really looked hard at developmentally appropriate practices after a conversation with a professor…. When I read a chapter from the professor's book on developmentally appropriate practices, it kind of shifted my whole vision… Now I find myself thinking, 'Well, that's developmentally appropriate, but is that correct?
Along with conflicting feelings about continuing with one's practices was also a sense of having to walk a fine line. As one of the few individuals who had a certain degree of familiarity with Disability Studies, Jennifer revealed the strain of trying to interweave the framework of Disability Studies into a well-established credential program while trying to not undermine the current program's curriculum. While Disability Studies challenged the foundation that the teachers had already built, it appeared that there was also some agreement with the Disability Studies framework and language as evidenced by the internal questions and critical reflections upon their own training and practices.
In spite of having a contradicting impact on how education professionals viewed their daily practices, Disability Studies appeared to foster awareness of what changes needed to occur within all educational institutions and everyday routines and actions. For example, Jennifer, noted the need to not only think about current practices, but also the reason for doing things differently and how to implement changes..
Similarly, Lillian, a special education curriculum leader, commented:. It made me realize how much work and inclusion there needs to be but there isn't. Just made me more aware. I have a filter now that I didn't have before.
I question the systems that are in place that on a surface can seem like it's supportive, and you're providing services, but at the same time we're attributing to continue segregation. In spite of the various degrees of discomfort, uncertainty, and frustrations, the educational professionals used different strategies that entwined the Disability Studies' perspective into their own practices and philosophies. Several individuals advocated for the incorporation Disability Studies within teacher preparation programs and special education programs in order to transform them into educational institutions that fosters and embraces inclusion.
As the individuals have touched on the challenges of introducing the Disability Studies' framework within their professional practices, they still managed to interweave Disability Studies' considerations within their everyday practices, interactions, and conversations.