Ellen A. Brantlinger

When Meaning Falters and Words Fail, Ideology Matters


Volume Editors: and
Ellen A. Brantlinger: When Meanings Falter and Words Fail, Ideology Matters celebrates the work of and is dedicated to the memory of Ellen A. Brantlinger, a scholar-activist who spent most of her professional career as a professor of special education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in the United States of America. Ellen was recognized internationally as an educator and critical theorist and celebrated for her incisive and unyielding critique of special education research, policy, and practice that spanned several decades. Brantlinger held that the impoverished nature of special education theory and practice was rooted to conformance with the most rigid constructs of standardization, normalcy, and its resulting inequitable outcomes for children with disabilities. When the push for educational inclusion gained currency in some quarters in the United States (mid-1980s), Brantlinger was among a handful of scholars who identified special education as the major obstacle to the inclusion of disabled students in the educational system. She was widely published in North American journals well known in special education, teacher education, multicultural education, sociology of education, urban education, school counseling, curriculum theory, qualitative education, and feminist teaching. This book offers an elaboration of the scholarly contributions made by Ellen Brantlinger to research in education, special education, inclusive education, and the early development of Disability Studies in Education. Many of its contributors move between the paradigmatic locations of special education, inclusive education, and disability studies as they consider Ellen’s influence.

Contributors are: Julie Allan, Subini A. Annamma, Jessica Bacon, Alicia A. Broderick, Kathleen M. Collins, David J. Connor, Dianne L. Ferguson, Philip M. Ferguson, Amy L. Ferrel, Beth Ferri, Joanne Kim, Janette Klingner, Corrine Li, Brooke A. Moore, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Janet S. Sauer.

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Linda Ware, independent scholar, survived a lengthy academic career at universities from New Mexico to New York. Her publications appeared in prestigious national and international academic journals. Besides this Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies series she edited (Dis)Assemblages: An International Critical Disability Studies Reader.

Roger Slee is Professor at the School of Education, University of South Australia. He is Founding Editor of the International Journal of Inclusive Education and has published widely over the course of a long and distinguished career.
"It is refreshing to have access to the chapters as a singular body of work that recognises the formative contributions of a celebrated scholar from the field, and the book will be of particular interest to those less familiar with DSE's early development. [...] This book and the series from which it comes will provide an important index by which to measure their progress". Ben Whitburn, Deakin University, in Journal of Disability Studies in Education Vol 1 | Issue 1 (2020), pp.1-4.
Series Introduction
Notes on Contributors
Linda Ware
Introduction: Honoring of the Research, Scholarship, and Activism of Ellen A. Brantlinger
Linda Ware and Roger Slee

1 Risk Taker, Role Model, Muse, and “Charlatan”: Stories of Ellen, an Atypical Giant
David J. Connor
2 Including Ideology
Julie Allan
3 Research, Relationships and Making Understanding: A Look at Brantlinger’s Darla and the Value of Case Study Research
Janet Story Sauer
4 When the Light Turns Blue: Journeying into Disability Studies Guided by the Work of Ellen Brantlinger
Kathleen M. Collins and Alicia A. Broderick
5 Challenging the Ideology of Normal in Schools
Subini A. Annamma, Amy L. Ferrel, Brooke A. Moore and Janette Klingner
6 Vulnerable to Exclusion: The Place for Segregated Education within Conceptions of Inclusion
Emily A. Nusbaum
7 The Impact of Standards-Based Reform: Applying Brantlinger‘s Critique of “Hierarchical Ideologies”
Jessica Bacon and Beth Ferri
8 Family Portraits: Past and Present Representations of Parents in Special Education Text Books
Dianne L. Ferguson, Philip M. Ferguson, Joanne Kim and Corrine Li

All interested in the confluence of research and scholarship from critical special education to the foundations of disability studies in education.
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