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Moving towards a post modern liberatory pedagogy in special education : one school district's beginning


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Douglas, Toni A 1997 , 'Moving towards a post modern liberatory pedagogy in special education : one school district's beginning', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Postmodernism, constructivism and liberatory pedagogy propose an active stance
towards educational change, constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing
knowledge, meaning and pedagogy, rather than accepting the knowledge
traditions of the past. In this paper, they provide a framework for enquiry into
the deconstruction of modernist, functionalist knowledge tradition in special
education and create a freedom to construct new knowledge and meaning - to
transform. They provide a forum to challenge past and present beliefs and
assumptions in special education, identify a paradigm shift and explore a
movement towards postmodern, liberatory pedagogy.
The research question which this paper poses - 'What is one school district's
beginning : A description and explanation of the movement towards liberatory
pedagogy in special education', demands an investigation of the liberating
aspects of 'inclusive schooling' which move it away from the functionalist deficit
models of the modern era. While it retains some limiting bureaucratic
structures, inclusive schooling begins to move towards 'adhocracy' and liberatory
pedagogy, as it uses knowledge and meaning to transform and to address the
rights and choices of students.
To carry out this investigation, the paper unfolds the historical movement of
policy and practice - of paradigm, in the education of students with disabilities,
in Britain, the USA and Australia. Having developed this historical and
paradigmatic context, the paper examines the paradigm shift being experienced
by school communities in Tasmania. The shift deconstructs modernist thinking
and begins to move pedagogy away from deficit models, towards a postmodern
liberatory pedagogy. The paradigm shift is investigated through a description and explanation of one
educational district's inclusive schooling model and within this model uses
qualitative research - action research case studies - of students in their school
communities. The case studies explore the shift of beliefs and assumptions,
which has brought about construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of
postmodern liberatory pedagogy in those school communities. By summarising
the case study outcomes, the paper defines the key pedagogical changes
through which these educational communities are challenging past and present
knowledge traditions, constructing more complex knowledge, meaning and skill,
shifting paradigms, creating freedom to choose and moving special education
beyond 'inclusion of students with disabilities' towards postmodern liberatory

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Douglas, Toni A
Keywords: Special education, Special education, Postmodernism and education, Children with disabilities, Mainstreaming in education
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1997 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Spine title: Postmodern liberatory pedagogy in special education. Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 159-168)

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