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.