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Equitable and Inclusive Teaching for Diverse Learners With Disabilities

A Biography-Driven Approach

112 pages
Teachers College Press

The need for teachers who have both the knowledge and the skills to teach students in special education, especially students who are emergent bilinguals, is more critical today than ever before. Assumptions about the assurances outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have led to practices that have limited the scope of opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with disabilities. This book examines the intent of special education policy, challenges existing systems, and explores the promise of using biography-driven instruction to transform students’ learning and enhance their personal growth and community life. With a focus on inclusive practices for working with CLD students with disabilities and their families, the book examines decision-making processes for placement, access, instruction, assessment, and evaluation. The authors show how inclusionary practices create contexts and conditions for teachers to foster their students’ academic abilities through authentic cariño and an ecology of care.

Book Features:

  • Elucidates the challenges faced by educators and support personnel as they navigate and prioritize the needs of CLD students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms.
  • Reveals the outdated, politically driven, inequitable, and inconsequential educational opportunities often afforded to CLD students receiving special services.
  • Provides a framework for creating learning opportunities grounded in the six principles of IDEA and the personal and academic biography of learners and their families.
  • Supports teachers and other staff to maximize four interrelated facets of the CLD student biography: sociocultural, linguistic, cognitive, and academic.
  • Explores the multiple meanings of inclusion and academic engagement at the intersection of IDEA and biography-driven instruction.
Author Bio

Socorro G. Herrera is a professor of curriculum and instruction and executive director of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA) at The Kansas State University. Diane Rodriguez is a professor of curriculum and teaching and special education at Fordham University. Robin M. Cabral is an educational consultant with a background in district-level administration, bilingual speech language pathology, special education, literacy, assessment, and intervention development. Melissa A. Holmes is assistant director of CIMA.