Intersections between and understandings of literacy and disability in a B.Ed program: Discourses, tensions and curriculum

Luigi Iannacci, Bente Graham


This study contributes to the growing body of research that seeks to destabilize dominant notions of literacy and disability. In particular, we explore teacher candidates’ understandings and constructions of literacy and children with “special needs”, or children identified as having a “learning disability”, before and after they complete their kindergarten-grade six teacher certification (B.Ed). We examine how dominant discourses of dis/ability present themselves in these teacher candidates’ initial and subsequent understandings, and how courses and a tutoring practicum can and cannot work to open up new ideas about literacy and dis/ability. Our intention is to add to the discussions of literacy education and curriculum informed by sociocultural and critical disability theory. This study highlights the connections between literacy and dis/ability as they intersect and are inextricably intertwined throughout the discourses and tensions seen in the data.


literacy; disability; sociocultural theory; critical disability theory

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