This chapter revisits the imprint made by the early writings of Lous Heshusius on the public school teaching and ideological positioning of the author, Linda Ware—then, a middle school resource room teacher and a parent to her young son enrolled in special education. Heshusius’ insights stood in marked contrast to the professional literature and practices in teacher training programs. Heshusius amplified Ware’s experience as a mother and as a teacher, inspiring what became Ware’s critique of special education’s misguided ideology.
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.
The “Strong Poet”: Essays in Honor of Lous Heshusius is an edited volume focused on the research, scholarship, and leadership of one of the earliest proponents of radical change in the field of special education. This volume is part of the series
Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies in Education, a collective history of the ecology of ideas that gave way to the emergence of the field of Disability Studies in Education (DSE). The series formalizes the value of attending to a history, distinguished by Steve Taylor (2005), as one that existed before it was named DSE. In this volume the contributors borrow from the venerable life work of Lous Heshusius, to center her original claims, early research, and the enduring challenge she posed to special education against examples from their own practice and personal histories. Each chapter recovers aspects of the genius of Heshusius that ultimately disrupted status quo thinking about disability. Specifically her attention to recognizing the lives and desires of those that society too often relegates to categories and contexts devoid of self-direction and authentic agency. In brief, we find in Heshusius, a researcher who sought to privilege the voice of individuals with disability. She was among those who drew from and elaborated upon the methods and tools of qualitative research.
Contributors are: Julie Allan, Alicia A. Broderick, Danielle M. Cowley, Deborah J. Gallagher, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Linda Ware.