Mind the Gap: Destabilizing Dominant Discourses and Beliefs about Learning Disabilities in a Bachelor of Education Program

Authors

  • Luigi Iannacci Trent University
  • Bente Graham Trent University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v56i3.55411

Keywords:

Teacher Candidates, special education curricula, dis/ability, students with special needs, learning disability, critical dis/ability theory and discourse analysis

Abstract

This study explores teacher candidates’ understandings of children with special needs and learning disabilities; the effect of a special education course supporting a tutoring practicum; and how curricula can critically deconstruct and disrupt dominant, inequitable notions and practices. Data were collected through initial and end-of-course questionnaires and focus groups that took place after the course and related practica had ended. Theory-practice gaps addressed are transferable to teacher education contexts where the focus is on developing future teachers’ understandings of and responses to dis/ability in early childhood education learning environments.

Author Biographies

Luigi Iannacci, Trent University

Luigi Iannacci has taught mainstream and special education in a range of elementary grades in Ontario. He is an associate professor in the School of Education and Professional Learning, where he teaches and coordinates the Language and Literacy course and the Supporting Literacy and Learners with Special Needs course.

Bente Graham, Trent University

Bente Graham has taught mainstream and special education in a range of elementary grades in Ontario. She is a former elementary school principal and is currently an instructor in the School of Education and Professional Learning, where she teaches and coordinates the Language and Literacy course and the Supporting Literacy and Learners with Special Needs course.

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