Special education teachers of color and their beliefs about dis/ability and race: Counter-stories of smartness and goodness
Teacher beliefs about race and dis/ability 1 are important in understanding how teachers educate and support students of color with dis/abilities. This is particularly critical because of the overrepresentation of students of color in special education, irrelevant curriculum, and poor post-school outcomes which continue to impact students of color with dis/abilities in US public schools. Using qualitative counter-stories of goodness and smartness, this study highlights the expressed beliefs of two special education teachers of color, Leena and Leonardo, who were completing a special education teaching credential program at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Southern California. The teachers were asked to compose a series of short and long reflections as part of two courses centering dis/ability and race. They also participated in follow-up interviews in which they reflected on their beliefs and experiences with the intersections of dis/ability and race. Courses were intentionally restructured using Dis/ability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit), and analyses specifically focused on how participants were positioned through the framework of smartness and goodness. Findings revealed how the experiences of special education teachers of color across time and space were filled with examples of racism and ableism that shaped their beliefs and identities as teachers of color and teachers committed to racial and dis/ability justice. Each counter-story also highlights the challenges special education teachers of color face because of their experiences of multiple and intersecting oppressions.
counter-stories, DisCrit, goodness, smartness, special education, teacher beliefs
Saili S. Kulkarni. "Special education teachers of color and their beliefs about dis/ability and race: Counter-stories of smartness and goodness" Curriculum Inquiry (2022): 496-521. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2021.1938973