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They’re Called the “Throwaways”

Children in Special Education Using Artmaking for Social Change

Edited by Christa Boske

School communities identified these children as the “throwaways”-children who often experienced bullying, abuse, foster care, juvenile detention, and special education services. In this book, children with learning differences engage in artmaking as sensemaking to deepen their understanding of what it means to live on the margins in U.S. public K-12 schools. Their artmaking calls upon educators, school leaders, and policymakers to actively engage in addressing the injustices many of the children faced in school. This book is revolutionary. For the first time, children with learning differences, teachers, staff, and school leaders come together and share how they understand the role artmaking as sensemaking plays in empowering disenfranchised populations. Together, they encourage school community members to examine pedagogical practices, eliminate exclusive policies, and promote social justice-oriented work in schools. Their artmaking inspires new ways of knowing and responding to the lived experiences of children with learning differences. They hope their work encourages school communities to make authentic connections to improve their learning, capacity to love others, and of most importantly, to value oneself. Authors’ first-tellings capture the human experience of navigating through oppressive educational systems. Authors urge us to consider what it means to be empathic and to engage in the lives of those we serve. Their truths remind us to that standing still should never be an option.

Edited by Christa Boske