From the "Science of Disease" to the "Understanding of Those Who Suffer": The Cultivation of an Interpretive Understanding of "Behaviour Problems" in Children

  • Christopher Matthew Gilham University of Calgary
Keywords: interpretive, hermeneutics, education, behaviour, special education, philosophy

Abstract

In this interpretive essay, I attempt to unconceal the problematic history at play in Special Education in Alberta today, with a focus on “behaviour students†or their norm-referenced disability status. A brief, but central, anecdote is used to help reveal some of the everyday problems that arise in education because of the behavioural disability framing of students. I suggest that these problems are examples of Illich’s appropriated notions of iatrogenesis and counterproductivity. As an applied emancipatory action, I call upon Gadamer and Ricoeur to help me interpretively turn the common, everyday understanding of pathology and self in the context of others as possibilities for understanding “behaviour students†anew.

Keywords:

behaviour, coding, dignity, disorder, iatrogenesis, self-esteem, special education


 

Author Biography

Christopher Matthew Gilham, University of Calgary

PhD candidate

Interpretive Studies, GDER

University of Calgary

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Published
2012-09-21
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