From Support to Action: A Critical Affinity Group of Special Education Teachers of Color
Teacher Education and Special Education
Special education teachers of color (SETOC) multiply experience marginalized positions as students of color in P-12 classrooms, as teachers in teacher preparation programs, and alongside the experiences of students of color with disabilities. Instead of drawing from their identities, SETOC tend to be absorbed into the ableist, behaviorist, and racist system of special education and are expected to become complicit in the system. For educators of color, critical affinity groups provide support, reduce trauma, and support work toward collective intersectional justice. Using qualitative narratives, this paper describes how a critical affinity group (re)positioned three SETOC as smart, knowledgeable, and addressing racism and ableism in schools. Disability studies and critical race theory (DisCrit) illuminated SETOC’s unique experiences and how they came together to process racist/ableist interactions and resisted the erasure of their identities as teachers of color. Implications discuss how teacher preparation programs can support the needs of SETOC.
ableism, critical affinity group, racism, resistance, special education teachers of color
Saili S. Kulkarni, Samuel Bland, and Joanna Marinia Gaeta. "From Support to Action: A Critical Affinity Group of Special Education Teachers of Color" Teacher Education and Special Education (2022): 43-60. https://doi.org/10.1177/08884064211061189