Reading dis/ability : interrogating paradigms in a prism of power

Graham, Linda J. & Grieshaber, Susan J. (2008) Reading dis/ability : interrogating paradigms in a prism of power. Disability & Society, 23(6), pp. 557-570.

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The dichotomisation of literacy instruction into phonics instruction versus a whole language approach fails to realise a fundamental tenet of providing equitable educational opportunities to diverse groups of children. Diversity becomes a problem to solve through "inoculation programs" or "special" education expertise. Moreover, children’s individual strengths can fail to realise because they do not fit well with the program of the day. Instead of being appreciated for the value that they may bring in higher-order conceptual and intellectual tasks, these individual strengths may be neglected at great cost to the individual child because they offer cheap reward in the shape of aggregate test scores. This paper is a philosophical piece, which in refusing to prescribe what one should do on Monday morning, joins other strident voices in disability studies in education to question what it is that we are doing today. Whilst not scientific, this is important work – it emphasises the a prior importance of philosophical, moral and ethical questions – reminding science that children are dynamic social beings who cannot be manipulated like genes to "express" themselves in ways more conducive to quick and cheap educational programs.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 14793
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: literacy wars, reading the 'right' way, student visibility and invisibility, diversity
DOI: 10.1080/09687590802328386
ISSN: 0968-7599
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Disability & Society 23(6):pp. 557-570.]. [Disability & Society ] is available online at informaworldTM with
Deposited On: 16 Sep 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:48

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