Dominant narratives, subjugated knowledges, and the righting of the story of disability in K-12 curricula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dominant stories, as upheld through K-12 curricula, are influential in reproducing systems of power and privilege in schools and society. In this article, we suggest that stories of people with disabilities are either missing in K-12 curricula, or told in ways that are highly ableist. We use discourse theory as a frame for considering the role of curricula in reproducing power/knowledge in schools, and promote critical pedagogy as a tool for teaching students to recognize and disrupt the ableism inherent in dominant educational discourses. We provide concrete strategies for infusing counter-narratives and subjugated knowledges into the curriculum where silences or authoritative presences exist. Overall, this article is a call to educators to tackle, head-on, ableist discourse in the curriculum with a goal of promoting liberatory knowledges about disability in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-404
Number of pages18
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2019

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disability
narrative
curriculum
school
discourse theory
discourse
privilege
educator
Teaching
student

Keywords

  • ableism
  • critical pedagogy
  • Disability studies
  • discourse theory
  • K-12 curriculum

Cite this

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abstract = "Dominant stories, as upheld through K-12 curricula, are influential in reproducing systems of power and privilege in schools and society. In this article, we suggest that stories of people with disabilities are either missing in K-12 curricula, or told in ways that are highly ableist. We use discourse theory as a frame for considering the role of curricula in reproducing power/knowledge in schools, and promote critical pedagogy as a tool for teaching students to recognize and disrupt the ableism inherent in dominant educational discourses. We provide concrete strategies for infusing counter-narratives and subjugated knowledges into the curriculum where silences or authoritative presences exist. Overall, this article is a call to educators to tackle, head-on, ableist discourse in the curriculum with a goal of promoting liberatory knowledges about disability in schools.",
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