TitleUsing children's literature to examine the disability discourses of early childhood pre-service teachers
NameMankiw, Sue Ann E. (author), Hyland, Nora (chair), Ryan, Sharon (internal member), Sargent, Tanja (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
SubjectEarly Childhood/Elementary Education,
Disability studies--United States,
Student teachers--Training of--United States,
DescriptionThe purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the disability discourses of ten pre-service teachers enrolled in a one-semester undergraduate social studies and language arts methods course. This undergraduate course drew on a disability studies approach that advocated a social model rather than a medical approach to disability. During this course, rather than posit disability as a deficit, disability was re-conceptualized within social and cultural frameworks, stressing the examination of policies and practices that hinder the lives of individuals with disabilities. Using a Foucauldian lens, this study analyzed the discourses and actions of the early childhood pre-service teachers as they examined, reflected upon and taught lessons using children’s literature with a disability theme. Attention was paid to how the pre-service teachers framed disability, the language they used, and the challenges of planning and teaching lessons that centered on a disability theme. Data collection included a survey, observations, field notes, transcripts of audio-taped class sessions and documents. Documents included critical literacy worksheets, online reading responses, a lesson plan assignment and student artifacts. Two major findings result from this study. First, the same powerful discourses that influenced how pre-service teachers perceive and position disabled people are well-established in the schools where they do their practice teaching. These same discourses lead to school actions and non-actions which in turn, present challenges to pre-service teachers who wish to “do disability studies” in schools. Second, using a critical pedagogical approach with children’s literature within an inquiry based course has potential for helping pre-service teachers to problematize the issues of disability and in turn, to promote a critical examination of disability with disabled and able-bodied early childhood students.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sue Ann E. Mankiw
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.