Transformative Anti-Ableist Pedagogy for Social Justice
Charting a Critical Agenda for Inclusive Education
Keywords:Vygotsky, defectology, Transformative Activist Stance, disability, Critical Disability Studies, inclusive transformative pedagogy
Higher education institutions are legally bound to provide equal educational opportunities for diverse learners, traditionally materialized as individualized accommodations. This paper contends that despite the growing interest and scholarship in implementing more inclusive pedagogy enabling access to education for all students (e.g. Universal Design for Learning), those efforts still fall short of systematically addressing intersecting, oppressive, and anti-ableist practices in the classrooms. I argue, that in order to develop a truly inclusive, equitable, socially just and transformative pedagogy and teaching practices, we need a theory that posits disability in the context of learning and development, the theory that integrates disability into human development in a manner that overcomes dichotomized and reductionist perspectives of disability and individualistic notions of learning. Drawing on my research on teaching and institutional practices for a student diagnosed with autism, analyzed through the lens of Critical Disability Studies in conjunction with Vygotsky’s theory of defectology and recent advances in cultural-historical activity theory, especially the Transformative Activist Stance (Stetsenko, 2016), this paper offers steps toward integrating these approaches into a transformative pedagogy framework for inclusive, equitable, and anti-ableist pedagogy for all learners.
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