The person who arrives: Storying connections between disability studies and educational practice

Thesis type
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Date created
Author: Kelley, Leah
I am a disabled scholar, activist, parent, and public-school educator. My practice as an educator is informed by my interactions and activism alongside Autistic/Neurodivergent and other disabled people. The connectivity of social media has created a tremendous opportunity for us to work collaboratively on projects, locally and internationally. My research is situated within the paradigm of practitioner research, and the finely measured attunement and noticings that arise both during and in reflection upon my work with others. Specifically, I am interested in undermining the dominant narratives that suggest disabled people are less than, in order to consider and make space for including alternative perspectives. I seek to understand and respond to disability and disabled children/students/people in our schools and our homes and communities in ways that honour who they already are. I explore opportunities to disrupt the predominant pedagogy around disability within our school systems and the greater society, and as such I work to engage educators (and others) with the ideas of disability studies, drawing upon and amplifying the perspectives and voices of disabled people. What are the opportunities to teach and engage educators (and others) with the ideas of disability studies outside of higher education? My practice, aligned with my scholarship, is political, and I collaborate with other disabled people to shift the conversation about disability so that educators can explore and question ableist attitudes and thus be positioned to become co-conspirators for disability rights alongside their students. My research is a narrative exploration; a weaving of poetry, story, images, and theory that locates me firmly as a member of the disability community. I ask: what are the possibilities for transformation when educators are supported to view disability through a social justice lens that highlights counter narratives of disability, resistance, and pride?
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Fels, Lynn
Member of collection
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input_data\21132\etd21237.pdf 44.89 MB